My firm (and likely very misguided) belief is that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arose around the same time as the popularity of “The Simpsons.” A close-up of despicable Mr. Burns springs to my mind, laughing maniacally in the foreground, while in the background, the three-eyed fish swims and jumps in Springfield’s nuclear reactor run-off water.
Many companies today combat that negative corporate image, by dedicating time and resources toward environmental sustainability, just causes, and charities. By expressing their mission and purpose, businesses show that they have a conscience, while simultaneously leveraging their CSR programs to engage their workers.
Technology connects with culture/mission
Corporations who hold themselves socially responsibility have the power to effect change. In fact, a recent Cone Communications study showed that 60 percent of Americans want businesses to effect social and global change, “in the absence of government regulation.” American customers went on to say that as much as 87 percent of them would show loyalty “because a company supported an issue they care about.”
Unsurprisingly, the technology industry is taking more ownership of just causes, and getting recognition for it too. In 2015, there were no leading technology companies listed in Reputation Institute's top businesses with stellar reputations. But within a year, that trend about-faced, with four tech corporations popping up on the top 10 CSR list. And the most innovative high-tech companies leverage CSR to boost their Worker and Customer Experience.
Top tech CSR programs
Today, many leading tech organizations invest in countless ways to help the environment, while building a sense of place, culture, and pride into their greater mission. Here are some of the most unique CSR programs offered by companies in the tech industry, many of which were recognized in Great Places to Work’s list of “Great Workplaces for Giving Back.”:
- VMWare: This software firm was recently named “2018 Best Workplaces for Giving Back” by Great Place to Work and Fortune. Corporate social responsibility is not only an impactful initiative for the C-Suite to chase after, but a full set of principles for their workers to embrace. In fact, they religiously refer to what they call EPIC2 (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customer, and Community) values. VMWare workers go by a Citizen Philosophy, where each employee determines where to donate time and resources. In fact, VMWare polled their workers, and 92 percent of them are happy with how and where the company gives back.
- Salesforce: The theme for Dreamforce 17’ featured diversity and inclusion, where Salesforce and all its partners ensure that all their workers have a dedicated Worker Experience (WX) program, that includes equality, across the entire Salesforce organization. If you want to learn more about how dedicated Salesforce is to diversity and inclusion, visit their Earthforce page, where you can learn more about Abilityforce, Blackforce, Latinoforce, Outforce, and other groups. In addition to encouraging a stronger WX through cultural change, they also achieve greater good through environmental sustainability.
- Google: This familiar name has long been recognized for their mission-based environmental and charity work. It helps that they have dedicated staff who consistently build upon their Google Giving programs. Through Google Giving, the organization offers its workers a hub where they can give back, donate, volunteer, and support local nonprofits independently.
- Workday: As with many other top tech companies with an eye for doing good, Workday offers a sustainability program and a cultural change program. The Workday Foundation “look for organizations that are using innovative solutions to break the cycle of poverty by creating lasting economic security through meaningful employment.”
- Adobe Systems: This business innovates to conserve, educates global youth, and encourages their employees and partners into developing solutions to effect change. By offering underrepresented youth educational opportunities (like coding and Photoshop classes) and tuition reimbursement, Adobe injects creative inspiration into children’s lives. They also offer a skilled volunteering program that pair’s worker’s pro bono hobbies and side work to their local communities and interests.
- Intel: Intel offers four subcategories under its CSR program — environmental sustainability, supply chain responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and social impact. And their CSR program has been in growing for decades. In fact, they’ve been working on water conservation since 1998, and have saved over 57 billion gallons of water in that time. Included in their listed guiding principles, Intel dedicated resources to such causes as human trafficking and political accountability, with policies on topics like effective mineral sourcing, water, climate change, and environmental health and safety.
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