Corporate Social Responsibility is a means by which organizations can support various worthy causes in their community, state, country, or worldwide. Many companies also see it as a way to improve their brand image and distinguish themselves from their competitors. A favorable reputation has many benefits, including increased positive media coverage, customer and employee attraction and retention, and investment opportunities.
Employers encourage employee participation by offering time off for philanthropic activities, including leaves to work with charitable organizations. Companies also match employee donations and loan (or give) equipment, materials, and other needed items to charities.
Charitable initiatives show that companies are not all about the bottom line and help develop customer trust and a sense that they engage in fair and ethical business practices. Working with nonprofits helps companies reach a broader audience and promote important causes. Many companies create and financially support foundations that engage in benevolent giving to these organizations.
In a recent survey by Deloitte, millennial workers believed (by a sixty-three percent margin) that the primary purpose of businesses should be improving society rather than generating profit. With that mindset, it behooves companies to practice social responsibility to attract and retain those customers.
Ultimately, it is up to each company where they spend their money. However, a sense of ‘doing the right thing’ motivates altruistically minded corporations, and trying to make the world a better place, regardless of the inspiration, is never a bad thing.
Here are examples of companies that practice social responsibility:
Adidas is involved in the war against plastic and is working to turn plastic waste into high-performance sportswear. Since 2018, they’ve also organized the Run For The Oceans events to raise funds. They’re also partnered with Greenpeace for a DETOX Campaign to eliminate dangerous chemicals from global supply chains.
Starbucks supports Ethos Water in a campaign to bring clean water to 1 billion people worldwide. Starbucks also focuses its giving on organizations that help people overcome barriers by identifying job and training opportunities.
IKEA’s social responsibility starts with the materials used in its products — including sustainable cotton, wool, and wood. They also plan to use only recycled or renewable plastic by 2030. In addition, the IKEA Foundation helps families escape poverty and fund programs around climate change, renewable energy, agricultural livelihoods, employment and entrepreneurship, and emergency responses.
Bosch invests in projects that help deal with problems faced by communities worldwide, including promoting social change. For example, their Yallah initiative supports Muslims trying to drive change in their communities.
Ben and Jerry’s supports community-based development projects closely related to their business. Their charitable work addresses refugee issues, climate action, and more. In addition, their Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports grassroots nonprofits in the US, especially ones that address social justice, environmental justice, and sustainable food systems issues.
Apple has been involved in the Malala fund as a Laureate partner since 2018 to help educate and empower girls. They’ve also been part of the ConnectED initiative since 2014, which funds teaching and learning solutions in schools throughout the US.