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Let's Stance


Welcome to our periodic newsletter sharing the latest and greatest in corporate activism.


January 2024 


"2024. Politically it’s the Voldemort of years. The annus horribilis.
The year that must not be named. I’d love to sugarcoat it, but I can’t: From a global political risk perspective, this is the most dangerous 
and uncertain year I’ve covered in my lifetime."


Ian Bremmer


5 Steps to Successfully Navigating Your Business Through 2024

by Siri Khalsa

2024 is upon us and it is undoubtedly a critical year for democratic values vs populism as half of the world’s populations have elections, as dangerous regional and proxy conflictsdraw in world powers, as income and social inequality grows and as Artificial Intelligence continues its rapid development.  It is also forecasted to be the hottest year on record. 


It is impossible not to be very concerned about these issues even if you have the privilege of not being personally affected by them (yet) in your daily life.  Now, more than ever, it is crucial to examine and understand the role the corporate sector plays in contributing to the rise of these issues, how the corporate sector acts during global crises and most importantly how the corporate sector can lead the efforts for peace, stability, sustainability and equality.  Here are five steps you and your company can take to navigate the challenges in the year ahead. 

1. Be Well-Informed

Business leaders need to know what is going on in the world but in this post-truth era it can be hard to know where to turn for accurate and neutral information.  Rely on reporting from sources which follow journalistic practices and standards. Read beyond the headlines to gain a better understanding of root causes and coming consequences.  Share a corporate subscription to trusted news outlets with employees.  And avoid sharing alarmist information without checking the source, even if it’s a funny meme.  

2. Know Thyself

Where does your company and all its stakeholders sit in the global environment? What issues (reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration etc.) touch the daily lives of your employees?  What is on the mind of your target customers and how are geopolitics, the climate crisis, elections etc. impacting your supply chain?  Any leader who wants to succeed this year and beyond needs to consider these touch-points and revisit them regularly with all stakeholders.  Companies should also identify, recognize and take action on issues where they are falling short or contributing to the problem.  Transparency, even if it highlights problems that need work, is better than covering up or ignoring shortcomings.  

3. Take a Stance

With global political leadership lacking in so many ways, there is an opportunity for the corporate sector to set up.  A well-informed, authentic and carefully considered stance on social or political issues can have a tremendously positive impact in many ways, including recruitment and retention, customer loyalty and broader industry leadership.  Millennials and Gen Z in particular are looking for employers with purpose beyond profit and are increasingly aligning their professional associations and buying power with their personal values.  It is impossible to be all things to all people and staying silent on issues that impact your stakeholders can cost trust and loyalty.  Be prepared for potential backlash, but if your stance is connected to a real social or political commitment, your key stakeholders will thank you for it.  

4. Live your Values

The age of corporate activism is dawning.  Companies like Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s and Tony’s Chocolonley have proved that corporations can be a force for positive change in the world and make a good product and good profit while doing so.  Corporate activism is living your values and incorporating them into your economic model so that they become non-negotiable, simply how you do business.  Your values are meaningless if you compromise them when its inconvenient or times are hard.  Don’t over commit, but when your company does commit itself to getting to net zero, opening employment to the disabled, sourcing from SME suppliers or speaking out on gun laws, it should be as ingrained in your corporate culture as any other part of your operation.  

5. Lead the Way

Be the change and bring your friends.  It came as no surprise that the board of Ben & Jerry’s recently called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, because their long-standing commitment to peace gives them a legitimate platform to advocate from.  In addressing pressing issues, the corporate sector has many, many levers it can activate in the countries and communities where it operates.  By collaborating with public institutions, NGOs and other corporations, lasting change can be achieved.  It is time for the corporate sector to take the lead and use its power to be a driving force for peace, sustainability and stability.  This is the year for your company to make it happen!

Tempting as it may be, I challenge you to reject the siren call of despondency, complacency and apathy over the next 12 months.  2024 could well be the turning point for the survival of democracy as we know it, managing AI advancement, setting a realistic path to net zero, and containing regional conflicts before they become much more dangerous.  Whether you have a small shop, a community bank, a global tech company, a chain of hotels or you are a huge multi-national manufacturer, there is a role for your company to play in creating a safer, healthier, more just and peaceful world for your employees, your customers and us all; this year, and hopefully, for many years to come.




4 Steps to Stay Ahead of the Next Crisis

The headlines are horrifying.  From deadly wildfires in Hawaii, earthquakes in Morocco and Syria, hurricanes in the Eastern US, brushfires in Australia, floods and typhoons across Asia, to increasingly hot and devastating summer heat waves, it is clear that the climate crisis is upon us. Not only are these events often deadly, they are also extremely costly.  In the first 9 months of 2023, it is reported that the US alone had 23 separate billion dollar disasters, as compared to just 3 similar disasters in 1980.  The California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 are estimated to have cost over $328 billion in damages.

