Patagonia’s Unconventional CSR

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Image source: Patagonia.com

California-based Patagonia, which specializes in outdoor apparel, has taken an unexpected and untraditional approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Sustainability, giving back and caring for the planet are firmly connected in a company conviction that’s clear for customers and the business world to see. That’s supported by Patagonia initiatives to buy and consume less.

A family business owned by Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, Patagonia’s mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”BtheChange.jpg

Yvon wrote in the company’s biography, Let My People Go Surfing, “Patagonia exists to challenge conventional wisdom and present a new style of responsible business.” True to form, in 2012, it was one of the first companies in California to become a Certified B Corporation.

Social & Environmental Activism

Knowing the resources it uses and waste it produces, Patagonia believes it has a responsibility to give back. Rather than thinking of what they do as charity or traditional philanthropy, the company calls it “our Earth Tax,” and considers it part of the cost of doing business.

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Image source: Patagonia.com

For the past 30 years, through its membership in 1% For The Planet® (an alliance of businesses), Patagonia has given 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. To date, the company has donated $70 million in cash and in-kind services to 3,400 grassroots groups. A few stats show how the company supported environmental and social initiatives this past year:

(For a detailed look at Patagonia’s work in 2015, check out its Environmental + Social Initiatives booklet.) 

Sustainable Clothes & Supply Chain

Patagonia is determined to create “the world’s most socially and environmentally responsible supply chain,” and has steered the clothing industry into a more sustainable direction through its actions.


With products and suppliers.
In 1993, Patagonia was the first outdoor clothing manufacturer to use fleece made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic soda bottles. And in 1996, it switched to using organically grown cotton in all cotton products.  It was also one of first major outdoor companies to work with Fair Trade USA on its Fair Trade Certified apparel.

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Image source: Patagonia.com

In 2007, to be more transparent about its supply chain, the company started publishing the environmental impacts of articles of clothing in The Footprint Chronicles® as well as including it on Patagonia’s product pages.

Within the industry. As a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition—an alliance of 30 companies in the clothing and footwear industries formed in 2010—Patagonia and member companies measure their environmental and social and labor impacts, benchmark performances against each other, and publish the results in a social and environmental performance index.

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Image source: GreenBiz, collateral at the Yerdle-Patagonia event in SF

The company’s belief in environmental conservation and corporate responsibility is integrated into its anti-consumption advertising. Maybe the most recognized of these ads ran on Black Friday in 2011 with the surprising message: “Don’t Buy This Jacket”, encouraging consumers not to buy what they didn’t need.  Patagonia has echoed this message over the years in its “buy used” marketing with eBay, and most recently, through its Worn Wear initiative about repairing clothes. While many think these messages fly in the face of why the company exists, Patagonia firmly believes it’s just the right thing to do.

Making a Bigger Difference

Patagonia’s commitment to inspire and implement environmental solutions reaches beyond the industry. In 2013, the company launched $20 Million and Change, through a holding company, Patagonia Works. It’s dedicated to a singular cause: using business to help solve the environmental crisis. With this fund, Patagonia helps like-minded, responsible start-up companies which want to work with nature rather than using it up.

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Image source: Patagonia.com

Humble about its CSR accomplishments, Patagonia states: “We have a long way to go and we don’t have a map—but we do have a way to read the terrain and take the next step, and then the next.”

If you’re inspired by Patagonia to take steps and give back through your company’s CSR efforts, we’re ready to help. Just contact us.

For more philanthropy news and CSR insights, subscribe to our Company Blog and follow us on LinkedIn.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

Who receives the tax deduction for a company giving program?

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Featured FAQ:
Tax deductions for a company giving program

With JustGive’s platform and products, your company can run a variety of different giving campaigns to engage employees and customers. All helping you make an impact and meet your corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals.11746126673_99c795bc97_m

As a nonprofit organization, we take care of compliance and offer ways for you to easily conduct a charitable donation or disaster campaign or year-round giving program (matching optional) to inspire giving. We also can partner with you to process donations for an existing campaign. And then there’s our customizable charity gift cards which you can use to reward and thank employees and customers.

Now, when it comes to tax deductions…

Question
Who receives the tax deduction when a company runs a giving program with JustGive for employees or customers?

Answer
5734698907_2021017b24_mIn most cases, your company is eligible for a tax deduction for all donations made through a giving program powered by JustGive. This can depend on the program, though, so contact us for more information.

If your company purchases charity gift cards or claim codes to give to employees or customers, you receive the tax deduction. That deduction cannot be passed along to the recipient.

So giving programs benefit your company in several valuable ways:

4141454994_e86daae7cc_qTo keep up on all the latest philanthropy news and insights, Subscribe to our blog, and follow us on LinkedIn.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? Cost?

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FEATURED CORPORATE FAQ:

Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? Cost?

