Your Social Impact Matters, Says BlackRock CEO

Your Social Impact Matters, Says BlackRock CEO

In a recent announcement by BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management company with $6 trillion in assets, CEO Laurence Fink urged companies around the world to “drive not only their own investment returns, but also the prosperity and security of their fellow citizens.” It is a watershed moment on the expanded role of the private sector regarding both profits and positive social impact. It firmly brings responsible investment, a practice born in the early 2000s that takes environmental, social and governance issues into account, into the mainstream.

Leading CEOs around the world understand that social purpose sustains financial performance. Social responsibility creates value for businesses by driving innovation and new opportunities, which in turn benefits customer attraction, customer retention and talent. A strong corporate social responsibility program demonstrates a company’s commitment to managing risk proactively — an essential function of good corporate governance — to promote sustainable growth.

Investors are becoming more sophisticated in how they measure social performance, broadly defined as the operational effects of a company on the labor and other human rights of the people and communities it touches. While a company’s environmental impacts and vulnerability to fraud and corruption can be determined using standards-based, performance-oriented measurement, social performance has lacked consistent standards. Instead, it has relied on measuring what is most convenient, rather than what is most meaningful. This is changing as investors develop better metrics and tools to gauge social performance.

Download our Guide to the Assent Compliance Corporate Social Responsibility Suite to learn how you can enhance your corporate social responsibility program.

BlackRock is one of the most influential investors in the world. If companies want to retain BlackRock’s support, they must demonstrate how they are benefiting all of their stakeholders, including shareholders and the communities in which they operate. With the oversight of their board of directors, they must develop and pursue a strategy for long-term growth that integrates governance, social and environmental matters with financial performance. Companies that are not already doing so need to revisit their growth strategy to include factors relevant to societal impact.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Suite, part of the Assent Compliance Platform, helps companies automate and increase the efficiency of their corporate social responsibility programs. Assent facilitates data collection, validation and reporting, with support from in-house subject matter experts, to turn data into crucial insights to support effective corporate social responsibility programs.

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