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Australian Organisations Explore What It Means To Do Business With Purpose

08 November 2022

Australian Organisations Explore What It Means To Do Business With Purpose

Morrow Sodali participated in the Purpose conference on the 19th and 20th October 2022 in Sydney. Now in its fourth year, Purpose is Australia’s largest purpose-driven business event, bringing together participants ranging from large corporates like Unilever to B Corps like Patagonia, as well as the start up and social enterprise communities. The team spent two days exploring best practice knowledge, solutions and leadership approaches around the fast-evolving landscape of sustainable and social impact.

Against the backdrop of continued natural disasters across Australia and a renewed sense of optimism on climate action following the election, the discussion focused on the mainstreaming of purpose and linked to this how many businesses have been recalibrating their ESG and sustainability efforts.

Emerging themes at the intersection of business and purpose covered included:

  • Circular economy
  • Diversity and belonging including Indigenous engagement
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Impact capital
  • Nature x technology
  • Regenerative business (beyond net zero)
  • Responsible media and technology


Highlights included:

  • Grace Tame, Advocate, Author and Australian of the Year 2021, in conversation with Michael Bradley, Managing Partner Marque Lawyers, discussed the wave of sexual assault activism in business and government and media responsibility
  • Matt Kean, NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy, shared NSW’s ambitious renewable energy plan and spoke about the idea of government policy needing to be a ‘race to top’
  • Simon Holmes à Court, Convenor Climate 200, shared the Climate 200 journey supporting political candidates committed to climate action and integrity in politics
  • Richard Boele, Chief Purpose Officer KPMG, shared his career journey to his current role and alongside Unilever Australia CEO, Nikki Sparshot, and AWS Digital Innovation Lead (Sustainability), Anne Ascharsobi, discussed how corporates are thinking about purpose and sustainability as core to business strategy in 2022
  • Dr Sasha Courville, Chief Impact Officer with Bank Australia, outlined the Bank’s vision to drive climate action through their products and services, for example phasing out fossil fuel powered car loans by 2025
  • Andrew Apostola, CEO Portable, shared a range of corporate responsibility, ethical design, advocacy and regulation case studies from across the technology industry, including on Airbnb and Robinhood
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