This article is an excerpt from a Diversity Best Practices member research report. Our research reports are usually accessible only to Diversity Best Practices’ member companies. If you are a member company, you can access the full report here. Not a member? Learn more about how to become a member here.
According to Harvard Business Review, the purpose of CSR is to align a company’s social and environmental activities with its business purpose and value. The term generally applies to efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups.
Understanding best practices associated with CSR will ensure companies are effectively addressing their part in environmental and social well-being. PR News lists 10 best practices that will help companies to sustain relationships with internal and external stakeholders:
Here are some examples of how Diversity Best Practice member companies are putting these practices into action.
PNC Financial Services Group – Grow Up Great
PNC has invested $350 million in Grow Up Great, a multi-year, bilingual initiative that provides leadership, advocacy, funding, tools and volunteers to help parents, caregivers and communities prepare young children for success in school and life. The Harvard Business Review has noted admiringly how PNC has “pruned its disparate CSR programs” and zeroed in on early education with Grow Up Great. In so doing, PNC has made its community involvement easily identifiable to its own employees, which may be the most important element of any CSR initiative. Case in point: PNC employees have volunteered more than 650,000 hours and donated more than 933,000 classroom items as part of Grow Up Great.
Since 2004, Grow Up Great has distributed more than $121 million in grants that help young children prepare for school by focusing on readiness in vocabulary development, math, science, financial education and the arts. Through these grants to nonprofit organizations, the program has impacted approximately 3 million children throughout 19 states and the District of Columbia.
JetBlue – Imaginations Take Flight with JetBlue’s Soar with Reading Initiative
Since launching the award-winning Soar with Reading program in 2011, JetBlue has provided more than $2.25 million worth of books to children throughout its network. The program started as a way to beat the “summer slide,” the tendency for students, especially those in low-income areas, to lose some of the achievement gains made during the previous year over the summer break.
Important goals for the 2016 campaign were to continue to build program awareness and distribute more books to children in need via vending machines and simultaneously make a positive impact on children’s reading habits in Detroit. To launch the program and spread the message about the program and the vending machines, JetBlue set out to create buzz via national media attention and social engagement and again enlisted celebrity ambassador Victoria Justice, to engage her fanbase and inspire kids to read.
The two-month program garnered more than 325 million earned, traditional and social media impressions. Top media placements included ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Extra TV online, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, DCist, Detroit Free Press and The Sun Sentinel. The program also received an outpouring of support from education experts and nonprofits, including New York Times chief book critic Michiko Kakutani, New York University and CSPAN’s Book TV.
The Northwestern Mutual foundation works to improve the lives of children and families in need through financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and collaboration with community partners. Their efforts are focused on combatting childhood cancer, promoting education, and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination. The Northwestern Mutual foundation, since it was created in 1992, has given 290 million dollars.
Northwestern Mutual’s childhood cancer program works to accelerate the search for cures for childhood cancer and to provide support for families fighting the disease. Employees and financial representatives lead fundraising events nationwide to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. Northwestern Mutual has also funded research exploring cutting-edge alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation and supports work to better understand disparities in response to treatment or access to care.
Northwestern Mutual’s domestic offices support organizations within their communities that provide housing for families, send kids to camp or provide comfort kits for those diagnosed with cancer. In total, this program has donated over 12 million dollars and funded over 130,000 hours of research.
Note: the full research report includes additional case studies. To access the report, click here.