Looking for the BEST of Business?
What corporate citizens do for society really matters.
Over the summer and fall, as I’ve come to know the 2012 Corporate Citizenship Awards finalists better, several thoughts kept returning:
- What they do for society really matters – for a lot of people, whether youth, parents, entrepreneurs, disadvantaged individuals, and more.
- How they do it is (now more than ever) channeled through their unique core assets – their people and their products/services.
- Although companies are partners to non-business organizations, corporate citizenship shows the exceptional ability of business to be an innovator, problem solver, opportunity generator, and humanitarian.
- Businesses fuel collaboration with nonprofits and the public sector through their tolerance for risk, their large mobilizations of people and dollars, and their big geographical footprints.
- We’re not the only ones who think these companies “do good” – nine of the finalists are title holders of other sought-after honors including Most Admired, Most Innovative, Most Ethical, and Best Place to Work. Eleven publicly traded finalists are Fortune 100 companies.
You could carve the story of corporate citizenship many different ways based on the 2012 finalists. I am going to focus on four themes – economic empowerment, community investments, environmental systems, and health. Without further ado, here are the finalists. Please join me on Dec. 6th to learn the winners.
Capital One (category: Best Corporate Steward)
- Through “Investing for Good” Capital One offers quality banking services, specialized community development lending, philanthropic support, and pro bono volunteering to generate lasting impact and valuable business results.
Google (category: Best Business Neighbor)
- Google works across the nation to help bring local small businesses online, increasing their opportunity to grow and succeed in the 21st century.
Merck (category: Best Partnership)
- Join My Village (joinmyvillage.org), a poverty-fighting program that empowers girls and women in Malawi and India through health, education and economic opportunities, is collaboration between two major U.S. corporations (General Mills and Merck) and the humanitarian organization CARE.
Qualcomm (category: Best International Ambassador)
- Qualcomm worked with the Grameen Foundation and developed an untraditional way to simultaneously bring mobile telecommunications and entrepreneurial opportunities to Indonesia.
Alcoa (category: Best International Ambassador)
- Setting up a large, new project in a community where a company expands affects a region economically, environmentally, and socially, but Alcoa has shown that by working together both the business and the community can benefit.
Dow Chemical Company (category: Best Business Neighbor)
- Dow listened to the priority needs in its Michigan hometown community -- education, economy, and environment -- and developed DowGIVES to drive local investments of dollars and volunteer hours.
IBM (category: Best Corporate Steward)
- Just as IBM produces technology innovation for its clients to address their global challenges, IBM innovates with these same professional skills and technology to address communities’ social and educational issues.
Intel (category: Best Partnership)
- The Intel Education Service Corps has worked in 16 countries with NGO partners, including World Vision, to set up more than 1,200 Intel classmate PCs and train thousands of teachers and students to effectively use technology.
Caterpillar (category: Best Partnership)
- When disasters strike, even the most basic actions, like driving on a road, become extremely difficult, but Caterpillar works with First Response Team of America to clear the way for people to get help when they need it.
General Motors (category: Best Business Neighbor)
- In just five years, GM has generated $2.5 billion in revenue from its internal recycling program; worldwide, GM’s facilities have recycled more than 90% of the waste they generate.
UPS Foundation (category: Best Business Neighbor)
- Natural disasters affect everyone; through Logistics Action Teams, the UPS Foundation has established a long-term initiative that will support and aid communities in times of need.
Xylem (category: Best International Ambassador)
- Xylem’s brand promise of “solve water” drives its Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative – Water, through which the company leverages its expertise to create real, positive change for vulnerable communities around the world.
DSM (category: Best Corporate Steward)
- As part of its five-year corporate strategy, DSM’s knowledge and capabilities are put to work toward sustainable solutions to micronutrient deficiency, or “hidden hunger.”
NFL -- National Football League (category: Best Business Neighbor)
- The NFL PLAY 60 campaign is an example of an organization harnessing its core expertise (sports), talent (NFL players) and resources (NFL games) to inspire and impact the health of an entire generation.
FedEx (category: Best International Ambassador)
- Together, FedEx and ORBIS are working to eliminate avoidable blindness in the developing world while raising awareness of the impact of blindness among the public here in North America.
GlaxoSmithKline (category: Best International Ambassador)
- GSK decided that prevention is the best medicine in the spread of diarreal disease and since 1998 has combated the problem through the Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) program
Hilton Worldwide (category: Best Partnership)
- A hotel freebie that many of us take for granted now has new meaning. Two million partially used bars of hotel room soap no longer go to waste -- they become part of a life-saving donation.
UnitedHealth Group (category: Best Corporate Steward)
- UHG’s social responsibility initiatives are focused on making a difference in three key areas: preventing and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity; strengthening tomorrow’s healthcare workforce to help build healthier communities; and serving communities through volunteering.
WellPoint (category; Best Partnership)
- WellPoint’s healthcare expertise, industry insights, employee talent, policy advocacy, and involvement with Boys & Girls Clubs of America are helping change the course of an important health issue: youth obesity.
What story of business would you write based on the actions described here?
What grabs you when you read about these finalists? What story of business would you write based on the actions described here? Leave a comment and let us know.
Reservations for the awards celebration on Dec. 6th are still being accepted. Our website has all the details about the event, as well as more information about the award categories and our remarkable guest appearances that evening. (More on that soon!)