Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
We launched the inaugural Worthy 100 list a year ago to reinforce our commitment to our Worth Beyond Wealth mantra. In a world that is still dealing with a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the climate crisis, it will take the support of the business and financial communities, alongside the government, to solve these pressing issues.
Earlier this year, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard put his money where his mouth is. He put his company ownership into a trust, and non-profit organization focused on fighting the climate crisis. “Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth,” he said in an open letter on the company’s website.
Most companies are far less transparent about their commitments. That is why in May of 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission made moves to combat “greenwashing.” They will hold companies accountable for their statements surrounding their environmental or sustainability practices and other activities that the SEC perceives to be potentially misleading to investors.
Later that same month, leaders convened in Davos for an abnormally green World Economic Forum annual meeting. Usually taking place in January amongst the snow drifts and ice, it was odd to be in Davos without a parka and snow boots. Set against a lush green backdrop, much of the conversation focused on climate change. One session in particular resonated with me. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan hosted an intimate group of executives, including BCG, EY, NASDAQ, and more. John Kerry addressed the group and implored that it would take business and finance to lead the way in solving the climate crisis. I knew our move to focus on these issues was right.
This September, we hosted our Health and Wealth of Our Planet conference in New York during the UN General Assembly and Climate Week to demonstrate our commitment further. We were lucky to have Eileen Fisher, featured on the cover of last year’s Worthy 100 issue, and marketing guru Seth Godin, who has focused much of his time on his newest book, The Carbon Almanac.
While climate change may be at the top of the list for many, companies face many challenging decisions that might impact earnings. Whether you want to call it conscious or stakeholder capitalism or simply doing well and doing good, the idea that companies must make responsible decisions for the benefit of society has become more critical than ever.
Kanye West’s anti-Semitic remarks gave the world another reason to pause. Many of us waited to see how the brands with solid ties to Kanye would react. We can only assume that their leadership had to weigh the potential financial implications of any decision. Ultimately, when Adidas, Balenciaga, and GAP cut ties with the rapper, I felt relief that morality won that day. While the move may have a short-term negative impact on revenue, they made the responsible move.
Clarim Media is committed to highlighting the positive impact that people with influence and affluence have on society. Our Groundbreaking Women issue provided a platform to advance gender equality this year. Our Sustainability issue highlighted all the people and organizations doing what they can to address climate change. Next year we will continue to grow the Women & Worth community, publish our first Philanthropy & Impact Investing issue, and convene leaders for conversations about solving the world’s most pressing problems.
If you would like to contribute content or join us at one of our events, please do not hesitate to reach out.
— Josh Kampel
CEO, Clarim Media