Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are special passions of mine. After having created, planned, and managed multiple “give back” projects in the early 2000s, I undertook studies at UC Irvine, taught extension classes at UCSD and, for three years in the mid-2000s, was a contributing strategy expert writing a monthly column for Incentive Magazine. I covered topics I found particularly interesting regarding the development of giving back in corporate America.
I am going to pick out a few highlights to illustrate the level of interest in work I’ve done around CSR and sustainability. I delve into research to ensure accurate and pertinent information and to combine various sources to provide the most complete picture possible.
In 2012, I covered Do the Bright Thing, an organization running an online ecommerce operation, where every purchase made helped pay for the generation of solar energy in areas of need around the world. Today it works to empower future leaders in sustainability. The organization partners with aligned nonprofits and businesses to educate, volunteer, and create opportunities for the do-ers who want to tackle climate change and important environmental issues.
I featured another company, TOMS in that same article. Founded in 2006, TOM founder pioneered the One for One® model where for each pair of shoes sold, TOM donated another pair. Since then, the TOM community has had a positive impact on over 100,000,000 lives. Today, the company commits one-third of its profits to grassroots good, supporting people building equity at the local level, and driving progress from the ground up.
Another topic I covered that year related to a client or company looking to include CSR, but without a set strategic plan. I suggested the company look at the goods and services they provided to see if it had a clear connection with any type of nonprofit organization. For example, a culinary supply and equipment company, whose clients include hotels and restaurants, and part of whose inventory includes canned foods, might see a great benefit in sponsoring an event such as “Michael-CAN-Gelo.”
Offered by Feet First Entertainment, this innovative program provided fun, creative team building. The creations the game produces are donated to a local food bank or other organization involved in feeding the food insecure community. With this type of activity, there exists the basis for a connection between the product, the employees, and the end recipient, which reinforces the company-employee bond and can garner community support for the client’s company.
Years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, New Orleans struggled to rebuild after the worst engineering disaster in the history of the US. In 2012, I wrote about how it helped companies realize the benefits of giving back.
After Katrina, millions of volunteers traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild the city. By August 2010, according to the University of New Orleans, approximately 2.2 million people, including convention attendees, had participated in voluntourism projects. Major corporations and associations incorporated voluntourism projects into their conference itinerary and it proved to be extremely popular for clients to connect with a volunteer organization and assist with rebuilding a home or constructing a playground.
These represent just a few examples of topics I covered. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to submit an enquiry via our form and I will be happy to respond.
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