How a brand continues to get social responsibility right

know about How a brand continues to get social responsibility right

According to a recent report by The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP), corporations are falling short of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) promises, even as they say they have committed to greater transparency, and thus better performance around its environment. , social and governance (ESG) efforts. TriplePundit has written extensively on such failings: lack of diversity within the corporation and even in programs that support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); failure to produce measurable results or examples of goals achieved; and not participate in or report DEI’s efforts.

On the other hand, some companies are tough and have embraced social responsibility not only as a priority but as a core value. One such company is Ben & Jerry’s.

“Our corporate values ​​are based on the values ​​of two real people: our co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield,” said Laura Peterson, Ben & Jerry’s Public Relations Manager. “We have long believed in social, economic and environmental justice, and especially where those areas intersect.”

And there are numerous examples of the company’s bold involvement in social responsibility and, more importantly, social justice.

the Ben & Jerry’s FoundationFounded in 1985, it funds organizations in Vermont and across the country that work for progressive social change.

Inspired by the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in 2020, the Campaign to end qualified immunity is another example. Qualified immunity refers to a law that grants government officials immunity from civil suit in most cases that could be challenged as excessive force or inappropriate behavior.

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As Cohen told CNN’s Victor Blackwell, “Right now, cops have a get-out-of-jail card when they violate someone’s rights.” You have to hold people accountable. That’s what ending qualified immunity is all about.”

Just like the murder of George Floyd inspired Ben & Jerry’s to actSo have the most recent shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people were killed by a teenager with an AR-style rifle. The first major gun safety legislation in recent memory: the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – became law on June 23.

But is it enough? Not according to a recent Ben & Jerry’s Blog:

“Corporate America must acknowledge their role in the continuing gun violence in this country. Money is the lifeblood of our political system and corporations and their trade associations fund the very politicians who offer thoughts and prayers for the victims while ignoring calls from the families of the victims to remove the weapons of war from our streets. It’s time for companies and their trade associations to stop political contributions to elected officials who do the bidding of the gun lobby, blocking the common sense gun laws that nearly all Americans support.”

Other social responsibility priorities Ben & Jerry’s include voting rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, climate justice and campaign finance reform.

The brand’s most recent partnership is with unlock potential (UP). UP, an initiative led by the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ), is an employment program that helps employers use contracting and other resources to give at-risk youth the life opportunities they deserve.

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Peterson also told 3p, “Ben & Jerry’s has an excellent reputation for not only ‘supporting’ programs that positively contribute to racial equity, but it is a model for other large corporations in demonstrating corporate social responsibility.”

In light of the ACCP’s dismal report, the importance of CSR and ESG indices that rank companies based on their viability, 3p asked Ben & Jerry’s to comment on what is necessary to implement meaningful CSR programs and what prevents others from doing so. corporations do.

Peterson said, “I think the main reason other companies aren’t as transparent about our values ​​as we are is fear. For years, companies were told not to get involved in politics because it would automatically alienate some of their potential customers. These days, more and more consumers are demanding transparency about what a company stands for because they vote with their dollars and increasingly want to do business with companies that are aligned with their values.”

As company co-founder Ben Cohen has said, said many times Over the years, the strongest bond a brand can build with a consumer is one of shared values.

Image credit: Antonio Manaligod via Unsplash