Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

Sometimes a company’s reputation precedes them. This makes all the difference between public perception of the much beloved Walt Disney Company and the recently-vilified Nestlé. Casual consumers look to Disney and associate the brand with their numerous charitable acts like contributions to disaster relief foundations and volunteer efforts. Meanwhile, Nestlé is so engulfed with controversies at the moment that it is difficult to disassociate them from the accusations (child slavery, water exploitation, and rainforest destruction) that have plagued them.

In a company’s effort to improve their public reputation, they will often institute a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. It ensures that the company’s philosophy and business decisions will ultimately be beneficial to society and the environment and is a method of self-regulation. It is usually linked to their industry, speaking directly to the interests of consumers and shareholders.

Starbucks, Disney and Google have approached their CSR policies in unique ways, involving communities, charities, and attempting to inspire other companies to follow in their footsteps.

Starbucks C. A. F. E.

Starbucks’ C. A. F. E. practices has been the company’s method of ensuring the ethical sourcing of their coffee. It is a popular staple amongst activists and humanitarians for more than a decade. The C. A. F. E program combines quality and economic accountability with social responsibility and environmental leadership. This simply means that the beans have been produced and delivered by ethical means, devoid of child or forced labor. It provides better working and trading conditions for farmers across South America, Asia and Africa. This program has made Starbucks seem the ideal choice for the more compassionate java-lovers.

Volunteerism at Disney

Walt Disney has always encouraged employees to give their time to community service programs like VoluntEARS which provides volunteer services to charitable not-for-profit organizations. It focuses primarily on projects benefitting children and families through the focused support of education, health, the environment, arts and social service initiatives. Since 2012, the VoluntEARS program has contributed a total of more than 2.9 million hours of service. These efforts helped cement Walt Disney’s public profile as a philanthropic leader.

Google Green

Heads turned when Google announced plans to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy in 2017. This means a full transformation of all their data centers around the world. The search engine titan announced that their plans aren’t just for the sake of having a more cost-efficient option, but to reduce their carbon footprint as technology companies now account for two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change being a such a contentious issue and in the forefront of the public’s mind, Google doing their best to help through the use of renewable energy helps make them one of the most reputable companies on the globe.



A. Correa | DBPC Blog