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Why inclusion is "a societal demand" | Purposeful Connections

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Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of HR professionals at a From Day One event in Chicago. The leading theme from that event centered on the rapid pace of workplace change, and how employers can help create community and build enduring bonds with their workforces. Speakers talked about the need for more belonging among employees, especially during a time of hiring freezes, layoffs, return-to-office transitions, and more uncertainty. It's not an easy time to be an employee or an employer, and HR professionals are thrust into the middle of that dynamic. Increasingly, they're looking to their organization's purpose (and how it's authentically activated throughout the enterprise) to bring employees together in meaningful ways, around a shared vision. People want to feel that they belong and that they are part of a greater whole.

Inclusion is a 'societal demand' and 'business imperative for growth.'

Seven in ten people globally believe that businesses are responsible for making society more fair. That means brands aiming to succeed "must do more to consider underserved populations with growing spending power." According to Kantar, there is a growing spectrum of audiences that brands should seek to understand more deeply, ranging from gender identity and ethnicity to income and geographic location. How brands engage with these various identities is equally complex, impacting not just how products and services are designed, but how these audiences are marketed to and engaged. // AdWeek (paywall): Marketers embrace inclusive design to boost relevancy—and profits

The shoes you'll never own.

Serious runners know their sport has a sustainability problem when it comes to shoes. With most consistent runners replacing their shoes every 6 months or 350–500 miles, the carbon footprint of a runner is surprisingly high. The story gets worse when those worn-out running shoes are trashed instead of donated or recycled. Swiss running brand On is aiming to change that with its industry-first shoe subscription service, Cyclon. Subscribers to Cyclon pay $29 per month and can trade in their 100% recyclable Cloudneo shoes as often as every 90 days. The shoes are made of castor beans, making them endlessly recyclable once they reach the end of their usable (running) life. // On: The Cyclon

Addressing the water funding gap.

Fewer than 30% of WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) appeals are funded, leaving a gap of 70.3% for such humanitarian appeals. These findings, released in late March by Action Against Hunger*, highlight the connection between decreased water funding and rising global hunger levels. The situation is dire, given that dirty water leads to 1.5 million deaths per year, many linked to malnutrition caused by waterborne diseases. Fully-funding all UN WASH-related appeals would bear a price tag of $2.6 billion—less than the amount Americans were projected to bet on March Madness this year. // Action Against Hunger: Action Against Hunger analysis finds 70% funding gap for water programs across 41 countries

*Action Against Hunger is a CCOP client.

The EU is cracking down on greenwashing.

Consumers in the EU will soon have greater clarity on whether the brands they buy are truly 'green.' The EU's Directive on Green Claims requires companies to "substantiate and verify their environmental claims and labels." Such claims (ranging from "ocean friendly" to "made with 70% recycled material") will have to be independently verified, as well as proven with scientific evidence. // ESG Today: EU launches green claims rule to protect consumers from greenwashing

Would you hire someone without looking at their resume? That’s what Greyston does – and has for the last 40 years. Anyone with a desire to work is added to a list and called when a position is available. We invited Joseph Kenner, CEO of Greyston, to discuss this approach to hiring, why it won’t compromise professionalism or efficiency, and how other organizations are successfully adopting open and inclusive hiring practices.


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