The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that the great majority of survey respondents believe CEOs should take the lead on change instead of waiting for government (76 percent) and trust their employer to do what is right (75 percent). In line with these beliefs, earlier this year we added a fourth value—The Commitment to Positively Impact Society—to the long-standing set of three values that all of us at Edelman strive to follow: excellence, curiosity and courage.
Our recently released FY19 Global Citizenship report, Building Trust, celebrates and details how we live this fourth value. Edelman is entering its 10th year of citizenship, and this year’s report highlights major milestones we have reached during the evolution of our culture of corporate social responsibility (check out our 10 Years, 10 Milestones infographic) and the goals we have made to continue this progress. We are proud of our efforts to go green and reduce carbon emissions, the record number of community grant winners, and the development of new health and well-being programs.
Sustainability in the corporate world is no longer a license to operate—it now serves as a license to lead. What were once considered progressive steps in the name of social and environmental sustainability are now the standard. Our citizenship goals for FY20 and beyond reflect this integration of sustainability into our business practices. For example, we seek to incorporate sustainability as one of our decision criteria for our suppliers in the future; to gain re-certification from the Carbon Trust Standard, reflecting our continual reduction in carbon emissions; and to devote 50 percent of our pro bono and volunteerism hours to Edelman’s five priority United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Our commitment to advancing positive change in society goes further. Recently, Richard Edelman, our CEO, spoke at Chicago Ideas Week about the dialogue around gun control. Gun control is a public health issue, so it is essential that leaders advocate for safer and healthier communities, which is why Richard signed a letter along with over 100 other CEOs to urge Congress to act on this issue. This past week, Edelman signed a pledge to make mental health and well-being a priority in our workplace. This commitment, in conjunction with other health and well-being initiatives, such as Whil and Livewell, will help our employees find the work-life balance they need to be most successful.
We will continue to do what we can as individuals and as a business to have a positive impact on society and create opportunity for others to do the same over the next 10 years.
John Edelman is managing director, Global Engagement and Corporate Responsibility.