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What do your core values actually mean?

by Sam Baldwin

17 May 2024

Here are a few quick tips to help you discover your core values and fine tune your value statement to reflect your commitment to sustainability.

What do your core values really say about your company?

Over the last few months of providing our clients with dedicated ESG support, we’ve discovered that around 65% of businesses have worked on describing their values to some extent. At best, these value statements encapsulate what makes their company stand out, highlighting their commitment to high-quality, sustainable business practices. At worst, they’re so many empty promises, which are either ignored by the target audience, or potentially damaging to the brand.

By taking our ESG starter quiz, you can start on the path to building a convincing and compelling value statement. It only takes 5 minutes and can make a massive difference to your business…

Take the ESG starter quiz


What makes a good value statement?

A value statement should clearly articulate what matters most to your business, with regards to your staff, your stakeholders, and your customers. They’re not just for large companies – over 60% of AIM-listed SMEs and 65% of private companies see the benefits of using core values as part of their strategy.

Here are a few quick tips on how to improve your value statement.

Simple is Good

Your core values should be a short, sharp summary of your key beliefs. Make them too long, or too complicated, and you’ll lose your audience. Both your employees and your customers should be able to read your value statement once and easily understand what’s expected of them and what they should expect from you.

Built to Last

Another reason to carefully consider your wording – once you’ve committed to a set of values, you should want to live them for a long time, in order to demonstrate a strong and reliable company culture. For that same reason, you need buy-in from every part of your business, from senior management to entry-level employees.

Filler Values become Killer Values

Filler Values are cliché  keywords that have no real impact on the way your business operates. Think “inclusive” or “ambitious” or “global.” With proper implementation, these concepts can be a strong addition to your value statement. However, without solid proof of your commitment to these ideas, they can leave your business open to accusations of purpose-washing.

Start laying the foundations for your value statement by taking our ESG starter quiz and gain a better understanding of what makes your business tick.


Take the ESG starter quiz

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