Today’s workforce is paying a lot more attention to a company’s CSR efforts and its campaigns to support social causes. And studies show corporate citizenship makes a difference in business success.

corp_citizenIn a survey of millennials, Deloitte found they choose to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society. So your future leaders are looking for all the ways your company shows you’re serious about it.

Your giving campaigns are key to demonstrating your commitment. How do you set them up to be most effective, with company-matching donations and rewards for the volunteer hours of your employees? That’s where JustGive—and our experience—can help.

Question
Does JustGive support donation matching campaigns? What are the costs?

Answer
Yes, we can process matching donations or volunteer hours for your giving program. The costs vary, depending on the scope and duration of your giving program.

We support all types of donation campaigns—for your cause marketing or social responsibility efforts, a disaster, and more. Processing matching donations for them may be as simple as sending a monthly file to JustGive with details, and having us disburse checks to your charities.

We can also set up a branded, customized site for a year-round charitable campaign that includes your company match.

For one of our partners, Cisco, we have provided employee giving program support for years. Check out what they have to say about their experience.

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Cost
For matching donation campaign support, there is an annual fee for licensing our Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and there may be fees for program setup and customization. We would also apply a per-check or flat processing fee.

For a giving program that lets employees or customers donate to any charity or choose from a list of specific charities, there may be a cost associated with licensing the charity data. And to cover processing for credit card donations, we take a small percentage from each donation.

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Contact us to talk about what you’d like to do with your giving program, and we’ll provide you with specific information about cost.

To keep up on the latest philanthropy insights, subscribe to our Blog and follow JustGive on LinkedIn

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant

Optical Underground: Glasses & Charity

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It’s estimated that 3 out of 4 people in the United States wear corrective lens of some kind. Of those, 71% wear glasses.

That’s why JustGive was excited to work with Optical Underground, an eyewear retailer located just down the street from us here in San Francisco. The company was readying a re-launch of their website, and they contacted us for ideas on how to incorporate charitable giving into their customer experience.

Optical Underground has a long history of giving back to San Francisco. Founder Ira Silverstein opened the shop just after the 1906 earthquake. He took his optician’s kit to the earthquake refugee camps and gave new glasses to anyone who had lost theirs in the quake.

Since then, Optical Underground has continued to support community-wide issues like homelessness, health care and education. JustGive Charity Gift Cards turned out to be the perfect solution to help the retailer include giving as part of their online shopping experience.

 

With every purchase at opticalunderground.com, customers have the option to add a $10 JustGive charity gift card to their order, which discounts the price of their glasses by the same amount. They can then redeem their gift card towards a donation to any charity of their choice (nearly 2 million on our site).

“JustGive’s worldwide reach solved the dilemma of how we can do good outside our community, and do it in a way that allows our customers to decide what’s important to them,” said Cynthia Silverstein, Brand Strategist for Optical Underground.

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We also built a custom, branded website for Optical Underground’s charity gift card redemptions. So even after customers receive their charity gift card, they continue to experience the company’s brand throughout the gift card redemption process. Customers simply search for the charity they want to support and enter their claim code at checkout to complete their donation.

If you’re ready for some new glasses and want to “see” yourself into some charitable giving, head over to opticalunderground.com!

– Sarah Bacon
Director of Product

Campbell’s – A CSR Leader

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When I say Campbell’s, the first thing that comes to mind is tomato soup—especially since it’s one of the top 10 foods sold off shelves in U.S. grocery stores today. But you may not know what stands behind the familiar products you enjoy: a business that has integrated social responsibility and sustainability into everything it does.

A Bit of History

campbellsThe company was started 146 years ago, in 1869, when Joseph Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer, opened their first plant in Camden, New Jersey. Twenty eight years later, Campbell’s created five varieties of condensed soup, including the now-favorite tomato. National distribution of soups followed in 1911.

Campbell’s founders pioneered values the company practices today. It is driven and inspired by its purpose: “real food that matters for life’s moments.” The company believes it has a duty to the people who use its products, the communities that support them, and the earth that provides its ingredients. Those values extend to the Campbell’s family of brands, including Pepperidge Farms, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum Organics.

Corporate Social Responsibility Approach

CSR and sustainability for the Campbell Soup Company means:

  • Advancing global wellness and nutrition
  • Helping build a more sustainable environment
  • Honoring its role in society from the farm to the family

v8_products_image03Embracing social responsibility, the company considers its impact across the life cycle of products—the ingredients used, how they’re made and more—and annually reports on CSR performance. (Here’s the latest complete CSR report.)

The company’s formal CSR strategy, started six years ago, is based on four pillars:

Nourishing the planet: Environmental Stewardship

Campbell’s goal is to cut the environmental footprint of its products in half by 2020. Among other actions, this includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use, and eliminating packaging materials. Since 2008, the company has reduced gas emissions by 17.1% and water consumption by 27.4%. And Campbell’s has eliminated more than 89 million pounds of packaging materials since 2009.

