How values-driven companies are setting themselves apart

Retail Gets Real episode 203: PwC’s Ron Kinghorn on the growth of ESG — environmental, social and governance investing in retail

As we see social responsibility and sustainability rising to the top of mind for consumers, people are looking for a meaningful connection to the brands they support. In this week’s Retail Gets Real episode, Ron Kinghorn, PwC’s U.S. Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, discusses ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing and how it can be used as a core competitive differentiator.

ESG is primarily a question around whose interests should be put first by a business — stakeholders or shareholders — and how a company balances all the various needs, expectations and interests to be good for business, good for society and good for the environment.

Over the past few years, there have been shifts toward prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders. The impact COVID-19 has had on people’s lives, as well as the economy, has only made that shift more important than ever, and younger customers in particular expect more transparency and choose to support brands that are aligned their values.

Kinghorn says being more stakeholder- and ESG-conscious begins with understanding a purpose. Businesses have to keep their purpose in mind and articulate it clearly, both inside the company and outwardly. It comes down to how they express their purpose in the marketplace, not just through messaging but through action.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about ESG and how companies are striving to become more value-driven.

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