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Groundbreaking Companies Who’ve Gone CSR 2.0

Submitted by: Hesha Patel

Posted: May 09, 2016 – 06:00 AM EST

Tags: csr, business, philanthropy


Corporate social responsibility continues to grow into something where companies aren’t only philanthropic with their money and time. CSR has become part of the business model, and, for some, the entire business model. This can be seen in Dr. Priscilla Chan’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s formation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative which aims to give back their fortune to benefit the world for their daughter, but in the form of an LLC.

“Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.” Mark Zuckerberg
The use of a limited liability company (LLC) gives the two more control over how their estimated $45 billion is distributed in the philanthropic marketplace. It also gives the team additional incentives like privacy and some legal protection.
This change in CSR, the blurring of nonprofit and for-profit, is what CSR 2.0 is based on. CSR 2.0 is founded on five principles: scalability, creativity, glocality, responsiveness and circularity. Here are five other companies paving the way for this new form of philanthropy.
“To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”Tesla Motors mission statement
Even though Tesla Motors is a full for-profit company, Elon Musk has turned it into the epitome of scalability in terms of CSR. Bringing sustainable transportation to the masses is actually the mission statement for the company. Musk said in his first blog post about the company:
“The overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.”
Aside from a sports car and a luxury sedan, Tesla Motors is on its way to achieving its goal of providing a sustainable transportation solution to the masses. With its recent announcement of the Tesla Model 3, which they claim will be the “biggest one-week launch of any product ever,” they are well on their way of achieving their goal.
Bring it home: While scalability on this level may not make sense for a mid-size company, it’s still possible to look for ways to make your traditional products more sustainable for future generations. This falls under the umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Creativity and Innovation
Many companies report on their environmental footprint as well as their attempt to fight climate change. Nike, for example, has produced a full report, complete with an interactive website, to show how their team has made an impact. Their report also includes the company’s sustainable innovations, targets and commitments and how their current impact compares to their previous impact.
“Explore. Innovate. Scale. Collaborate. These themes define our sustainability journey, one that considers impacts across our value chain including labor, environment and communities.” - Mark Parker, President & CEO of Nike
Bring it home: Creativity is something that’s not just available to Nike, but to all companies, no matter their size or marketing budget. If you have built a CSR strategy, make sure you’re presenting it in a unique and exciting way. After all, isn’t the goal to change the world?
Glocality, or Global Localization
Think global, act local. This new thought process is changing how some companies approach corporate philanthropy altogether. Coca-Cola focuses on giving clean water back to communities.
“By 2020, safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what we use in our finished beverages and their production.” Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is actually exceeding their goals and balanced out an estimated 94% of their 2014 water usage. Sustaining water balance will continue to be their goal as they explore additional areas of sustainability in the future.
Bring it home: Global + Local. For most companies, this means you need to start solving issues in your own community and then scale that model to other communities, ultimately creating something that impacts the entire globe. While methods and practices change, human needs rarely do.
It’s one thing to be socially responsible when a tragedy strikes; it’s another when the current community battle is a continual issue. Zendesk began a foundation for neighborhood renewal in San Francisco to address those unceasing problems.
“[Zendesk Neighbor Foundation] focuses on addressing issues of poverty, homelessness and healthcare; improving education and promoting gender equality; workforce development; and technical literacy.” Zendesk
Caring for the community is Zendesk’s aim for their venture into the nonprofit sector and it has already helped them make an impact globally.
Bring it home: This company shows you don’t have to be a decades-old monopoly to impact the world, you just have to focus on an issue you can help to solve. What could be more humble than neighborhood renewal? Yet Zendesk is seeing global impact from their commitment. See a need? Respond. That’s the hallmark of a CSR-minded company.
Circularity and Reusability
Giving back more than you receive. Whole foods is one of the leaders in the food marketplace industry. Their Whole Planet Foundation’s aim is to provide micro-financing to the self-employed poor around the world. Giving back for sustainability is a prime focus for Whole Foods.
“Sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice.”Whole Foods
Whole Foods continues to find new ways to give back and has recently ventured into building stores that provide fresh, healthy foods to more of the general population. Their new 365 stores aim to provide healthy alternatives at reasonable prices in communities that may not have the opportunity otherwise.
Bring it home: Do you provide an amazing service that would be helpful to people in need or companies/organizations that serve people in need? If so, work with your team to find a way you can offer your services in a new way.
A new driving force of CSR has innovative companies rethinking the traditional ideas of simply giving time and money to actually integrating philanthropy into business goals. Join the movement and discover new ways to approach your company philanthropy program.


The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by CSRwire contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of CSRwire.

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