Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is essentially about doing good and doing well. Generally, it refers to the process of integrating social values and mission within business decision-making process, so as to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes towards the business, environment and the community at large.
Many companies nowadays believe that they have this responsibility to give back to society. Such socially responsible companies see to it that this act permeates everything they do.
Here are 5 companies that stood out, in my opinion, as great examples of how social responsibility can be productively coupled with sound strategies to advance goodwill, while building sustainable and impressive businesses.
In April, Vodafone promised to cut down their carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2020 through improving the energy efficiency of its global mobile-phone networks. Additional points for Vodafone on CSR because they are constantly updating us with the results of the campaign; no matter whether it’s going well or not.
Future promises includes pledging to recycle 95% of network equipment waste and plans to reduce work-related accidents that cause lost time by 10%. On top of that, Vodafone is a leading business in socially responsible products such as the text-to-speech software for blind people and easy-to-use handsets for the elderly.
The Body Shop can be considered one of the pioneers of modern corporate social responsibility. Founder Anita Roddick led her company to stand up for its beliefs and champion causes such as self-esteem, environmental protection, animal rights, community trade and human rights.
One of their major achievements was back in 1985, where they managed to work with Greenpeace and garner more than 4,000,000 signatures against animal testing in the European Union. They have also contributed significantly to the causes they stand for, and exemplifies how others can do the same thing.
3. Starbucks Coffee
Since the beginning back in 1971, Starbucks Coffee aims on acting responsibly and ethically. One of their focuses is the sustainable production of green coffee; C.A.F.E.
The project practices a set of guidelines to achieve product quality, economic accountability, social responsibility and environmental leadership. On top of that, the company supports Ethos Water; a company that brings clean water to more than 1 billion people who does not have access to it.
4. Ben & Jerry’s
The founders of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have infused the company with the notions of giving back in every way possible, as well as “linked prosperity” between the company, its employees and the community.
Since they started, they have been donating a full 7.5% of pretax profits to charitable organizations. In their own words “strive to show a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.”
5. HSBC Holdings
The bank’s head of corporate sustainability, Teresa Au, has said that despite the economic situation, HSBC would continue to support its sustainability campaign. Initiatives include providing small businesses with sustainability insurance options and developing an index for climate change.
The business has also boosted its management of ethical and socially responsible investing funds by 60% over the last two years. HSBC has an American unit that is dedicated to assisting local communities by promoting affordable homeownership, among other goals.