top of page

How will your organization be an ally? | Purposeful Connections

Sharp perspectives. Deep expertise. Cutting-edge innovations. Purposeful Connections is your bi-weekly source for the latest in purpose and ESG. Subscribe here.

This Pride Month feels different. Over the past year or so, a concerning trend emerged: brands are pulling back from vocal support of LGBTQ+ rights in the face of rising opposition. We see this as a moment not to retreat, but to double down on commitments to authentic diversity and inclusion.

Rainbow logos and limited-edition merchandise released solely in June can feel performative if not backed by genuine action and investments in the LGBTQ+ community—and their rights. At the same time, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality faces unprecedented challenges. From legislative attacks to discriminatory rhetoric, the hard-won progress of recent years is under threat.

This is why we believe that now, more than ever, brands need to be true allies. Standing with the LGBTQ+ community means standing up for employees, customers, community members, partners, and so many more. Let's be clear: Pride is a celebration, but it's also a protest. Consumers today are savvy and can see through performative gestures. They want to see brands that are true allies and support the community year-round through their actions and messaging, not just during Pride month.

🌈 A blueprint for Pride: June is Pride Month, and many brands are still struggling to be authentic in how they embrace, celebrate, and uplift the LGBTQ+ community—from consumers to their own employees. Drag entertainer and queer advocate Miss Peppermint shared a "blueprint" to help companies navigate Pride—from exploring the intersections of social issues to being accountable. In many ways, Miss Peppermint's advice applies to DEI and corporate social impact writ large: "Make sure you have representation in the team—and if you don't, hire them in. You can't demand loyalty from something you know nothing about, so get invested."

🪦 Leaving a sunny legacy: Cemeteries are important places for the family and friends of those who have passed away. They are often also valuable pieces of real estate, but do not provide many alternate uses beyond housing the dead. RIP—Requiem in Power—is a Spanish project seeking to change that by installing solar panels in three cemeteries located in Valencia, Spain. The initiative helps solve a growing problem in the Spanish city: the need for renewable energy sources amid a severe lack of open or unused space. RIP sees solar panels installed atop mausoleum roofs in what will eventually be the largest "urban solar farm" in the country.

🧺 Washing away the time gap: In many developing regions of the world, women and girls spend up to 20 hours per week hand-washing clothing. Take a second to think about what you can get done in 20 hours—or what you could no longer accomplish if you, too, spent 20 hours per week on laundry or other household chores. The Washing Machine Project, a UK-based social enterprise, is working to close the "global washing divide" and the time gap it has created—whereby women and girls lose out on valuable opportunities to pursue an education or career. Now, the Whirlpool Foundation* is lending its operational capabilities—including the willing hands of Whirlpool employees— to ramp up distribution for The Washing Machine Project's innovative hand-cranked machine. *Whirlpool is a CCOP client.

Does acting on values hurt the bottom line? According to Daniel Aronson, Founder and CEO of Valutus, the answer is no—in fact, the converse is true. We invited Daniel to explain, using real-world examples, how making ethical choices can actually increase a company's profits and competitive advantage, even four to ten times greater than expected.


bottom of page