Do Good, Does Good—Responsible Corporations.
This year marked a continuation of the trend of Corporations doing good, both because it does good in the world and also because it’s simply good for business. All it takes is asking the questions “What if…” or “Could we…” to motivate innovators to find new amazing, win-win solutions. Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, makes this case well around the company’s sustainability efforts. At the end of his letter on the Nike website, Parker writes, “The challenge to create a sustainable economy is global and requires a global response. We believe it begins with a simple idea: invent better solutions.” That’s right—ask the right questions to do things better for the world.
- Intel this year announced not only that their microprocessors were now conflict-free, but that they’d also be making a commitment to make all of their products and supply chain conflict-free by 2016, the first company to do so. Ariel Schwartz wrote a great article about Intel’s journey to reach this goal, one that might have been initiated by the Dodd-Frank law (the financial regulations law which also included a provision on a Conflict Minerals rule) but also took investment and due diligence on the company’s part to fully investigate supply sourcing and commit to change.
- CVS Health (formerly CVS Caremark) aligned its business practices with its health positioning in the marketplace, eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from its store shelves. The company’s CEO, Larry Merlo, also plans to put a program in place to help customers quit smoking, taking the commitment one step further.
- Autodesk is giving its design software away for free to educational institutions to help ensure that the next great designers are able to create for tomorrow’s future. While this is likely to get these users hooked on Autodesk’s products, it’s a noble initiative to give access to a global student base that can now learn and become creators on their own.
- Patagonia continues to be a champion of the environment. This year the company created a VC fund to support entrepreneurial businesses focused on improving the environment. It also funded the creation of a film, Damnation, also released this year that forwards the cause of eliminating un-used, harmful dams. These are just two of many initiatives that demonstrate that the company’s actions are in line with its values.
- Kenneth Cole has long had “doing good” as a central tenet of the brand. This year the company reinforced its commitment in a holiday ad championing its Do Good efforts. Find more here.
Consumer Forecast: Help me make my purchase decisions matter.
Photo Credit: Autodesk
Alter, Charlotte. “CVS Quits Selling Tobacco 3 Weeks Ahead of Schedule,” Time Magazine, September 3, 2014. http://time.com/3262395/cvs-tobacco-cigarettes-sales
“Autodesk Announces Free Design Software for Schools Worldwide,” Freshome.com, August 12, 2014. http://freshome.com/2014/12/08/autodesk-announces-free-design-software-for-schools-worldwide/
“Autodesk Makes Design Software Free to Schools Worldwide,” Autodesk, December 1, 2014.
Schwartz, Ariel. “Intel’s CEO Reveals The Company’s Plans To Build A Conflict-Free Supply Chain By 2016,” Fast Company, September 3, 2014. http://www.fastcoexist.com/3034867/intels-ceo-reveals-the-companys-plans-to-build-a-conflict-free-supply-chain-by-2016