Corporate Social Impact
Some U.S. companies that are considered leaders in social impact include Ben&Jerry's, Starbucks and Salesforce. Details on how these companies are creating a social impact are taken mostly from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports and from the official presentations. The case studies are presented below.
The company was founded in 1985 and ever since the beginning the company has had a strong reputation of social responsibility. Namely, the Ben&Jerry's Foundation was established the same year as the company and the company's board decided to allocate 7.5% of the company's pretax profits to philanthropy. Their philanthropic efforts have grown over the years and today the company allocates over $1.8 million per year to different socially and environmentally responsible goals, mainly in the company's home state of Vermont, but also throughout the country. The three goals of Ben&Jerry's Foundation include engaging employees, giving to Vermont communities and supporting social justice.
What's special about this company is that its social impact is very comprehensive and that it is very proactive in its philanthropic efforts. Also, the company was a pioneer in many fields of social and environmental engagement. For instance, in 2012, the company became the first wholly-owned subsidiary in the world to gain a B corp certification. The so called "B Corps" are dedicated to "corporate governance, worker benefits, community engagement and environmental performance." In 2017, Ben&Jerry's became the first company to sign up with the Milk with Dignity program which strives to improve the working conditions of farm workers, provide a decent life for cows and reduce carbon emission. That way the dairy supply chain has been made more ethical and environmentally responsible.
According to their CSR report, the company is committed to improving their employees' life standard through their Livable Vage Policy. The company is also committed to employing refugees and people with barriers with employment. Through numerous grants that it has allocated over the years, this company has made a significant social impact for local communities throughout the U.S.
Another leader in social responsibility among for-profit companies is Starbucks. The company is particularly invested in sustainability and strengthening communities. The company has achieved many of its sustainability goals, including "reaching 99% ethically sourced coffee, creating a global network of farmer support centers around the world, pioneering green building throughout its store portfolio, contributing millions of hours of community service, and creating a groundbreaking college program for Starbucks partners (employees)."
According to their Global Social Impact Performance Report for 2017, the company plans to hire 10,000 refugees in over 75 countries worldwide by 2022, as well as 25,000 veterans by 2025. The company now strives to focus on renewable energy, but also to help communities both in and out of the U.S. Starbucks has launched numerous local community service projects, including FoodShare, projects to end child homelessness, as well as different employee volunteering projects, that way creating positive effect on local communities. What's unique about Starbucks' social responsibility efforts is that it enables the company's partners and customers to find their favorite cause by visiting www.starbucks.com/volunteermatch.org.
Salesforce has been featured as one of the top socially responsible companies by a recent industry report. The company implemented an integrated philanthropic approach called a 1-1-1 model. "This means that one percent of the company’s equity is set aside for grants in communities where employees live and work, one percent of the company’s product is donated to non-profit organizations, and one percent of each employee’s time is donated to community initiatives." This specific approach is what distinguishes Salesforce from other companies.
The company has allocated over $240 millions through grants, as well as over 3.5 million of community service hours. According to its social responsibility report, the company is strongly dedicated to different social and environmental goals, including supply chain responsibility, inclusive workforce, reduction of carbon emission and community engagement. In 2018, the company became the World's most ethical companies' honoree, as well as no.1 Best workplaces for giving back. The same year, the company donated over $45 million to support communities around the world, thus creating an invaluable social impact.