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Case studies for socially responsible companies

 Case study:

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a very successful company over 50 years old.

  • Total executive compensation is capped at five times the lowest-paid position.
  • Charitable gifting to social and environmental causes matched after-tax income.
  • Employees annually receive 15% of their salary paid into a retirement/profit-sharing plan
  • Employees receive annually up to 25%of salary as a bonus
  • Employees receive a no-deductible PPO health insurance plan for themselves and their families
  • Packaging is 100% post-consumer recycle plastic cylinder bottle
  • Products are made with certified organic oils and contain no petrochemicals or synthetic surfactants.
  • No animal testing.
  • Dr. Bronner’s has signed the Co-op America Woodwise Pledge to be socially responsible through diminishing their consumption of forest tree-based materials and products. In the spirit of this pledge, their bar soap paper label and inner liner are now a 10% hempflax / 90% post-consumer recycled blend (Vanguard Recycled Plus from Living Tree Paper Co.) Their official letterhead is printed on this same paper. All office copy / printer paper is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. They now also silk-screen our cylinder bottles which are now 100% post-consumer recycled plastic in place of the million-plus paper labels they had used per year.

Case study:

Patagonia
“Our definition of quality includes a mandate for building products and working with processes that cause the least harm to the environment. We evaluate raw materials, invest in innovative technologies, rigorously police our waste and use a portion of our profits to support groups working to make a real difference. We acknowledge that the wild world we love best is disappearing. That is why those of us who work here share a strong commitment to protecting undomesticated lands and waters. We believe in using business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.”

“Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. We’ve awarded over 18 million dollars in grants to domestic and international grassroots enviro groups making a difference in their local communities. Now the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, have created a non-profit corporation with the sole purpose of encouraging businesses to give back to the environment.

1% for the Planet® is an alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the natural environment. They understand that profit and loss are directly linked to the health of our environment. In addition, these businesses are concerned with the social and environmental impacts of industry.

Become a member of this socially and environmentally progressive group. By contributing 1% of net annual sales to grassroots enviro groups, members of 1% for the Planet support these passionate groups and affect real change. And members receive other benefits: The satisfaction of paving the way for more corporate responsibility in the business community and the recognition, support and patronage of conscientious consumers who value members’ serious commitment to the environment.

Case study:

The Body Shop

“The Body Shop is a strong global brand and a business with a deep commitment to social and environmental issues….. We will improve supply chain performance through investment in technology, and strengthen our relationship with the franchisee network. In delivering this plan, we will consistently apply our social and environmental principles and demonstrate integrity and transparency in our relationships with our stakeholders.” — Peter Saunders, Chief Executive Officer
“The Body Shop believes that big business has a huge responsibility to use trade not just to make money but also to have a positive influence in the world…As a global business, we trade with local communities, often in remote areas, who wouldn’t normally have the chance to trade directly with companies like The Body Shop.

Community Trade helps re-establish connections between customers and producers. How we spend our money affects the lives of people all around the world. Community Trade gives you the chance to spend your money where it will make the most difference, helping bring about change in communities around the world… By buying products containing Community Traded cocoa butter and shea butter, you make a difference to the lives of cocoa farmers and women producers in Ghana – and to the lives of their children and future generations; by buying Community Traded accessories, you support producers and their communities in India, Bangladesh and many more countries.”

”Community Trade is a targeted purchasing programme of accessories and natural ingredients from disadvantaged communities around the world. It is The Body Shop commitment to fair trade. We get good quality products at a fair price which covers production, wages and also enables communities to invest in their future. They get a sustained source of income which can be used for improving education or sanitation, building homes and modernising farming methods, to name but a few…. But it is about far more than exchanging goods for money – it is also about the quality of the relationships involved. These trading relationships are based on trust and respect and aim to enable communities to work towards their social and economic goals.…

Community Trade is a powerful and practical expression of our commitment to social change, supporting long-term, sustainable trading relationships with communities in need….

Currently, around 500 products contain Community Traded natural ingredients and this number continues to grow.”

“Community Involvement is nothing new to The Body Shop – it is a concept that has always been an integral part of our business and is vital to us going forward into the 21st century. As a socially responsible business we campaign for the protection of the environment, human and civil rights and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.”

“Volunteering supports this work enabling us to positively contribute to the local, national and global communities in which we operate. We are proud of our employees’ enthusiastic involvement in their local communities and actively encourage their participation at the same time as considering the changing expectations of society and the growing environmental and ethical concerns. In understanding this we realize that our support is fundamental and continually explore imaginative new ways of working.”

“The purpose of the Foundation is to give financial support to pioneering, front line organisations who have little hope of conventional funding. Our focus is to assist those working to achieve sustainable progress in the areas of human and civil rights, environmental and animal protection. Eleven years on, the Foundation has donated over £5 million in grants and gift-in-kind support, assisting the work of various worldwide organisations. In addition to the work, the Foundation covers UK administration costs for its two core projects; Brazilian Healthcare Project and children on the edge.”

 

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