The cynics out there may see Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) simply as a marketing gimmick to attract a more considerate consumer, whereas others may see it as a vital tactic in ensuring businesses operate as ethically and responsibly as possible. Although initial attitudes towards the CSR trend may have been mixed, it is becoming increasingly apparent that effective CSR practices not only contribute to a better world, but can also positively impact the bottom line. Facilities Management professionals can play a hugely important role in ensuring that their organisation benefits from everything CSR best practice can offer. After some research we have found examples of some of the best examples of socially responsible organisations and CSR initiatives implemented in recent years:
One of the biggest companies in the world seems a decent place to start. Known for their innovation, it’s no surprise that Google are ahead of the curve when it comes to CSR. From being one of the founding partners of the Global Fishing Watch, to continued plans to utilize solar farms to help power their data centres and the local communities, Google strive to build sustainability into everything they do. A recent example of their great work includes teaming up with NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Centre as part of Google’s AI For Social Good program, developing a deep neural network to automatically identify whale species from their calls from thousands of hours of underwater recordings.
Although not the most widely known or biggest footwear retail brand, they are certainly taking their CSR seriously. The founder, Blake Mycoskie, moved by witnessing the hardships of Argentinian children having to grow up without shoes, launched their ‘One for One’ initiative whereby for every pair of shoes sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need (over 60 million pairs have been donated). Starting as a shoe retailer, TOMS has developed into a truly inspirational socially responsible organisation, with other initiatives including TOMS Eyewear which has helped to restore sight to over 400,000 people, and TOMS Roasting Co which has provided over 335,000 weeks of safe water in 6 countries.
In February 2018, Salesforce announced their new initiative – Philanthropy Cloud. This acts as a network platform which connects corporations, employees and nonprofits on a large scale, allowing people the engage with the causes that they care about the most. The focus of this initiative is to make social responsible personal for everyone in the organisation. Employees create a profile with their philanthropic interests and using Salesforce AI technology to sift through the millions of options, employees are directed to the most relevant and meaningful charitable opportunities for them.
Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Change is in the Air’ sustainability initiative focuses on environment, sustainable design and buying, and community investment. Since 2007, they have reduced total aircraft carbon emissions by 22% and have partnered with LanzaTech to develop low carbon fuels for the future. Virgin Holidays donates £200,000 annually to the Brandon Center for Entrepreneurship Caribbean to support young entrepreneurs in Jamaica. In 2016, through onboard collection of spare foreign currency from customers, they raised over £500,000 for charity partner WE.
One of the world’s most iconic brands Coca-Cola has consistently included energy efficiency as part of their overall company goals and CSR practices. The company has been consistently ranked as one of the largest green energy users in the world. They have developing renowned energy management devices designed to reduce electricity use by up to 35 percent. These devices actually monitor usage patterns and adjust lights and temperature to maximize efficiency. They have also replaced thousands of pieces of equipment within their facilities with new ENERGY Star standard equipment.
Since 2010, the company has also had more than 30,000 coolers with energy management systems, LED lighting in more than 23,000 machines and specialty coolers with doors designed to conserve energy. Individual efforts such as this over the course of several years has helped the company make some major strides in their efforts to reduce their overall energy costs.
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