Nowadays it’s more important than ever for companies to not only have a purpose but also have a mission beyond that of maximizing profits. Indeed, Millenial and Gen-Z consumers are more interested than ever in aligning with and purchasing from brands with robust corporate social responsibility programs. What are some brands that get it right when it comes to giving back?
- Apple – The biggest brand of them all is also a huge player when it comes to corporate social responsibility programs. With its huge manufacturing footprint, Apple has dedicated itself to minimizing its carbon footprint via its environmental programs which have led to a 35% reduction in net carbon emissions over the past 3 years. Apple often highlights the energy efficiency of its products in its keynotes and creates recycling programs for its most successful products. It has even created a robot specifically designed to disassemble iPhones for recycling.
- Starbucks – The coffee giant is doing its part to give back through its various hiring initiatives, including hiring more than 25,000 veterans by 2025, and by partnering with the UN refugee agency to hire 10,000 refugees by 2022. The company has been able to avoid political fallout from such initiatives in a climate that is increasingly anti-refugee, but one that is fundamentally important to its core consumers. This has been a careful calculation by Starbucks which has paid off.
- Lego – In a world that is increasingly plastic-averse, toymaker Lego has gotten ahead of any possible criticism by launching robust recycling programs with a focus on renewables. For a company that creates up to 60 billion plastic pieces every year, it is making a $150M investment in recycling and working toward using more sustainable materials and increasing its recycling rate up to 90%.
With consumers becoming ever-more conscious of the labor and environmental practices of the biggest brands they do business with, it is incumbent on companies to not only get ahead of any potential criticism but to make corporate responsibility programs a key part of their business and messaging to consumers.