We are proud to share that LS&Co. has been included on Fortune’s Change the World list, which was released earlier today and recognizes companies that pursue innovative efforts to address pressing and unmet societal needs. We were included because of our work supporting gun violence prevention over the past year, specifically our efforts to mobilize business leaders to advocate for meaningful gun safety legislation in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, and in response to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America. You can read more about this work on Fortune.
The Change the World list puts an emphasis on measurable social impact, the value of the initiative to both business and society, and the degree of innovation displayed. We are gratified Fortune recognized that our work delivered on all three counts. As our nomination stated, “Working with Everytown for Gun Safety, we revived a CEO letter to the Senate that was first issued in 2019, put our weight and brand behind it, and recruited hundreds of other companies to sign on. This led to an unprecedented mobilization of business leaders that garnered widespread attention among the media, advocacy groups and policymakers, and played a key role in the passage of the Bipartisan Communities Safety Act.”
Our gun violence prevention advocacy started in 2018, when the company announced the creation of its Safer Tomorrow Fund and took a public position on an issue that few companies were willing to address. Our actions were designed in part to create a space for other business leaders to follow. It demonstrated that alignment with the majority of Americans who support gun violence prevention measures was in the long-term interest of business and society alike.
The clearest measurement of impact over time is the huge increase in companies that have signed on to the effort. This was the third time LS&Co. has organized a letter to Congress calling for action on commonsense gun safety legislation. The first letter, in February 2019, went to the U.S. House of Representatives and supported the Bipartisan Background Checks Act; just four CEOs signed it. In September 2019, a letter directed to the U.S. Senate supporting background checks and red flag laws had 145 CEO signatures at the time of launch, a number that rose to more than 200 in the days that followed. The June 2022 letter supporting passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act had more than 300 signees at the time of launch and nearly 550 a week later. That represented a more than 50% increase in signatories from the September 2019 letter and a more than 1,000% increase from the February 2019 effort. Those numbers were hard-earned, the result of an abiding dedication from the company to addressing gun violence and supporting those affected by it.
This is an honor our whole company can take pride in. We can also take pride in the fact that this is the fourth time over the past six years that we have been named to the Fortune Change the World list for initiatives ranging from our Worker Well-being program to our Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign to our advocacy for paid family leave. There is much work left to do on all fronts, but seeing the progression and the recognition of this work only redoubles our conviction that we have to stay at it.