NEW YORK—Edelman has launched its eighth global practice, business and social purpose. Led by global practice chair Carol Cone, the new operation will consolidate the firm’s global corporate social responsibility, sustainability and citizenship capabilities into a single offering.

Cone will partner with a team of regional practice leads from around the globe including Ashley Hegland in Asia Pacific, Sharon Hess in Latin America, Pia Garcia in UK, and Michael Holland in North America. Together they will direct a global team of 125 professionals with expertise ranging from CSR and sustainability to brand and corporate citizenship and NGO marketing.

“Leading brands, corporations and NGO’s are transforming how they operate, shaping consumer and civic engagement, and smart public policy in a complex global environment,” saus Richard Edelman, president and CEO. “Imbued with a deep purpose, these organizations address business and social imperatives through powerful, integrated strategy and execution.”

Adds Cone: “We define purpose as an organization’s reason for being beyond just making profits. Purpose expresses their values in action through a variety of strategies and programs engaging stakeholders to create positive social change and organizational growth. Purpose helps organizations create differentiation; fuels product innovation, growth and sales; builds trust and protects reputation and engagement; and it inspires employees, customers and consumers. With Purpose, organizations and brands have a more important place in peoples’ lives.”

The new practice will provide a spectrum of services that includes brand and corporate citizenship strategy and initiatives, CSR strategic planning, programming and reporting, reputation and issues management, public affairs, environmental sustainability, employee engagement, strategic philanthropy, cause-related marketing, public-private partnership development, NGO positioning, engagement and fundraising, and digital engagement.

Cone joined the firm in April 2010. She was previously the founder and chairman of Cone, where she led the development of signature cause branding programs including the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, ConAgra Foods’ Feeding Children Better, PNC Grow Up Great, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, I and Reebok’s Human Rights program. She also created groundbreaking research reports to advance the strategic practice of social issues engagement.

Since then, Edelman acquired Significa, the principal social issues strategy firm in Latin America, and more recently added Mike Krzus, an internationally recognized independent sustainability and integrated reporting consultant, who joined the firm as a senior counselor.

Edelman also committed to its own Purpose agenda, appointing John Edelman as global director of Edelman citizenship in July 2011.