As climate crisis events increase across the globe, they are not only impacting our day to day lives, but also our businesses and livelihoods.  Have you considered how a sudden flood in your city, a wildfire down the road, or how a month-long heatwave will impact your business?  In the past few months, many businesses did not have time to think about it.   Rather businesses, large and small, have had to respond to these emergencies effecting their employees, utilities and infrastructure, supply chains, and in some cases, the viability of their businesses.  While it is still difficult to even imagine some of these disasters, it is necessary for businesses to be better prepared and more resilient in the face of climate related emergencies.

The first step is not to be caught off guard.  Many businesses have done an Environmental Impact study about how their activities impact the environment, but now it is time to do a ‘Reverse Impact Study’ to better understand how the environment, climate change in particular, impacts you and your business.  Will it be too hot for your workers to carry out their activities during the summer months?  Are some of your key raw materials threatened because of drought or floods?  Is your facility suddenly in the path of hurricanes?  Will climate refugees be coming to your city?  Does your business depend on seasonal factors that are now totally unpredictable?  It is important to assess all the risks facing each aspect of your business so you can plan effectively and take preventive steps before you find yourself in an emergency situation.  It is also important to make sure the disaster planning is kept current and revisited regularly based on evolving circumstances.  Funding a budget line item for Climate Disasters may also help prevent such events bankrupting your company. 

The second step is to galvanize community support. Just as climate change does not respect borders or territories, a collaborative response is necessary. Reach out to your local governments to see how they are responding and preparing for climate emergencies.  For example, the US state of Arizona now has a “Heat Czar” who is tasked with finding ways for the population to manage rising temperatures.  Local chambers of commerce and business organizations can help bring the business community together to create coordinated response plans with government agencies, allowing for the use of shared resources like physical space, logistics, emergency supplies, manpower, tech etc.  In many cases the private sector has access to more resources (heavy machinery, building materials etc.) than local governments.  In the US, small businesses can sign up for the government’s Resiliency Program to be eligible for disaster-related grants.  Working in coordination, businesses and governments can have a more efficient and effective emergency response, especially if planning is done before disaster strikes. 

The third step is to make sure you care for your workforce during and after disasters.  During a crisis, make sure to have a continuity plan, strong communication systems and clear instructions for staff about what is expected from them in the midst of an emergency.  It is also important to help make sure your employees have whatever resources (water, food, generators, etc) they need to get through the disaster.  Involve employees from all departments in emergency planning, to help mitigate the risks for them and their families.  Bring in an expert to help educate staff on how to respond in various emergency situations, and how they can best prepare themselves and their families for future disasters.  In some cases, it may be helpful to provide counselling to employees who have suffered the loss of family, friends or property. 

The fourth step is prevention.  The business sector cannot afford to wait for governments to make watered-down regulations. The economic and social might of the business community can create change faster and with greater impact than governments or regulatory agencies.  How close is your company to Net Zero?  Can you find more sustainable solutions for your raw materials?  Have you looked down your supply chain to see if your suppliers are doing their best to mitigate environmental damage?  Are you encouraging your customers to make choices that protect wildlife and habitats, reduce waste, and to make small changes towards a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle?  Based on your Reverse Environmental Impact Study, what risks can you help mitigate in your community?  Can you lobby for infrastructure spending, help protect the most vulnerable and use your platform to help raise awareness?

Corporate Boards and CEOs need to accept that climate emergencies are not someone else’s problem.  Radical responsibility is required to avert disaster where possible and to be part of the response during and after disasters. Maybe this summer there was no heatwave in your city or flood that wiped out your inventory, but the crisis is here and billion dollar environmental emergencies are now a fact of life.  The business sector has a huge role to play not only in assuring their own ability to survive through fires, floods and hurricanes, but to support their communities in times of crisis and help mitigate the causes of these events in the first place. 



Here are 6 Ways Your Company Can Support Democracy in the Mid Terms


Election Day is almost here. We all know a healthy democracy requires engagement. Voting is one of every American’s most fundamental rights and responsibilities. Participation is what makes democracy work. More than ever, American businesses have a vital role in upholding the democratic values that keep our country, and our economy, on track.


Here are six ways your company can support democratic values in the mid term elections on November 8.


First, take a stance. Put out a clear statement (here’s a helpful sample) that says your company stands for the free and fair democratic process and that your company supports each individual’s right to vote. This statement is important to address to both your internal and external audiences. Make sure your employees understand why your company is taking this position and how it applies to them. Your external audience (customers, stakeholders, competitors) also matter. By clearly stating your values to support the democratic process, your company can take the lead and inspire others to follow your example.


