In the working world, corporations are people. That being the case, corporations have an obligation to give back to folks who need it the most. They also have an obligation to protect the planet for future generations. These organizations not only have innovative cultures, they also have inspiring organizational values.
Here are 10 of the top large socially responsible companies that, beyond simply offering products and services, are working to make our planet a better place.
LEGO does a whole lot more than design awesome toys for kids and adult kids. The company prides itself on innovating for children, helping them learn through play. They also focused on the environment. It strives to reduce its carbon footprint and hopes to move to sustainable products and packaging by 2030.
Facebook hasn’t always been a beacon of social responsibility. But the company is still relatively young, and it’s making the right moves. The social media juggernaut recently partnered with a slew of nonprofits, allowing its users to send money to them directly through the platform.
Every year, Google places near the top of the list in corporate responsibility, and for good reason. The Mountain View, Calif.–based company has been carbon neutral since 2007. And with initiatives like Project Loon, Google has dedicated itself to giving more people across the globe Internet access.
4. Walt Disney
The Walt Disney Company gives a lot of money to charity. For example, Disney forked over a lot of cash to help victims of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti in 2010. The company also offers free tickets to its theme parks to folks who volunteer a day of their time at a charity of their choice. To date, more than 1 million people have taken them up on the offer.
Like Google, Microsoft consistently ranks near the top of companies that are socially responsible. Among many other initiatives, Microsoft spends a lot of time focusing on human rights. The company is committed to privacy and safety and also is doing what it can to eliminate human trafficking.
Yes, BMW makes cars that burn gasoline. But the German automaker has made measurable strides over the last few years to reduce its adverse impact on the environment. BMW reduced its carbon emissions last year. It purchased a larger share of renewable energy. And it spent more money on education initiatives.
Yes, Whole Foods might be on the pricier side. But the company sources natural and organic ingredients. This practice supports sustainability and protects the environment. Whole Foods also has a number of other social initiatives. It gives back at least 5% of its profits, and 1% of its sales from fair-trade products help poor self-employed individuals around the globe.
You’ve heard of blood diamonds. But you might not have heard of conflict-free computer chips. Intel recently announced that its microprocessors would all be built from materializes sourced under humane conditions, thus preventing warlords from profiting from its supply chain.
Yes, Target is a mega-retailer that you might not expect to see on this list. But the company has given over $1 billion to education since 2010. If that wasn’t enough, Target also gives 5% of its profits to local communities.
10. Ben & Jerry’s
They make delicious ice cream. And they’ve been on the forefront of corporate social responsibility for decades. In 1989, for example, Ben & Jerry’s removed artificial bovine growth hormones from its products. It’s since contributed to efforts to help children, support Farm Aid, and get out the vote.
In today’s age, being socially responsible is a recruitment strategy that’s still underutilized but can be a major persuader in a candidate’s decision. Is volunteerism or giving back a part of your organizational values? If not, then you’re most likely losing on some rock-star candidates in your recruitment pipeline.