5 Socially Responsible Companies to Emulate
These days, it isn’t just about the bottom line anymore. Increasingly, companies are becoming more conscious about creating positive change in society, from sustainability to inclusivity.
According to data from nonprofit Net Impact, 53 per cent of employees would like to work in a job where they can make an impact, and companies with a CSR programme were deemed as a more desirable workplace. Moreover, 72 per cent of graduating students were willing to take a pay cut just to work in an organisation that is aligned with their values.
Consumers are also becoming more socially conscious and mindful too: a research done by IBM indicated that 71 per cent of consumers felt that accountability was important and would pay a premium for brands that are more transparent. In the words of Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, “Evil wins if we do nothing. So do something.” Whether you are an individual or an organisation, here are five standout companies that are making the world a better place.
Certified B Corporation the Grove Collaborative crafts and curates earth-changing products for a beautiful and healthy home. The products that they carry encourage sustainable living and are non-toxic and cruelty-free too. As a member of the carbon offsetting movement, the company purchases carbon credits to counterbalance their emissions for each shipment they make and has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to encourage tree-planting, with a goal of a million trees within the next three years.
Sustainability and environmental consciousness are the core values of Klean Kanteen. When the company was founded in 2002, its main focus was to create a product that would eliminate the use of plastic waste from disposable water bottles. That eventually came in the form of the first stainless steel, BPA-Free, multi-use water bottle and food canister, which didn’t exist in the market. Aside from creating sustainable products, Klean Kanteen practises recycling in the office, uses 100 per cent renewable energy at all facilities and purchases carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Since October 2008, Klean Kanteen has been part of 1,300 companies that are members of 1% for the Planet, which involves donating 1 per cent of annual sales to nonprofit environmental organisations. In addition, Klean Kanteen donates products to local organisations and schools for fundraisers, provides complimentary water stations and are main sponsors for events such as the Run for Food, Chico Wildflower Century Ride, Walk for Water, The Bidwell Park and Chico Creek Clean up. This is all part of their effort to build closer ties with the community.
Ben & Jerry’s
Household name Ben & Jerry’s has been making our lives sweeter with their ice cream as well as their commitment to promoting socially responsible business practices. In fact, they were the first ice cream maker in the world to use Fairtrade Certified ingredients.
Since the 1980s, they have been supporting a number of important causes including racial justice, democracy, refugees, peace building, GMO labelling, fair trade, climate action, LGBTQ and equality. The organisation is also a strong believer in environmentally friendly farming practices and giving back to their community. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was set up in 1985, which offers grants for social justice programmes supporting grassroots groups in America for racial equality and environmental justice. And as a believer in marriage equality for all, the company supports gay rights by working with nonprofits partners to support the cause.
With socks being the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters, sock company Bombas has decided to step in to meet their needs. Founded on the philosophy of donating clothes to the homeless, the company has since grown to become a community for activists and environmental advocates. Apart from giving aid to the homeless, Bombas is working to create greater public awareness about this under-publicised problem in the US. To date, they have donated over 40 million clothing items through more than 3,500 Giving Partners across America. And the Bombas Giving Directory has helped connect its supporters with local Bombas Giving Partners, providing people with a platform to serve the community and those in need.
Known for fashioning handmade shoes made out of raw materials like rice husks, algae, cork, and molasses, Twisted X is committed to eliminating wastage in the fashion industry and creating a more sustainable future. Their aim? For all shoes to be made from 80 per cent eco elements. Their Zero-X collection features an eco-forward stitching method that substitutes glue in the production process and their midsoles are made from sugarcane molasses, while their ecoTWX® collection is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Currently, Twisted X has recycled more than three million bottles from polluted oceans in their shoe-making process.
Even their shoe boxes are made from 85 per cent recycled materials, while their catalogues are made with recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink. Aside from shoes, Twisted X has partnered with One Tree Planted®, pledging to plant one tree in the U.S. for every pair of shoes purchased from their ecoTWX® collection. Through this initiative, they have successfully planted more than 200,000 trees across America.