Nourishing consumers: Interactions with customers and consumers

For Campbell’s, nourishing consumers means continuing to offer products that promote wellness—with a variety of affordable, convenient and great-tasting foods. In 2014, $2.5 billion of Campbell’s retail sales (about 32%) were foods that satisfied the FDA definition of healthy.

Nourishing employees: Building a high-performance workplace

safetyPhotoCampbell’s is creating a diverse, inclusive and engaging work environment. Its employees, currently 45% women, include the first female CEO and president, Denise Morrison. CSR and sustainability goals are baked into its culture, with company Greatness Awards recognizing employees and teams for results that directly support business strategies and values.

Nourishing neighbors: Community Service

Improving the health of young people in hometown communities is the focus of Campbell’s Healthy Communities program, a $10 million, 10-year initiative. Last year:

  • Employees around the globe contributed more than 15,000 hours of volunteer service to their local communities.
  • During the company’s annual Make a Difference Week, more than 1,100 employees across the United States tackled 90 community projects.

Serving communities is also about philanthropy—giving money, grants and in-kind donations to help them. In 2014, Campbell’s charitable giving totaled more than $70 million, with about $60 million in kind, and another $10 million from corporate donations, cause marketing, nonprofit grants and employee giving.

Campbell’s most recent CSR efforts earned the company the #8 spot on the 2015 list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens compiled by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. That’s a move up from #11 in 2014.

campbellsCampbell’s understands that what they do, every day, matters—and their actions make it clear they take being a good corporate citizen to heart. Borrowing from a popular company marketing campaign, you could say their CSR is M’m, M’m, Good!

Inspired to consider improving your CSR efforts and looking for ways to incorporate philanthropy to make a bigger difference?  Contact us today—we can help.

– Andrea Lloyd
Director of Programs

 

 

Making an Impact – TOMS style

Image Source: www.toms.com

Image Source: http://www.toms.com

TOMS Shoes is a shoe company like no other – for every pair of shoes they sell, they give another to a child in a developing country. In case you don’t already know how it got started in 2006, founder Blake Mycoskie was traveling in Argentina when he saw children facing hardships because they were growing up without shoes. He discovered alpargatas, the traditional South American flat shoes, then spent a day fitting 250 children with their own pair.

Here’s the inspiring story:

Giving Back

Giving is in the company’s DNA and embedded in its brand promise. TOMS believes in improving people’s lives through business. So what began as a simple One for One® shoe idea has grown into a powerful business model that marries fun, profit and social good. Through an expanded product line, consumer purchases, and partners, TOMS giving now includes:

  • Sight – For each eyewear purchase, another person receives a full eye exam and treatment needed (glasses to surgery). TOMS has helped restore sight for more than 300,000 people in 13 countries.
  • Water – Each bag of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee provides a week’s supply of safe water. The company has supplied over 100,000 weeks of safe water in 7 countries where they also source sustainable coffee beans.
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    Image Source: http://www.toms.com

    Safe Births – This year, TOMS Bag Collection launched in 4 countries with 3 Giving Partners to help address the need for advancements in maternal health. Each bag purchase provides training for skilled attendants and distributes birth kits containing items a woman needs to safely give birth.

In 2013, TOMS committed to locally producing one third of their Giving Shoes in areas where they give them away. This has led to creating over 700 jobs and producing more than 8 million pairs of shoes in factories in Argentina, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India and Kenya.

TOMS works with nearly 120 Giving Partners (nonprofit humanitarian organizations) to fulfill its One for One promise.

In addition to One for One purchases, TOMS is the force behind at least two global issue awareness days each year. Thursday, May 21, is the company’s annual One Day Without Shoes to raise awareness for children’s health and education. For every photo of bare feet tagged on Instagram, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need — no purchase necessary. (Pass it on!)

Image Source: www.toms.com

Image Source: http://www.toms.com

Corporate Responsibility

For TOMS, Corporate Responsibility includes “focusing on the environmental and social impacts of our products and operations, responsible giving, and employee life.” This means not only making products from sustainable and vegan materials, and ensuring that suppliers comply with their country’s labor laws . . . but also building environmentally-friendly new stores, and providing startup funds for 20+ new companies with a social mission.

Image Source: www.toms.com

Image Source: http://www.toms.com

As one of the only company we know with a Chief Giving Officer, giving is core to TOMS work as a responsible company. In the words of Mycoskie, “Ultimately, I’m trying to create something that’s going to be here long after I’m gone.”  Now that’s what you call a worthwhile legacy!

To read more about Mycoskie’s journey as an entrepreneur and insights from founders of other well-known brands that give back, check out his book, Start Something That Matters.

Inspired to get started or build on your company’s giving program? Just contact us.

– Candy Culver
Marketing Consultant