Corporate Social Responsibility

Sharon’s post about Core Values led me to think about business mission and value statements.  In the biz world when a company wants to demonstrate they care about the world they do business in, they include what is important in their Mission or Core Values Statement.  If they want to take it a step further they will inform us if abide by the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) tenets.  Mallen Baker, a writer, speaker and strategic advisor on corporate social responsibility and Founding Director of Business Respect, defines CSR as ‘how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society’.
Below are core values of some businesses we might define as those that have CSR.
Patagonia – quality, integrity, environmentalism, not bound by convention
Eileen Fisher – inspire creativity, cultivate connection, instill confidence
Tom’s of Maine – respect, innovation/creativity, accountability
Ben & Jerry’s – innovative, quality, respect

As with people, corporations cannot merely state core values, they must demonstrate them by way of how they practice business.  According to these business websites:  Patagonia donates time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.  Eileen Fisher states that creativity is as integral to soulful living as eating well and laughing like hell. Tom’s of Maine believes that both human beings and nature have inherent worth and deserve our respect.  Ben & Jerry’s submit an annual Social & Environmental Assessment Report to demonstrate how they are socially responsible.

As consumers we can match our values with companies we do business with or buy products from by educating ourselves about what is important to them.  The more meaningful we are with how we spend our money, the more responsible businesses will become because of the value of our purchasing power.  Therefore, it would be worth our time to reflect and identify what is important to us so that we can make decisions that are in alignment with our personal values.  We can make a difference in the corporate, business world!

My next post will include my own personal values as well as some information on a yoga and wellness workshop I will be leading in September.  In the workshop we will examine how to identify our top 3 personal values and consider how we might live those values on and off the mat.


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