Businesses’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become more critical than ever before. Companies must act and do their part in creating a better world for their shareholders, society, and the planet. If you want inspiration to pursue CSR initiatives, look no further. John Margerison presents some inspiring examples of businesses making a difference in their communities and beyond.
Table of Contents
Ben & Jerry’s:
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is known for its delicious flavors and commitment to social responsibility. They prioritize sourcing Fairtrade ingredients, reducing their carbon footprint, and promoting social justice through their “Justice ReMix’d” flavor that supports criminal justice reform. The dessert titans partnered with The Advancement Project National Office to highlight the need for reform in our criminal justice system. Ben & Jerry’s also donates a portion of their sales to support organizations working towards racial equality and ending mass incarceration.
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has made sustainability a core value of their brand. They have implemented sustainable practices throughout their supply chain, such as using organic cotton and recycled materials in their products. They are also vocal advocates for environmental protection, donating 1% of their sales to grassroots environmental groups through their “1% for the Planet” program. In addition, Patagonia encourages customers to repair and recycle their products rather than buy new ones, reducing waste in the fashion industry.
More than just a bunch of kids’ toys, the LEGO brand also stands for creativity, imagination, and playfulness. They have a strong commitment to sustainability, using renewable energy sources in their manufacturing facilities and reducing the environmental impact of their packaging.
In addition, LEGO supports education through its “LEGO Education” program, which provides hands-on learning experiences for children. The program helps develop skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity. This ties in with their brand message of inspiring children to build and create anything they can imagine.
TOMS is a shoe company that has taken a unique approach to CSR. For every pair of shoes that TOMS sells, the company donates a pair to a child in need. Since its founding, TOMS has donated over 100 million pairs of shoes to those in need. TOMS’ one-for-one model has not been without criticism, but the company has adapted and shifted its focus to more sustainable and ethical practices.
TOMS shows that CSR can be integrated into the core business model and still be successful. Additionally, TOMS has expanded its one-for-one model to include other products, such as eyewear and coffee, showing that the company’s impact can go beyond just footwear.
Technology giant Microsoft takes a holistic approach to CSR, focusing on three main areas: people, planet, and partnerships. The company has set ambitious goals to be carbon negative by 2030 and water positive by 2050. Microsoft also invests in programs and initiatives to support digital inclusion and accessibility for all.
In addition to its environmental efforts, Microsoft also prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in its workforce and supply chain. The company has made commitments to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership roles and ensure fair labor practices throughout its supply chain.
Lyft is a ride-sharing company that goes beyond just providing transportation. The company has initiatives to increase access to transportation in underserved communities, and it even launched a program to provide rides to seniors and low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Lyft has partnered with environmental groups to offset the carbon emissions created by its rides. Lyft’s commitment to access, equity, and sustainability is an example that other transportation companies should follow.
In addition to these six examples, countless other businesses make a difference in their communities and beyond through CSR initiatives. John Margerison knows businesses of all sizes, from small local companies to global corporations, have the power and responsibility to create positive change. As we continue to face social and environmental challenges today, businesses need to step up and take action.