Increasing Corporate Social Responsibility

With technology’s innovative hand reaching further and further every year into the public conscience, corporations are being placed under an increasingly refined microscope. As a result, it would seem that corporate social responsibility is becoming more prevalent, more universal, and quite frankly, more effective. Of course, this is not to say that the issue of corporate social responsibility has been solved in its entirety by any means. It is merely to say that progress is being made. Case in point, climate change.

Climate change is garnering universal recognition. In December, massive conglomerates brainstormed ways in which to combat and postpone impending changes to our planet. Back at the COP21 global climate conference in Paris, a surprising 114 companies committed to “taking action” and to reducing GHG emissions overall. Names as big as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., Dell Inc, General Mills, and Proctor & Gamble Company are just a few recognizable corporations to make the pledge. This coming together of such massive capitalistic organizations is hopefully illustrative of a larger trend, a sort of social partnership.

To elaborate, major brand-name companies the likes of Starbucks, FedEx, and JC Penney also came together to be heard, this time in regards to social inequality. Through a program called the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, these corporations are making a combined effort to hire teenagers who are out school and out of work as well. Breaking down systemic barriers through apprenticeships, internships, part-time and full-time jobs, this philanthropic initiative is just one of many emerging examples of corporate cooperation. Combatting unemployment with social collaboration in this manner is a phenomenon that is truly unprecedented. Further evidence of such altruistic partnerships is also evident in companies voicing their opposition to certain degrading social injustices.

Risking sales to voice concern is not exactly a common attribute of profit-driven organizations, and yet, in 2015 it exists. As LGBT, for example, becomes a mainstream movement, companies are not just voicing their support, but actually acting in kind. H&M went so far as to initiate a campaign made up of exclusively transgender models. To put this in perspective, only 0.2 to 0.3 percent of the United States population is made up of transgender individuals. With this marketing campaign focused on appealing to such a narrow segment of the population, H&M is demonstrating a remarkable effort to spread awareness and acceptance of the LGBT community, and they’re clearly not doing so to chase profits.

This all said, there is still much to be done. Take for example the fact that Apple’s employees in China still work in virtual slavery, or more recently Martin Shkreli’s inexcusable behavior. Yet, while the rumor-mill revolves around inaccuracies and provocative false claims concerning the world’s current behavior, it is refreshing to reflect on the growing set of facts that indicate we are heading in the right direction.