Responsible Company

All posts in the Responsible Company category

Responsible Company: Microsoft

Published July 11, 2012 by oliviadufour

Microsoft has a very extensive corporate social responsibility program, as their report is 80 pages long and they have a wide range of commitments.  Microsoft has a mission “To help people and businesses around the world realize their full potential.”  The company has been working with partners to use their technology to solve a range of social issues.  They work with public and private sectors to find ways technology can help solve some of the challenges in today’s society.  They help strengthen local economies by supporting IT infrastructure, workforce development, innovation, research, and access to technology.  They provide affordable and accessible technology for “those at the bottom and middle of the economic pyramid.”

Microsoft has been known for improving the quality of education around the world by using their skills to serve local needs.  The company is helping overcome the global shortage of well-trained teachers and provide students the skills in critical science technology, technology, engineering, and math.  In order to meet the needs, the company is using the internet to provide greater access to better education opportunities and providing technology tools for teachers to use in their curriculum. Microsoft set a gaol in 2003 to reach 250 million students and teachers in 115 countries or regions through Partners in Learning by 2013 and they are certainly on track to reach the goal.  So far, since 2003, they have reached almost 2010 million students and teachers in 120 countries.

The company helps thousands of nonprofits obtain greater access to technologies to achieve their missions.  In the past year, Microsoft donated more than $844 million in software to nonprofits in 113 countries and regions. Since 1998, the company has donated more than $3.9 billion in software.  Microsoft offers many ways to train people to use the technology, which includes hosting more than 100 NCO Connection Days, holding webinars, and working with Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) to train 100 nonprofit leaders to manage information technology.

As the company saw the challenges of handling natural disasters, as workers lack in technology skills to find and keep employment and people struggle in dealing with communication, Microsoft has achieved their goal in developing and implementing cloud solutions to assist disaster response while also helping businesses recover more quickly.  The cloud solutions has already been used in Japan’s natural disaster in 2011.  As the company continues to meet the needs of disaster relief, they are also partnering with relief agencies and government and utilizing social media to bring in global donations and awareness.

Microsoft is taking an initiative to use gaming as a teaching tool.  In the past year, the company launched Kinect for Xbox360.  Teachers around the world are using Kinect to assist in stimulating students’ language literacy, numeracy development, and physical fitness.  “One school principal in South Africa observed that students focus so intensely on the games that they overcome their inhibitions and learn more easily.

These are just the glimpses of Microsoft’s amazing corporate social responsibility program.  You can read more about their corporate social responsibility by clicking here.

Responsible Company: The Body Shop

Published June 27, 2012 by oliviadufour

When going on the Body Shop home page, their CSR information is readily found by clicking on “Values & Campaigns” on top of the page next to the logo. Their “Values & Campaigns” section is so overwhelmed with information that it is evident that the Body Shop is concerned about being responsible and is very upfront with their consumers.

The Body Shop was founded by Anita Riddick in 1976 in England on a strong model of being socially responsible, long before the concept of CSR became the norm, as the goal was to be a natural, environmentally minded cosmetics shop.

The company is one of the first cosmetic company to introduce fair trade ingredients to their industry.  The Body Shop calls this initiative “Community Trade,” which means that they purchase ingredients and other products from marginalized communities to give them the opportunity to have access to the global market and provide fair income.  The company is providing over 25,000 underprivileged farmers and producers access to the global market.

Blue corn from the US, cactus mitts from Mexico, organic bergamot oil and organic olive oil from Italy, and organic babassu oil and organic soya oil from Brazil are all examples of natural ingredients the Body Shop uses from all over the world.  They obtain their ingredients from small farms such as El Guabo in Ecuador where they get bananas that supermarkets won’t buy because they’re in the wrong shape and size.

Click here to see their interactive page on ingredients that are used in their products. Their interactive page is so detailed with information explaining from where the ingredients exactly originated.

The Body Shop has a strong policy not to allow their cosmetic products be tested on animals and even insist their suppliers not to test their ingredients on animals for cosmetic purposes too.

The company also ensure and verify that its supply chain has no forced labor and child labor and has a document providing the details.

The Body Shop even has a global volunteering policy for their employees, giving at least three paid volunteering days a year.  They work with charities that help people with learning difficulties and support the rights of children around the world.

Click here to read more details about their extraordinary CSR program.

Responsible Company: Timberland

Published June 14, 2012 by oliviadufour

As Invup believes in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and employee engagement, we are profiling companies that are committed to being responsible.

Timberland provides incredibly accessible CSR report and information about their CSR program.  When entering the website, Timberland Responsibility, the wealth of information can overwhelm one person, as some terminologies may be unfamiliar to a person with little to no knowledge in CSR.  There are also many pages covering four broad categories: Climate, Product, Factories and Service.  The fact that it takes at least a few hours to read the entire website shows that Timberland is really concerned about being transparent by ensuring the consumers are very well aware of their actions.

Many articles under each categories do not only include text, but also graphs presenting their progress in improving their social responsibilities.

It is evident that Timberland sets ambitious and aggressive goals, as they show what they want to achieve by 2015.  For instance, the graph for Greenhouse Gas Emissions shows 16,482 metric tons of carbon was released to the atmosphere in 2011, and Timberland has set to release no more than 12,775 metric tons of carbon by 2015.

Timberland aims to improve in protecting the outdoors by not only releasing fewer tons of carbon, but also increasing the use of renewable energy, in particular in Europe.[1. Click Here]  Timberland even reaches out to the stores by replacing less efficient incandescent spotlights with LED spotlights in almost all of North American stores.

To improve the environmental performances in the leather manufacturing industry, Timberland along with other brands formed a coalition, Leather Working Group (LWG).  Timberland aims to source leather only from tanneries that are rated silver or higher, which is a very difficult task and shows another example of Timberland setting aggressive goals.

Timberland provides their factory workers more than just food, shelter, clean water, and access to quality health care and education.  They also assist in stress management, parenting and managing relationships and marriage.

Timberland partners with Verite, “an independent nonprofit social auditing, training, and research organization to ensure that working conditions around the world are fair, legal and safe.”[2. Click Here]

For the past 20 years, the company has been giving their “employees 40 hours of paid time off to serve in their communities.”[3. Click Here]  The company completed over 800,000 hours of service across the globe as of 2012.  Also, at Timberland Taiwan, consumers are given opportunities to volunteer by participating in Timberland events and even receive rewards by giving a free t-shirt for volunteering 24 hours throughout the year or free Earthkeepr boots and a teddy bear for 40 hours.

These facts are just a glimpse of Timberland’s thick stack of information on social responsibility.  Click here to read more about their responsibility program.

 

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