I think corporate social responsibility is a vital part of any company’s business plan, especially in America. Even if it’s just a partnership with a nonprofit organization or a donation every year, I think it’s important for the image of the company. Our book describes corporate social responsiblity as:
A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis as they are increasingly aware that responsible behavior leads to sustainable business practices.
All that basically means that if businesses care about more than their bottom line and their profit margin, it seems like their business becomes more stable and lasts longer.
One example of this I stumbled upon on Saturday was the Me to We Foundation. I was looking for a birthday card at Target and I found one that had a label that said “this card provides clean water.” Naturally, I flipped it over because I wanted to know what this card was even talking about and I found this:
I thought it was really cool that simply by buying a card I was already going to spend money on I could make a difference. I think that is what people want in terms of corporate social responsibility. I want to spend my money somewhere that I know is going to do some good somewhere. In addition, this foundation is pretty cool because by visiting the website and typing in the bar code, I could view some information about the people my purchase was helping and how my purchase was helping. Simply providing these kinds of products makes me feel good about shopping at Target.
In addition to providing a variety of different products like that, Target has a whole page on their website dedicated to corporate responsibility. I think it really shows what a company values when they tell you what they do with their money. The video on the page talks about only using sustainable kinds of fish in their markets, paying their coffee growers an acceptable amount that they can “invest back into their farms and their families” and donating to education. To me, while shopping at Target might be a little more expensive, knowing that my money isn’t just going toward funding some corporate big shot and his family vacation makes me more willing to continue to shop there.