Social responsibility is becoming a vital cornerstone of many business models. As our awareness of ethical practices grows, so too does our desire to spend our cash wisely – on products with a social conscience. We don’t want our money to support child labour, unchecked carbon emissions or to have a negative impact on the communities producing the goods we buy.
Choosing to shop from brands with a reputation for genuine social responsibility is a tangible way we can all do our bit to help the world.
Whether it’s raising funds for worthy causes, supporting volunteering, protecting the environment, investing in communities or committing to ethical labour practices, these five brands are doing social responsibility right.
This colourful children’s toy giant topped the Reputation Institute’s 2017 list of the companies with the best CSR reputation in the world. Their positive impact promise focusses on three main aims:
- To inspire children through play, while actively campaigning for global toy safety.
- To lead the way on environmentalism by improving energy efficiency, reducing waste and using resources responsibly.
- To ensure the highest possible ethical business standards are upheld, especially with regards to human and employee rights.
Lego have partnered with various charities, from UNICEF to WWF, to help them achieve their goals.
Luxury online retailer YOOX are a great example of the power of collaboration. Their partnership with Australian fashion brand We Are Handsome has created the successful YOOX Loves the Reef project.
Sales of the exclusive ocean-inspired line of swimwear directly support the ocean itself, with proceeds being donated to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. It’s a campaign with clever brand synergy that lets consumers contribute to conservation work as they shop.
Walt Disney Company
For many years now, the Walt Disney Company have led the way on social responsibility. Much-loved movies aside, their social goal revolves around strengthening communities by helping children and families that need it most.
Their ‘VoluntEARS’ programme supports employees in volunteering in their communities, dedicating a whopping 2.9 million hours of service so far. Disney also donate generously to non-profit organisations – gifting 23.1 million books in the last five years for a start. They are also committed to reducing their carbon emissions and reducing waste.
If you’re looking for an inspirational example of a brand-charity partnership, the long-running ‘1 pack = 1 vaccine’ campaign delivered by Pampers and UNICEF has to be up there.
Since it began in 2006, the initiative has helped eliminate potentially fatal maternal and newborn tetanus in 19 countries, protecting around half a million babies. That’s halfway to reaching their goal of total global elimination. Pretty impressive! Pampers’ parent company P&G also has a wide range of social responsibility programmes.
This global search engine company are often credited with starting the trend for social responsibility. The sheer scale of their company means they’ve managed to create a hugely positive impact.
Their social responsibility programme covers a wide range of initiatives from Google Green, which supports environmental efforts like renewable energy, to Google Serve, which encourages employees to participate in community projects. Google has been proudly carbon neutral since 2007 and, more than that, run their operations purely on renewable energy. They’re definitely leading the way when it comes to running a socially conscious business.