Submitted by Megan Wild
What are your reasons for supporting or withholding support from specific companies?
Does Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sound familiar? Whether you’re aware of it or not, people often align with an organization's values or implementation of social responsibility in the workplace or community — locally and globally.
Research demonstrates the role of CSR by detailing that 42% of consumers rely on an organization’s CSR practices to form a perception.
Many companies are on board with CSR, as it directly affects them and the communities they reach. Let’s take a look at some companies who have successfully implemented CSR practices:
1. Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees strives to remain socially responsible in their efforts at home and around the globe. To remain on top of environmental practices, they host educational sessions for their employees on a regular basis. Looking to the community, they created The Greater Good Foundation to contribute toward non-profit initiatives that align with their practices and beliefs. Burt’s Bees is also a proud partner with Habitat for Humanity in their local community.
Microsoft implements CSR through their work to gain customer trust, empower people and use the planet responsibly. Their U.S employees have given over 2 million hours of their time through volunteer efforts since Microsoft’s volunteer match program began.
A few of Microsoft’s endeavors include moving toward a clean energy infrastructure and the employment of programs such as Microsoft YouthSpark and the Lagos Solar Project. Seeing a need for educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, they created Microsoft YouthSpark. This program has opened opportunities for over 300 million youth to date, and Microsoft aims to continue its growth by investing in today’s youth.
Participating globally, Microsoft began the Lagos Solar Project in Nigeria. This project brings electricity to schools in remote communities that might otherwise go without it.
Reynolds’ corporate culture revolves around their commitment to community and social responsibility. They demonstrate their efforts through continued support of the United Way of the Capital Region and recent partnerships with the PinnacleHealth System, Brethren Housing Association and local contractors for a joint project — The Hummel Street Project.
Since 1997, Reynolds’ employees have strengthened their support of the United Way through contributions totaling over $1 million. A more recent community contribution, the Hummel Street Project, outlines a project committed to building five new townhomes to provide homes for homeless women and children in the Harrisburg, PA community.
With a high public perception of a great work atmosphere, Google gains recognition for treating their employees above the standard norm. This alone ranks them as a top CSR organization, but they’ve also implemented community practices through their Google Green program.
Google Green is the company’s commitment to use environmental resources responsibly. Their efforts range from the fully-repurposed desks in their California office to remaining carbon neutral for the past ten years.
5. The Little Market
The Little Market measures organizational success not by profit margin, but through their ability to have a positive social and economic influence on the artisans they employ and the communities they purchase from. A few of their company-wide initiatives include community development, fair trade and fair wage practices.
Their artisans can reciprocate back into their communities through support education for children, literacy for adults, health care and human rights training. All of their artisans employ fair trade practices, and all artisans receive a living wage.
6. Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s outlines an encouragement in their social mission to remain committed to their community and the world’s best interest. They’ve contributed to the reduction of their carbon footprint by launching various programs and campaigns focused on global warming.
The execution of Corporate Social Responsibility falls on the organization to decide how best to implement and on what scale. These organizations represent a mere few of the good CSR practices. Challenge yourself to research the companies you support and if their CSR practices align with what you value.