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Purpose Index 2022

A groundbreaking survey of 500 Canadian business leaders and 3000 Canadians.

A new, annual measure of Canadians’ and executives’ commitment towards a social purpose for businesses.

Purpose Index Highlights

63% of Business Leaders Agree

Canadian business leaders agree with the major tenets of purposeful capitalism.

For instance, 63% agree that “ The purpose of a corporation should be to benefit all its stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, suppliers, the communities where it operates, and the environment.”

42% of Senior Management have the environment as a main priority

However, business executives are skeptical regarding certain of the measures envisaged to implement purpose-driven capitalism.

For example, only 42% of senior management think that a company should have the environment as a main priority.

André Pratte | Expert Panelist
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The movement towards purpose-driven businesses is growing. Canadians are deeply concerned by our nation’s environmental and social problems. They expect companies to do more to address those issues.

Canadian businesses are struggling to meet those high expectations while they are dealing with inflation, supply-chain disruptions, and worker shortages. The way to reconcile those apparently conflicting priorities is through the redefinition of the purpose of the corporation.

An authentic purpose leads the executive team to aim not only at increasing earnings to the benefit of shareholders, but to consider the needs of their other stakeholders – employees, customers, the environment and the communities in which they operate.

As you will see in this report, our data shows that Canadian company executives adhere, at least in theory, to the idea that businesses need to contribute to the solution of society’s problems. However, they are skeptical, even opposed to some of the measures suggested to implement this change.

This Purpose Index survey reveals what Canadians expect from companies, and how business executives plan to respond. If you believe, like I do, that companies do have a significant role in resolving the issues that Canada is faced with, you will conclude from this data that much remains to be done.