3 Ways Corporate Social Responsibility Makes a World of Difference
By Laurie Fanelli in Thinking Sustainably
As consumers, we have the power to speak with our dollars by supporting companies that are good corporate citizens. Companies of all sizes practice corporate social responsibility to operate profitably while considering larger social, environmental, and human rights concerns.
Businesses may prioritize sourcing natural ingredients responsibly, for instance, or offering employees paid time off to do volunteer work. Here are three ways corporations can practice responsible social conduct in a way that benefits communities at large.
1. Making Charitable Work a Priority
Many corporations encourage employees to do charitable work, and some even sponsor events supporting a number of causes near and dear to them. From running 5Ks to raising money for cancer research to hosting donation drives for community pantries, corporate staff members can come together to do good locally and globally.
Another popular way corporations give back is by literally giving products away to those in need. It has become prevalent for companies to give a product—like shoes, eyeglasses, soap, etc.—for every item sold. As a customer, it can be inspiring to know that your money goes beyond a one-time transaction.
Corporations can also share their profits with the community. A cornerstone of the Tom's of Maine mission, for instance, is donating 10 percent of product sales to nonprofit organizations working to support health, education, and nature. And, the company also encourages employees to use 5 percent of their paid time to volunteer in support of one of their favorite causes.
2. Adopting a Green Mentality
Some companies put profits above all else, but socially responsible companies understand that there is only one planet, and they want to do their part to help care for it.
Prioritizing the use of recycled and renewable materials, supporting the use of sustainable growing and harvesting practices, and striving to reduce packaging waste are some ways companies can become greener.
3. Engaging in Ethical Practices
Ethical practices cover a broad range of corporate standards. Providing equal pay, valuing consumers, sourcing sustainably, and barring animal testing can all be considered ethical practices. For example, Tom's of Maine ensures that it is engaging in ethical sourcing practices by collaborating with groups like Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit, on guidelines for using sustainably produced palm oil in bar soap.
How You Can Do Business with Socially Responsible Companies
Doing a little bit of research can help you discover if a company's practices match your personal values. Many companies publish their mission statements online, and you may be able to find certain labels, like cruelty-free or naturally derived, on their products.
Companies that prioritize corporate social responsibility tend to offer products that people feel good about endorsing with their dollars. As retailers see consumers' increasing demand for ethical, green, natural, and sustainable items, we can safely expect more store shelves to be stocked with products that prioritize goodness.
What are some of your favorite products from socially responsible companies? Tag @toms_of_maine on Instagram with photos of your recommendations.
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Why It's Good
By supporting socially responsible companies, you can be confident your money is going to businesses that care both about the planet and its inhabitants.