Many global companies now recognize that true business success is not just measured in dollar terms. It is also weighted by the societal impact a company makes through its business philosophy and actions.
Aflac has published its 2017 CSR Report: More than a Promise, which reflects on the company’s 63-year promise to “be there” when it is needed the most. Among other CSR accomplishments that the report highlights, what stands out is Aflac’s commitment to give back to the community.
Supporting Childhood Cancer TreatmentAflac has stood by the childhood cancer cause for over two decades. By 2017, the company had donated over $123 million to promote research and treatment of childhood cancer. Every month, as many as 17,000 independent sales associates of Aflac contribute over $500,000 from their commissions to the Aflac Cancer Center. In addition, Aflac has taken on projects such as:
My Special Aflac Duck: In 2017, Aflac came up with a way to support kids and families on their childhood cancer journey. The company partnered with a design firm to create “My Special Aflac Duck,” a fine robotic imitation of the company’s mascot.
The company plans to distribute My Special Aflac Duck to all newly diagnosed children between 3 and 13 years in 2018, at no charge to the recipients.
CureFest: For the second year, in 2017, Aflac sponsored CureFest, an event aimed at making childhood cancer a federal funding priority. The purpose of CureFest is to create a platform that will unite the childhood cancer community, researchers, doctors, elected leaders and the general public to press for the cause of prioritizing childhood cancer funding.
Duckprints: Through its Duckprints initiative, Aflac is taking its support of childhood cancer beyond the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta. Duckprints is a traveling and digital endeavor to spread awareness. In 2017, four Duckprints events were held in four different states to celebrate cancer-fighting heroes.
While Aflac's support of families affected by childhood cancer is remarkable, it is also important to point out other examples of community work that the company has taken on in recent years.:
Habitat for Humanity: For over 13 years, Aflac has been running this program as part of its mission to give back to the community. The program allows the Aflac employees to join hands as a team to help others in need. This year, 300 Aflac employees built a home in Phoenix City, Alabama – in just five weeks. As a company, Aflac made a donation of $75,000 to the cause.
Operation Backpack: In 2014, a small community engagement project for one of the Aflac teams was launched. It has now evolved into a major back-to-school drive for homeless students in New York City. The program, called Operation Backpack, provides backpacks stocked with school supplies for less privileged kids. Employees at Aflac Global investments donate these backpacks.
Hoops for Youth: Aflac’s Federal Relations office is premier sponsor of the Hoops for Youth Foundation. Each year, the foundation hosts a coaching clinic, giving at-risk youth in Washington, D.C. an opportunity to practice basketball skills with some of the area’s best high school and college coaches.
March of Dimes: In 2017, Aflac supported the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala. March of Dimes focuses on research, education and community services to improve the health of premature babies. The Gourmet Gala invites celebrity chefs who are also members of Congress. This year’s gala played host to 50 members, had over 750 attendees, and raised $1.2 million.
“Society evolves with time, but what hasn’t changed – and never will – is Aflac’s core values that embody our promise to helping customers in need while serving the community,” said Dan Amos, Chairman and CEO, Aflac, Inc., in his recent letter to shareholders. “We are committed to doing business the right way, which, in large part, is why we continue to lead our industry today.”
Image credit: Aflac
Vikas is an MBA with 25 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas runs a digital content development company, and personally loves to write on global sustainability issues.