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2023 Will Test Companies’ Commitment to Social Responsibility

The year ahead will impact organizations' commitments to ESG and more

2023 will be a test of corporate America — the year we find out if corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments and environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are deeply ingrained values or in fact only hobbies to be enjoyed in economic fair weather.

As members of three organizations who work directly with thousands of leaders engaged in corporate social impact across every sector and region, we urge you, corporate executives, not to step back from the gains you've made in community and global investment and employee engagement as we near a recession. It's taken an abundance of corporate commitment, years of dedication and investment, to see the benefits of your leadership.

With the likelihood of recession in 2023 increasing, corporate leaders are being tasked with navigating these turbulent times; cost-cutting is a conventional strategy to deploy. Unfortunately, history shows that CSR, ESG and purpose initiatives are typically first on the list to freeze or underfund during recessionary times. This test comes at a time when CEOs have made significant strides in tying ESG to profitability, with 70 percent of U.S. CEOs acknowledging that ESG improves financial performance, up from 37 percent just last year, per a recent KPMG survey. Yet 59 percent of CEOs said they planned to pause or reconsider their ESG efforts.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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