corporate purpose

What Is Corporate Purpose?

Corporate purpose refers to why a company exists, in essence, its reason for being. It can be perceived as the North Star which guides the ethos, strategy and all functions of the company.

A company’s values, vision and mission are not its corporate purpose, but they are informed by it. As economic and social needs evolve over time, a company may revisit its values, vision and mission to ensure continued alignment with its deeper, evergreen corporate purpose.

Corporate purpose can then be operationalised in the five impact areas of Society, People, Governance, Environment and Economic. This is the shared definition co-created by the industry-led group of multi-sector stakeholders – Alliance for Action on Corporate Purpose (AfA-CP).
Corporate purpose can then be operationalised in the five impact areas of Society, People, Governance, Environment and Economic. This is the shared definition co-created by the industry-led group of multi-sector stakeholders – Alliance for Action on Corporate Purpose (AfA-CP).

Corporate Purpose

Guiding Principle that informs all decision-making 

WHY a company exists


Fundamental beliefs that guide behaviour 

WHO we are – the principles we live by in order to pursue Corporate Purpose more effectively


Long term aim of the organisation
Our highest aspirations for 

WHAT we care most about creating when we fully embody Corporate Purpose


Objectives and goals of the organisation 

HOW are we going to achieve the vision


Decision making and resources allocation 

HOW TO enable the mission and demonstrate our Corporate Purpose

Areas of Impact

Areas where corporate purpose can be enacted 

WHERE Corporate Purpose is demonstrated

Alliance for Action on Corporate Purpose (AfA-CP)

The Singapore Together Alliances for Action (AfA) are action-oriented, cross-sector collaborations on significant areas to build Singapore’s future; these AfAs will develop and deliver solutions for our future. In this regard, NVPC launched the AfA on Corporate Purpose (AfA-CP) in 2021 to develop Corporate Purpose: A Framework and Blueprint for Businesses in Singapore. This AfA arose from Emerging Stronger Conversations (ESC) sessions organised by NVPC, where participants collectively envisioned a business ecosystem that supports and enables corporates to effectively align purpose and profit to become force for good in Singapore.


“What, Why & Why Now”


  • An overview of what Corporate Purpose is and why it is a vital consideration for companies in today’s world
  • Spotlights companies across different sectors that embody purpose
  • Outlines steps that companies can take to get started on their own purpose journey




  • A guide providing detailed information and resources that can be leveraged by all stakeholders in the ecosystem to build a purpose-driven corporate sector
  • Includes the Corporate Purpose Company Toolkit and Matrix

See what AfA-CP members have to say about Corporate Purpose

Members of AfA-CP

Jointly chaired by Mr Seah Chin Siong, Chairman, NVPC and Ms Janet Ang, Deputy Chair, SBF Foundation, the AfA-CP comprised more than 40 representatives representing various stakeholder groups in Singapore’s corporate ecosystem. Supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), the industry-led coalition also saw advisors from local and overseas organisations providing strategic advice and guidance; as well as resource members contributing specific expertise and other resources to drive the successful outcomes of the AfA-CP.

  • Mr Seah Chin Siong, Chairman, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • Ms Janet Ang, Deputy Chair, Singapore Business Federation Foundation

  • Mr. Ong Chong Tee, Chairman, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
  • Mr. Laurence Lien, Chairman, Asia Philanthropy Circle
  • Mr. Peter Ong, Chairman, Enterprise Singapore
  • Mr. Jay Jakub, Chief Advocacy Officer, EoM Movement
  • Dr. Darian McBain, former Chief Sustainability Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Mr. Lim Boon Heng, Chairman, Temasek Holdings

