Purpose is the strategic intersection between what a business does, the impact it has on people and the planet, and its ability to bring about positive, transformative change in society.
Purpose has evolved from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a core business strategy. Stakeholders expect organizations to deliver value beyond profit and they are increasingly holding business accountable for their commitments and actions – in fact, 86% of people expect CEOs to lead on societal challenges.
Our Purpose experts help our clients deliver world-leading social impact, sustainability and brand purpose work that evolves their role in society, building Trust and driving value across stakeholder groups.
Expertise Lead: Helga Ying, Global and U.S. Chair, Purpose
We Help You Define
Why You Exist and Why You Matter
We help organizations define and articulate their unique role in society, taking into account all stakeholders, through market benchmarking, stakeholder engagement and strategic development.
We Help You Develop
What You Do to Create Impact
We help organizations take a stance on issues that matter most to their business and stakeholders while determining the necessary commitments and external actions necessary and establishing meaningful partnerships and collaborations.
We Help You Communicate
How You Inspire
We help organizations communicate transparently at every step of the way to drive attention to their programs and purpose through multi-channel communications and campaigns that inspire others to join.
Helga Ying has more than 25 years of extensive experience providing strategic leadership and consulting to corporations in the areas of corporate citizenship, government affairs, public policy, community affairs, social impact and sustainability, crisis and external communications and stakeholder engagement.
Prior to joining Edelman, Helga was Head of Local Office, AIDS 2020, where she oversaw the management of the local offices in San Francisco and Oakland for the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), the world’s largest event on HIV and AIDS. She also held purpose-led leadership roles at both American Eagle Outfitters (Vice President of External Engagement and Social Responsibility) and Levi Strauss & Co. (Senior Director of Worldwide Government Affairs and Public Policy). In addition, she served as Director of Member Services for Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and a member of Senator Ted Kennedy’s staff, as a legislative assistant both in the Foreign Policy office and on the Labor and Human Resources Committee.
Alex Heath – Executive Vice President and U.S. Head of Social Impact and Sustainability
Alex leads the Corporate Social Impact & Sustainability team in the U.S.. He is a strategic counselor operating at the nexus of purpose, corporate responsibility, social impact, sustainability, ESG, and communications and stakeholder engagement, with a focus on the role of business in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. His daily work is on social impact strategy and sustainability campaigns for multinational companies and foundations, including eBay, Foot Locker, Samsung Mobile, Starbucks, and Under Armour.
Jackie Murphy – Executive Vice President and U.S. Head of Brand Purpose
Jackie is a strategist specializing in building purpose-led brands and organizations. She and her team help clients define their role in society and act in service of that role, embedding purpose as a driver of strategy, trust and brand power. She oversees Brand Purpose in the U.S. and serves as global purpose lead for Unilever, helping to shape and advance its sustainable business agenda at the corporate, category and brand level. Her team is passionate about the intersection of societal impact, business impact and creative impact, and works with integrated teams across brands like Dove/Dove Men+Care, Good Humor and Tazo to deliver all three.
Mark McGinn – Director of Brand and Social Purpose
Over the past 15 years, Mark has worked across brand strategy and sustainability innovation, to help global companies define and deliver their purpose -- transforming sustainability performance to maximize commercial brand value and social impact. Through values-driven innovation, he has helped develop brand solutions and campaigns, covering the Circular Economy, Digital Behaviour Change, Online Safety & Privacy, Education and Employability for some of the world’s best-loved brand such as Apple, Nike, Starbucks, PlayStation, Unilever, Converse and IKEA.
Mary Pollard – Executive Director, Sustainability, Social Impact and Purpose
Mary has spent 15 years advising major corporates on building trust by taking a leadership position on environmental and societal issues. She jointly leads our Sustainability, Social Impact and Purpose specialist team, which supports clients including Unilever, MARS, IKEA and Primark. She spent three years in-house in the Global Brand and Comms Team at Diageo PLC where she led the company’s work to build reputation through action-oriented campaigns on issues including responsible drinking, sustainability and inclusion and diversity, often partnering with brands such as Guinness and Johnnie Walker. In agency roles, her clients have included AstraZeneca, BP, Barclays, sky and the Wimbledon tennis championship. She has a particular specialism in the food and beverage sector, having worked with Unilever, Mondelez, Nestle and pladis as well as Diageo. Outside of work, she can also be found engaging with her love for all things food and drink, from exploring new restaurants to overly ambitious cooking and baking attempts.