November 10, 2022


With our Corporate Citizenship Conference & Awards: Business Solves just around the corner, we spoke with past speakers and Citizens Awards winners on the evolving role of business in society and how their organizations are helping drive solutions to our toughest challenges.

Business Solves will bring together cross-sector leaders at the forefront of purpose and innovation to examine how we can work together to build a more sustainable and resilient future. Register here to join us on November 16-17, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Purpose Officer, Deloitte

“As we continue to face some of the most pressing societal issues of our time, it’s more important than ever for organizations to identify their purpose. For years, corporations have seen social responsibility as table stakes, but today, it is much more than that. It’s critical for a truly purpose-driven organization to not only align its business strategies with its purpose, but also empower its employees to do the same.

At Deloitte, we define our purpose by driving impact at scale for the societal issues that align to our values. As an organization, we have always been focused on creating trust and confidence, but now we are explicitly connecting that focus to creating a more equitable society. We recently announced a new strategic investment in social impact that focuses on three areas we believe are vital to social and economic mobility: education and workforce development, financial inclusion, and health equity. Each aligns with areas of our business where we are uniquely positioned to help those facing the greatest barriers to equity, helping put purpose at the core of what we do.”

Adrian Edmonds, Director, Global Citizenship, FedEx

“Innovation is a hallmark of successful businesses. Innovation with purpose results in meaningful solutions for society. At FedEx, we value both innovation and purpose – and this combination is evident in the passion of our team members. Through their efforts, we are incorporating robotics into our hubs and stations, electrifying our fleet, and testing autonomous vehicles in our operations. These innovations make our operations more efficient, increase safety for our employees, and help us reach our goal of carbon-neutral operations by 2040, creating value for FedEx and society.

We also use our logistics expertise to help nonprofits in their mission to be innovative and purposeful. As an example, we assisted one nonprofit with figuring out how to modularize a field hospital so we could store it for them and transport it wherever they need it around the world. Through innovation and purpose, we are passionately connecting people with possibilities, helping to increase the standard of living for millions around the world, and making access to goods and services available to all.”

Melissa MacDonnell, President, Liberty Mutual Foundation; Vice President, Community Investments, Liberty Mutual Insurance

“Businesses are uniquely positioned to not only address but provide solutions and resources aligned to society’s greatest needs. The breadth of knowledge and expertise across a company is vast. Businesses have access to hundreds, often thousands of employees who would love to do more for others and the communities around them. Together, we can leverage our influence to shine a light on the causes that are most pressing.

At Liberty Mutual, we believe that insurance is a force for social good. We’re there for people when they’re experiencing crises and we’re uniquely positioned to address environmental and social challenges, providing security for our employees, customers, communities, and the environment.

While the future may still be uncertain, we take comfort that together – with our hundreds of nonprofit organization partners, thousands of employees, and many of our peer businesses – we can look to the future with optimism and hope and that we can help people gain the security they need today to more confidently pursue their tomorrow.”

Melissa Brotz, Vice President, Global Marketing & External Affairs, Abbott

“Abbott was founded with a clear and powerful purpose almost 135 years ago: to help people live their fullest lives through better health. And, while that purpose remains fixed, the ways that we pursue and fulfill it evolve over time, along with changes in science and technology, as well as in societal needs and expectations.

Our primary contribution to society and global sustainability will always be through our core expertise in creating healthcare products and technologies. At the heart of our 2030 Sustainability Plan is our commitment to innovating for access and affordability – that is, designing our new products to make them easier for more people around the world to access and use.

But our commitment to improving the world’s health goes beyond our products. Our Pandemic Defense Coalition works with global health partners to identify emerging viral threats and stop them before they can spread around the world. Our Center for Malnutrition Solutions similarly convenes experts to identify, treat, and prevent malnutrition globally. And to increase health equity while also addressing critical healthcare staffing shortages, we’re supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help them develop healthcare talent and broaden diversity in clinical trials to ensure our solutions can help as many people as possible.

Last year, Abbott products reached 2.2 billion people; our goal is to increase that positive impact by reaching 3 billion per year – one in every three people on the planet – by the end of this decade.”

Terry Rhadigan, Vice President of Corporate Giving, GM

“At General Motors, our purpose is to pioneer the innovations that move and connect people to what matters, and our drive to build a better world comes from our heritage of more than a century of innovation. We’re living through one of the greatest technological revolutions in history, which includes the transportation industry. This revolution is driving a historic shift in how people and goods will move about as we transition from internal combustion engines to fully electric vehicles, including those that will drive themselves.

At GM, we are using our talent, technology, and resources to adapt to this ever-changing world and to unlock once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to create a better and safer future for all. That future extends to the communities where we live, work, and play. That’s why we work closely with community partners to understand their unique needs and drive progress by partnering with hundreds of nonprofits each year focused on STEM education, community development, vehicle and road safety, and climate equity. We combine this work with our legacy of innovation and our ambition to become the most inclusive company in the world to help create a brighter future for all.”