Corporations can be powerful forces for creating positive change in our local communities and across the world. Many socially responsible businesses are already taking proactive measures to reduce any negative impacts of their own work, while engaging in activities that help people and planet. To celebrate a few examples of the power of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we’ve curated a list of innovative CSR initiatives that are creating positive economic, social, and environmental impact in communities all over the globe.
1. LEGO: Developing Young Minds Through Play
LEGO’s CSR initiatives work toward LEGO’s mission of building a better world for children. Because they recognize that playing is not only fun but a vital tool for learning, LEGO has trained thousands of their employees to become “Play Agents.” LEGO Play Agents help children engage in the kind of healthy play that encourages learning and growth. Today over 3,000 Play Agents work with children in communities around the globe to lead them in the kind of fun, creative play that develops young minds. To learn more, read the LEGO Group’s Responsibility Report.
2. Google: Closing the Education Gap for Children in Developing Nations
Helping children around the world achieve their fullest potential through education is one of Google’s main areas of philanthropic focus. To serve this goal, Google seeks out and supports organizations that are dedicated to expanding and improving primary education in developing countries. Since 2016 the tech giant has provided millions of dollars in grants and human capital support to the organization Learning Equality. Their offline app Kolibri helps level the educational playing field for children who do not have access to the internet by giving them digital books, videos, and tutorials. Google sent a team of their engineers to spend a month on site, providing hands-on support to Learning Equality’s product team. Watch how Google and Learning Equality are working together to help close the education gap for children.
3. Xerox: Mentoring Future Engineers
Xerox, long recognized for their corporate philanthropy, is also a leader in inspiring community outreach. Because Xerox believes that STEM education is the key to a better future, they have partnered with the organization FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for the past 25 years. FIRST offers students an opportunity to get fun, hands-on science and engineering experience. Xerox engineers volunteer their time mentoring teams of high school students. Over the course of six weeks these teams work together to design, build, and program working robots. The teams then bring their robots together at the competition to see which robot can do the best job of meeting the assigned engineering challenge. Learn more about Xerox’s efforts with FIRST.
4. Levi Strauss: Improving Apparel Workers’ Well-Being Globally
Levi Strauss has found that investments in worker well-being generates shared value for workers and factories alike. Their ethical supply chain initiative, the Worker Well-Being program, first launched in 2011. Vendors that adopt the program are required to have processes in place to listen to workers and take steps to address their most pressing needs (safety, healthcare, education, childcare, etc.). Since it was first introduced, the Worker Well-Being initiative has expanded to 12 countries and now impacts the lives of nearly 100,000 workers. Levi Strauss aims to require all of their strategic suppliers to implement Worker Well-being by 2025, which will positively impact the lives of more than 300,000 workers. Learn more about Levi Strauss’ sustainability initiatives.
5. ORIX Corporation USA: Philanthropy in the Hands of Employees
ORIX Corporation USA has broken the mold on corporate giving. Eschewing marketing platforms and top-down decision making, the organization created an entirely employee-led foundation. Since 2009, employees from every rank and division of the company have served on the board of ORIX Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity that has invested more than $16 million and thousands of volunteers hours into community organizations that employees personally care about. Now ORIX is looking to expand this democratic approach by sharing it with other businesses. This year, they are launching CARE, a collaborative effort of corporations seeking to engage employees and address critical community issues like children’s literacy.
Learn more about how ORIX Foundation has partnered with Good Returns to cycle $250K for positive impact.