Consumers prefer to buy from companies that show they care about society as a whole. This is why many major corporations create corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. These programs give back to the communities in which they operate to create a better way of life. To ensure these programs continue to grow and thrive, it is important for companies that use them to hire candidates who care about the community they serve. Today, many colleges are working hard to help their students become effective employees who truly care about CSR.
Do companies care about CSR? These ones certainly do.
1. Ben And Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s is best known for their ice cream, but this isn’t the only way they give to the community. Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield wanted to create a company that was socially responsible and gave back to its community. Through its Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, they strove to donate to the community, giving as much as $7.5-million of their pre-tax profits to charitable organizations. While Ben and Jerry’s is now owned by Unilever, the company still executes its CSR plan.
The largest coffee chain in America, Starbucks has exercised corporate social responsibility since the company began in 1971. They support the production of “green” coffee and are responsible for creating C.A.F.E. Practices, which is a set of guidelines that address the quality of products, social responsibility, economic accountability, and environmental leadership. In addition, Starbucks is a major supporter of Ethos Water, an organization that provides clean drinking water to areas of the world that need it.
The PepsiCo Foundation, established in 1962, provides funding to programs that reach out to impoverished areas of the United States and other countries. The foundation began as a way to improve health, education and the environment in these areas and has grown to cover fitness and preventive medicine as well. In 2010 alone, the PepsiCo Foundation donated about $25.9-million to various charities. Their goal is to increase self-sufficiency in countries that need assistance with health care, fresh water, and education.
4. Home Depot
Home Depot created the Home Depot Foundation in 2002 to do their part to help communities. The main goal of this foundation is to improve homes and lives, particularly in areas that are most affected by financial hardships. Home Depot associates team up with local charities and other organizations to repair and build homes for those who can’t otherwise afford them. They also place additional importance on helping veterans, offering more than $80 million over two years.
5. Food Network
The Food Network parent company, Scripps Networks Interactive, proudly helps in many areas to give back to the community. Each year, many employees participate in a volunteer day, assisting numerous local charities. They have supported the United Way, running a telethon in 2009 to raise money. Scripps Networks Interactive also provides assistance to areas ravaged by violent storms, including donating more than $250,000 to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Tom’s Shoes was founded on the premise of donating one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair the company sold. This is an excellent model of CSR. A trip to Argentina where many children did not have shoes was the motivation for this impressive business plan. In four years, Tom’s has donated more than 400,000 pairs of shoes.
Target shows its dedication to the community in everything they do. The company focuses on providing assistance in education and environmental issues. They also focus on ensuring employee well-being and volunteering to truly give back to the communities they serve. Target gives back five percent of their profits to the community each year, which is typically about $4 million per week. In addition to funding, Target employees are encouraged to volunteer their time at charity organizations.
8. Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole has been using his fashions to support AIDS awareness and research for the past 25 years. In addition to this support, Cole has created the Awearness Fund, which provides encouragement to volunteer and promotes social change. All proceeds from products sold under the Awearness name are donated to the fund.
Corporate social responsibility is important for many reasons. Companies benefit because their customers appreciate the fact they are giving back to the community, and the community benefits from the generosity of these companies. When companies give back and show compassion for their community and employees, everyone wins!
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