First explored in the United States in the 1970s, the idea that purpose can go hand-in-hand with profit has gained mainstream acceptance.
The viewpoint may not be as widely held as some believe, yet a significant amount of the general public believe it to be so, namely that capitalism has taken the world to the edge of the abyss.
Companies have the right to dream, to be driven by a singular passion, or spurred on by a worthy cause. They have earned the right to be fully-committed players and to identify their purpose.
For the new generation of entrepreneurs casting around for inspiration, they could do worse than follow the example of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia who, since 1972, has been putting the general interest above all other concerns.
An internet search engine is not the first thing that people would come up with as a way to combat deforestation, yet Ecosia has managed to bring about the planting of 75 million trees over the last decade.
No need for a certification or audit to verify the altruistic credentials of Ben & Jerry’s – Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have been part of the purpose revolution for more than four decades.
The B Corp community formed in the United States in 2006. It regroups companies that base their purpose on a public interest approach. Eight years later, sustainable development consulting firm Utopies was the first French company to join. Elisabeth...