1Being Socially Responsible
With the introduction of mandatory spending on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) brought on by the Companies Act 2013, companies in India and across the world have shifted focus from anticipating change and understanding the impact of this change to actually being the change.
Firms have started gauging the ramifications of their decisions and activities on society and the environment, some even going the extra mile to give back to their employees, the community and the world at large.
A handful of international and national companies have developed solid reputations for being do-gooders, and turning their success into an opportunity to help others. According to Forbes, the following retailers have the best CSR reputation in the world:-
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: consumer products, media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and interactive media.
The Walt Disney Company largely focuses on a few areas of social responsibility, namely community, the environment, and volunteerism. Disney has been a major provider of aid after natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The company also takes an interest in protecting the environment, giving proceeds from nature films to plant trees in the rain forest and protect thousands of acres of coral reef. Two of its popular CSR initiatives are:-
– Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green
In May 2009, Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green, a program to help kids help the planet, was launched on Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and Disney.com. The program features some of Disney’s biggest stars including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers.
Friends for Change encourages kids to take simple actions in their everyday lives and gives them the opportunity to help Disney distribute more than $1 million to environmental projects around the world. The program helps children realize their power as individuals and as a collective to effect change in the world. To date, kids have taken almost 1.5 million pledges that stand to prevent more than 70,000 tons of carbon emissions per year and save nearly 122 million gallons of water per month. As a result of kids’ votes, Disney will distribute more than $1 million to 20 environmental projects related to climate, waste, water and ecosystems. A Friends for Change anthem performed by Disney Channel’s top stars, “Send It On,” raised an additional $500,000 for conservation projects around the world.
– Disney’s Planet Challenge
Disney’s Planet Challenge is a national environmental learning competition for 4th – 6th graders that builds on 15 years of similar initiatives by Disney in California and Florida. In this program, classrooms are challenged to create and implement their own projects to help the environment at their schools and in their communities.
Disney’s Planet Challenge offers teachers free environmental science curriculum, developed by the WestEd K-12 Alliance, including lesson plans customized to the requirements of every state. Participating classrooms are eligible for grant funds to support their projects. The program was developed in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other government and environmental organizations.
Apple corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and initiatives are led by Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.
Apple is committed to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility wherever its products are made. It insists that its suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. Highlights of CSR initiatives undertaken by Apple in different categories are:-
Apple is often praised for its environmental records that include decrease of total power consumption of Apple products by 57 per cent. Apple has emerged as the only company that has been awarded with a Clean Energy Index of 100 per cent, according to Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean Report.
As of 2014, 100 per cent of Apple operations in the US and 87 per cent of global operations are powered by renewable energy.
– Supporting local communities
‘Global Volunteer Program’ was launched to encourage employees to volunteer in local communities.
The Sony Group recognizes that its businesses have direct and indirect impact on the communities in which the company operates. Here is how Sony is contributing towards being a positive global citizen.
– Green Management 2020
Sony established the Road to Zero environmental plan in 2010 in quest of a zero environmental footprint. 2050 has been set as the year for achieving a zero environmental footprint, and the company is moving actively towards this goal since 2010 by setting intermediate targets along the way.
– Sony Science Program
The Program provides children the opportunity for hands-on experience to help them acquire skills needed to make a better society by applying the power of science. These activities form the foundation of Sony’s CSR operations, and are currently held in and outside of Japan as part of Sony Science Program.
Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited is one of the best pure consumer products company in the country. The company is committed to doing business with integrity and respect and for the world around us. It’s long-term sustainability strategy is focused on three areas: People, Performance and Planet. Colgate has programs in place to promote oral health in communities, to reduce energy use and to increase efficiency. Two popular CSR activities of Colgate-Palmolive are:-
– Colgate Bright Smile Bright Future
The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future’s oral health educational programme worldwide was developed to teach children positive oral health habits of basic hygiene, diet and physical activity. This programme also encourages dental professionals, public health officials, civic leaders and, most importantly, parents and educators to come together to stress on the importance of oral health as part of a child’s overall physical and emotional development.
– Oral Health Month
Colgate in partnership with Indian Dental Association has introduced the Oral Health Month. The company offered free in-clinic check-ups to encourage people to be aware of any oral health issues and help them adopt a good oral care regime to protect oral health.
All children have the right to fun, creative and engaging play experiences. Play is essential because when children play, they learn. As a provider of play experiences, LEGO Group ensures that its behaviour and actions are responsible towards all children and towards its stakeholders, society and the environment.
One example of how they are making an impact is their use of wind power from a German wind farm that creates enough energy to cover the yearly electricity demand of nearly 100,000 households. This is all part of Lego’s ongoing effort to run off 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020.