Second, give employees paid time off to vote. Good citizens make good employees. Most people say they don’t vote because they don’t have time or can’t leave work. Check out organizations like or to see how other companies are making voting part of their corporate culture. Help make sure employees know where, when and how to register to vote. You can also invite non-partisan election officials to come to your office ahead of Election Day to help answer questions.


Third, support a culture of education and engagement. This is especially important if there are issues on the ballot that directly affect your business and community. Find ways to keep the dialogue open and respectful. Know that everyone will not share the same views, so make it okay to agree to disagree. Bringing political dialogue into the workplace can be risky, but if managed well, healthy political dialogue can make your workplace more inclusive and relevant.

Fourth, be transparent about your company’s political involvement, especially how it spends its money in politics. After January 6, many employees were surprised to learn that their company had a political PAC, and who that PAC supported. Business and politics will always be intertwined. Unfortunately, all too often these connections are covert rather than overt. Be up front and let all your stakeholders know where your company puts it political money and influence.

Fifth, encourage employees to volunteer as poll workers, and even consider giving employees Election Day off as a paid holiday. Voting rights are under attack and this basic right must be protected and respected. Most polls are understaffed and more volunteers are needed to make sure the voting process is not hijacked or discriminatory. Your company can partner with organizations like to help your company staff the polls this November.

Sixth, be creative. Can your company help transport voters to the polls, can you provide snacks for poll workers, or maybe give freebies to anyone with an “I voted” sticker? Engage with your social media and inspire your company’s followers to get educated on the issues, register to vote and turn out to vote on Election Day. This is especially important for the younger population who have lower turnout, but yet will be responsible for the future being legislated today.


We know elections matter. On November 8, control of Congress for the next two years will be decided. The party in power will set the legislative agenda, impacting everything from reproductive rights, to inflation and taxation, to housing issues. There are also a number of very important races for Governor, Secretary of State and local officials happening at the state and local levels. We need to make sure every vote counts, and that every vote is counted.


Recently, our democracy has been tested more than many of us ever thought possible. As much as any individual candidate, the democratic values that America was founded upon, are on the ballot this November. American businesses should be pro-active, involved and resolute in their support of democracy.

"People have fought and died for the right to vote in America and as business leaders we have a role to play in helping our employees participate in the democratic process. This campaign isn’t about any particular party or candidate or issue – it’s about encouraging more people to vote without having to make the hard choice between going to work and going to the polls."

- Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.



The goal of the American Democracy Scorecard is to encourage companies to uphold democratic values and help consumers and employees make more informed decisions. The project grades America’s biggest corporations by evaluating their statements and efforts in supporting democracy, and based on their political spending, state and federal voting legislation, election integrity, and other democracy-related issues.


Companies are scored based on fourteen key criteria that involve researching how corporations are either helping to uphold or undermine American democracy. Seven questions that analyse corporate values on democracy, and seven on corporate political spending.

  1. Has the company made an independent or key coalition statement in support of democracy or voting rights?

  2. Is the company’s CEO a member of the Business Roundtable, which has released pro-voting and pro-democracy statements in recent years?

  3. Did the company release a statement opposing the events of January 6th, 2021?

  4. Does the company publish annual corporate responsibility disclosures (CSR, ESG, and comparable reports)?

  5. Does the company publish a public political spending disclosure?

  6. Has the company taken a major action related to voting rights or democracy?

  7. Has the company enabled the sharing of electoral misinformation/disinformation or allowed its platform to be used to share electoral misinformation/disinformation since the 2020 election cycle?


Scores in this section are subtracted from a company’s score.

  1. Did the company make contributions to members of Congress who opposed federal voting rights legislation during the 2022 election cycle?

  2. During the 2022 election cycle, did the company donate to members of Congress who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election?

  3. Did the company make contributions to members of Congress who opposed the formation of a January 6th Commission or the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol?

  4. Did the company make contributions to state officials who voted for anti-voter legislation during the 2022 election cycle?

  5. Did the company make contributions to elected officials who continue to peddle the “Big Lie” via election audits since the 2020 election?

  6. Did key company staff make large contributions to anti-democracy federal legislators?

  7. Is the company a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which made opposition to the For the People Act one of its key votes for members of Congress?

You can find the scorecard here. It is a great resource to make more informed buying and investing decisions.



The announcement made by the Egyptian government that Coca-Cola was sponsoring this year’s COP27 climate conference left many baffled and disappointed. The Coca-Cola company is one of the world’s top plastic polluters, and the decision to accept their sponsorship is regarded by many activists as greenwashing. This year’s climate conference is held in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 -18 November.



If all else fails, vote for the candidate you know you can trust.



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If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do at Stance, please visit our website.

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