Green Business Bureau Blog
Green Corporate Social Responsibility
Green Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined by Investopedia.com as the “Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and social welfare. The term generally applies to company efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups.”
In a Corporate Citizenship Study conducted by Landor, Burson Masteller and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, they have found out that out of 69 brands, respondents perceived the following 23 brands as socially responsible.
These brands are also included in the Corporate Responsibility Officer (CRO) 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2009. Intel topped the list in 2008. CRO 100 is regarded for its ranking and comparisons of major companies’ policies on environment and climate change, human rights, philanthropy and its financial and governance strategies. See full list here.
In the CRO 100 list, Bristol Myers ranked number one. The award is remarkable because the company has actually landed at the penalty box in the previous year. Some of the company’s green initiatives include:
1. Green Chemistry which allows their scientists to become solvent free in daily processes.
2. Solar panel as source of annual 37,500 kilowatt-hours electricity which is equivalent to reduction of 15,000 greenhouse gas emission.
3. Compliance to LEED Green Building Rating System for its biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Denver, Massachusetts.
4. Recycling of paper, cardboard printer cartridges, solvents, electronic equipments etc.
Microsoft has been in the forefront of CSR through its commitment to reduce the impact of its operations and products and to become a leader in environmental responsibility. It has also invested in a private transportation system for its employees to curb carbon emissions through public commuting. The company’s effort can also be seen at simple green practices by completely taking out polystyrene in the cafeteria and replacing it with compostable cups, plates and flatware.
In an article published by Business Week on September 2006, it reports that for more than a decade, Nike has been attacked by environmentalist for its use of SF6 which is a super potent greenhouse gas. Along these years, the company has been quiet in its trial and error research to do away with this material. After exactly 14 years, the company have successfully replace SF6 with nitrogen without sacrificing their profit or performance. This initiative allowed Nike to come up with Air Max 360 which gave them even more profit for the products comfort yet less weight. From a whopping 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the company has drastically transformed into a green business.
Green Awards is also in the process of accepting applicants for 2009 Green Awards for Creativity and Sustainability. Among the questions included in the application form include “What materials have been used to reduce the environmental impact (recyclable and biodegradable etc)? Has energy usage been considered? Provide qualitative and quantitative evidence of the sustainable impact of the work and Why should you win a Green Award?” Green Awards is well known for naming companies that use Greenwash campaign. Greenwash is a term used for misleading clients to think that are “green” in their marketing or advertising campaign.
Green Corporate Social Responsibility has gained popularity among organizations and individuals in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many companies have become aware of the damaging effects of the present environment. Former US Vice President Al Gore can also be cited as one of the pioneers of green public social awareness through its documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth.”