  • Ms Mindy Chee, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Amgen Singapore Manufacturing
  • Mr. Kevin Teo, Chief Operating Officer, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
  • Mr. Tan Seng Chai, Chief Corporate & People Officer, CapitaLand Investment
  • Ms. Justina Tan, Executive Vice President, Corporate, People and Culture, Changi Airport Group
  • Mr. Jimmy Ong, VP, Corporate Citizenship, Global Public Affairs, Citi Singapore
  • Ms. Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
  • Ms. Pratibha Kurnool, Global Head of Community Impact – ESG Outreach, Cognizant
  • Mr. Vincent Tan, Chief Executive Officer, ComfortDelGro MedCare (concurrently the Chief Executive Officer, ComfortDelGro Driving Centre)
  • Ms. Claire Wong-Low, Executive Director and Head, DBS Foundation
    Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Director, Eco-Business
  • Mr. Robin Pho, Country Head, Indonesia, EDPR Sunseap (former CEO, Right People Renewable Energy)
  • Mr. Panneer Selvam, Partner, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
  • Ms. Adeline Ong, Senior Vice President, Head of Group Strategic Communications & Branding, Frasers Property Limited
  • Ms. Shirley Lim, Sustainability Office, Fullerton Health
  • Ms. Mah Lay Choon, Head of Corporate Communications, GIC
  • Ms. Esther Chang, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Singapore
  • Mr. Shigekawa Hidekatu, Finance & HR Director, H.A.M. Creations
  • Ms. Vivian Chua, Head of Services and Solutions, Greater Asia, HP Inc.
  • Ms. Sarah Ong, Head, Government & Regulatory Affairs, IBM Singapore
  • Ms. Colyn Chua, Head of MINDSET Singapore, Jardines Matheson Group
  • Ms. Angeline Chin, Global Community Impact APAC, Johnson & Johnson
  • Ms. Sharon Eng, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Maybank Singapore
  • Ms. Apriani Kartika, Sustainability Lead, Maybank Singapore (previously with Prudential Assurance Company Singapore)
  • Mr. Philip Ong, Deputy Secretary (Community and Youth), Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth
  • Ms. Melissa Kwee, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • Mr. Tony Soh, Chief Executive Officer, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • Mr. Joydeep Bose, Managing Director & Group CHRO, Olam International
  • Ms. Lin Yan Yan, Senior Director, Corporate Office, ONE Championship
  • Mr. Rahul Mallan, Program Manager, Business Program Management
  • Ms. Ong Chiew Suan, Head of Corporate Branding and Commercial Division, PSA Corporation
  • Dr. Mohanarajah S Senathirajah, Head, CSR, Q&M Dental Group
  • Mr. Alfie Othman, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE
  • Mr. Bey Soo Khiang, Vice-Chairman, RGE Group
  • Mr. Ang Kian Peng, Director, Samsui Supplies & Services
  • Ms. Gwendolyn Loh, Vice President, Group Strategic Sustainability, SembCorp Industries Ltd
  • Mr. Tan Boon Gin, Cheif Executive Officer, SGX RegCo
  • Professor Annie Koh, Professor emeritus of Finance (Practice) and Senior Advisor, Business Families Institute, Singapore Management University
  • Ms. Michelle Lee, Head of Corporate Services & Sustainability, Singapore Post Limited
  • Ms. Qi Ni Lee, Corporate Responsibility and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lead, Malaysia-Singapore, Sodexo
  • Ms. Sharon Lee, Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore
  • Ms. Cheryl Chen, Director, Global ESG Strategy & Engagement, S&P Global
  • Mr. Keith Lin, Director, Public Affairs, and Director, Internal Communications, Temasek International
  • Ms. Shweta Shukla, Head - Communications, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Unilever International & Unilever Asia Pte Ltd
  • Ms. Jiayun Fang, Head, Corporate Sustainability, UOB (previously with Shiseido Asia Pacific)
  • Ms. Patsian Low, Vice President, Inclusive Impact & Sustainability, Asia Pacific, Visa
  • Mr . Nicholas Ng, Director, X-Inc

The Shifting Role of Business

Companies who expressed Commitment

  • Amgen Singapore Manufacturing
  • Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
  • CapitaLand Investment
  • Changi Airport Group
  • Citi Singapore
  • City Developments Limited
  • Cognizant
  • ComfortDelGro MedCare
  • DBS
  • Eco-Business
  • EDPR Sunseap
  • Ernst & Young
  • Frasers Property Limited
  • Fullerton Health
  • GIC
  • UN Global Compact Network Singapore
  • H.A.M. Creations
  • HP Inc
  • IBM Singapore
  • Jardine Matheson Group
  • Kellogg Asia Pacific
  • Maybank Singapore
  • Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
  • Olam International
  • ONE Championship
  • PayPal
  • Prudential Assurance Company Singapore
  • PSA Corporation
  • Q&M Dental Group
  • Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE
  • Royal Golden Eagle (RGE)
  • Samsui Supplies & Services
  • Sembcorp Industries Ltd
  • SGX RegCo
  • Singapore Management University
  • Singapore Post Limited
  • Sodexo
  • Standard Chartered Bank Singapore
  • S&P Global
  • Temasek International
  • Unilever International & Unilever Asia Pte Ltd
  • UOB
  • Visa
  • X-Inc Pte Ltd
  • PwC Singapore
  • Sequoia Group

The 5 Impact Areas

Between October 2021 and September 2022, the AfA-CP came together to co-develop and co-design the principles, practices and indicators as part of the Corporate Purpose Framework and Blueprint and recommend actions to ecosystem actors to create an enabling environment, including policies that would help enhance Singapore’s economic competitiveness and future readiness through purpose-driven companies committed to making a positive impact across the People, Society, Governance, Environment and Economic dimensions.

Throughout the year-long endeavour, members of the AfA-CP engaged in:
  • Six (6) facilitated engagement sessions between October 2021 and July 2022;
  • The Leadership Dialogue on Corporate Purpose held in January 2022;
  • An online dialogue with the business community in May 2022
  • Regular consultation with project advisors and resource members. Outreach sessions with partners including the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Young Business Leaders Network were also held to seek feedback from the larger business community.
  • Refers to individuals directly affected by the company’s operations.
  • Alignment of personal and corporate purpose will improve talent attraction and retention. Iabour productivity and business growth. 

(E.g. Employee mental health and wellbeing, progressive wage model.)

  • Refers to broader stakeholders who are indirectly impacted by company activities.
  • Companies have to consider the impact of their activities on society, and how they can bridge the existing gaps in society.

E.g. Local communities in proximity of which the factories are located

  • Refers to the rules, practices, and processes for directing and controlling an organisation.
  • Key principles of good governance include accountability, transparency, fairness and responsibility.

E.g. Board oversight on corporate purpose

  • Refers to sustainable use of natural resources and climate action.
  • Companies can improve practices to manage their environmental impact, as well as the associated risks and opportunities to both businesses and society.

E.g. Greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonisation goals

  • Refers to programmes, policies or activities that improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community.
  • Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs and improve living standards, building strong communities, industries, and markets.

E.g. Creating and sustaining jobs and enabling new businessess

Check out the list of purpose-driven companies!