With 93% of the world’s largest 250 companies publishing annual CSR reports and smaller companies coming up with ever more innovative ways to connect to consumers and make a difference, there has never been a better time to align your awesome business with an incredible cause and use your power as a business leader to create sustainable change in the world.
The benefits of corporate social responsibility for companies and causes have been demonstrated many times over the years, but here is our list of seven companies that just ‘get Giving’ and why you should too.
TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie created the global movement that is TOMS and since 2006 they have provided children with over 60 million pairs of shoes. Built around Giving, TOMS has revolutionized what corporate social responsibility can be by creating a company that doesn’t just give back but puts giving back deep within in the DNA of their brand.
Branching out over the years into eyewear, safe water and safe birth, TOMS continues to inspire entrepreneurs and business owners to be the change they want to see in the world with socially responsible and impactful business practices.
Greenpeace has named Apple the greenest tech company in the world for three years running. Dedicated to using recycled materials and renewable energy in all their data centres, Apple understands that aligning your business with the right cause can help you to connect more effectively to your consumer base.
When you are choosing a cause for your business, take the time to think about your customers. If it’s important to them it should be important to you and building your customer base around a cause is a great way to build brand loyalty and make a difference.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Creating a social responsibility strategy that is true to you is vital. Levis Strauss & Co calls their version, Made of Progress and it follows their journey through the civil rights movement to worldwide worker wellbeing and most recently Levi’s have introduced the Water<Less strategy to save ‘more than 1 billion litres of water in the manufacturing of LS&Co. products, including 30 million litres of fresh water saved through reuse and recycling.’
Your business was not born in a vacuum and it’s worth considering where your business has been and where it is evolving. Being true to your past and your future is a great way to create an authentic approach to CSR that is effective and all your own.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s reputation for social responsibility goes all the way back to1985 when the Board of Directors to committed ‘7 ½% of the company’s annual pre-tax profits to philanthropy.’
Now more than 25 years later, The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation is still dedicated to giving back to their local Vermont community and creating social and environmental change through helping protect local ground water supplies from pollution.
These initiatives are led by Ben & Jerry’s employees and help to not only create change but to give employees a stake in the company itself. Employee driven social responsibility promotes workplace wellbeing and encourages engagement and staff retention. One study showed that 78% of employees wanted to be able to ‘actively participate in helping improve their companies CSR strategy.’
Italian watch manufacturer WeWOOD crafts watches from ‘exotic remnant hardwoods’ and for every watch they sell WeWOOD plants a tree.
Having planted 442,246 trees since 2010 and aiming to plant one million by 2020, WeWOOD has clearly defined goals and linear relationship with their giving partners American Forests and Trees for the Future.
Not every business has such a simple and obvious connection to their CSR strategy but it’s worth thinking about who your natural allies might be in the world of charities and not-for-profits. Who is your best fit and where can you make the most sustainable change?
Eyeglasses Company, Warby Parker is another business with a simple and direct correlation between their product and how they operate as a ‘Business for Good’.
Using the line ‘everyone has the right to see’, Warby Parker operates a one-for-one policy, so whenever you buy a pair of glasses you’re also giving a pair to a person in need. It’s an awesome initiative and it really builds customer loyalty. Why would you buy glasses from a company that doesn’t do this?
Creating a direct benefit between buying a product and effecting a positive change in the world is an awesome way to promote your product and of course to give back. Business for good is good for business and it’s well worth considering the current CSR contribution you make and how you can improve the world as well as your bottom line.
Thankyou body wash is an Australian company that gives 100% of its profits to funding safe water, food and hygiene and sanitation services around the world.
Creating a product that is totally based around achieving the greatest impact you can has become an increasingly popular way for not-for-profits to strive towards positive outcomes for thousands of communities.
The United Nation’s has committed to end world hunger and poverty by 2030 in its Global Goals strategy and it is entrepreneurial thinking like this that will help make this dream a reality.
Think about what you stand for and how you can build a community of customers to stand alongside you.