5 Ways to Choose the Most Responsible Business

Studies by GlobeScan find that, despite the rise in trends for companies to be socially responsible, “significant numbers of survey respondents around the world cannot or will not name a single socially responsible company when asked, and this proportion

Studies by GlobeScan find that, despite the rise in trends for companies to be socially responsible, “significant numbers of survey respondents around the world cannot or will not name a single socially responsible company when asked, and this proportion appears to be rising in many countries.” Sadly, this is not surprising. How can an average person distinguish a “good” company from a “bad” one in terms of social responsibility? Below are five things to consider when determining if a company is socially responsible.

Volunteering Time and Expertise

Volunteering is a popular choice for companies looking for ways to be socially responsible. Companies who work with a food bank, host drives for needed items, or even companies who join charity walks or runs are putting forth an effort to be socially responsible. Some companies choose volunteer activities that match their message and values, while others select volunteer activities that they are passionate about.

Donations

Donations are a powerful method for companies to give back to those in need. Many companies that donate do not have the time to volunteer but still want to give back to people the only way they can, and donations are not limited to money. Some companies will donate their merchandise to people in need.

Cause Promotion and Cause-Related Marketing

Cause promotion and cause-related marketing fall under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, but each has slight differences:

  • Cause promotions are specifically for increasing awareness about a particular cause, without sales in mind. A company will often use their resources and brand voice to get the word out about a cause to illustrate company values.
  • Cause-related marketing has social responsibility in mind, but it does correlate with sales. An example of this is offering a product where a percentage of each sale goes to a specific charity. Another example is buying a product to give a product. When a particular product is purchased, a company will provide that same product to someone in need. While cause-related marketing may boost a company’s product sales, it also demonstrates social responsibility.

Workplace Behavior

The workplace of a company also factors into CSR. Are the lights off when they close for the night? Do employees promote donations or recycling programs in the store locations where they work? Do they use both sides of printer paper or just one side? These things are small, but they add up. Small changes make significant differences; a company’s commitment to (and training toward) social responsibility is typically evident in its employees’ behavior.

For example, Classy’s blog shows six companies that are doing their part to be socially responsible. These companies include Google, Ben & Jerry’s, LEGO, Levi Strauss, Warby Parker, and Microsoft. Go ahead and give them the applause they deserve. With millennials pushing for companies to become more socially responsible, other companies will follow their lead. Keep your eye out for the next “good” business.