In todays society
many consumers aren’t just looking at a companies products and services, but
also if the company is operating responsibly to address issues such as social,
environmental, ethical, and economical matters. According to Richard Watts, Corporate Social
Responsibility is the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically
and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of
the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society
at large. By having a CSR not only will the company be benefiting in the
long run, but it will also improve on its overall public image. Committing time
and effort to various causes the company will be perceived as more of a
philanthropic company. Investors are going to be more likely to be attracted to
these sorts of companies that demonstrate contributions to the health and
welfare of society and not just the profits of the company.
Whenever I think
about a company’s social responsibility the first company that comes to my mind
is TOMS Shoes. I grew up in an environment where I was always giving back to
society in some way whether it was by volunteering or providing food and
clothing to the less fortunate. As a consumer I like to know that the products
that I am purchasing are from a company that provides something to society as
well. I was first attracted to TOMS because of its design but the more I looked
into it the more I learned about the company and wanted to make a purchase. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS,
said, “When you’re buying a new pair of
TOMS, if you don’t feel like your part of a community, then we’ve failed”.
When I purchased my TOMS it didn’t just feel like another transaction that I
was making but I felt like I was contributing to a bigger cause. This approach
may not necessarily be for every customer, but it certainly has worked for
TOMS built an
empire around social responsibility.
Their mission statement even incorporates their CSR, “For every pair you purchase,
TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. One for one”(TOMS). The simple
yet successful CSR model that TOMS developed has provided positive results in
providing environmental and social awareness around the world. The major goal
that TOMS is trying to achieve with its CSR model is to help those in need. The
shoe empire has been awarded on numerous occasions for their goodhearted work
to society. TOMS provides adequate detail to their customers about where the
products are being made and makes sure that their suppliers and vendors are
abiding by the laws in those countries. Within their CSR model TOMS has put and
emphasis on their employees well being by training them on a numerous business
and leadership topics. Over the years the company has continued with its social
responsibility by providing environmentally sustainable products by
incorporating recycled bottles and printing with soy ink, as well as continue
its One for One campaign and donating glasses.
most interesting thing about TOMS is that its CSR is a key component of its
business model. This can be very risky for a company on many levels but TOMS
seems to have demonstrated that a business can operate efficiently by doing so.
Other companies have even started to look up to the company by incorporating
models such as the buy-one-give-one. TOMS is continuing its success by
differentiating its products and providing different styles of shoes, as well
as expanding upon its charitable-giving products.
truly admire what TOMS has done with its company and the One for One campaign.
They built a business by taking a cause they sincerely cared about and found a
solution for it. As a millennial I think that most important thing that appeals
to me the most about TOMS CSR model was how well its products tied back to a
socially conscious cause. When considering international business the company
encourages its employees and customers to join them in traveling aboard to
deliver these shoes. This is known as Giving Trips. Their employees also had
the opportunity to go to Argentina and Ethiopia to actually see how these shoes
were created. Many companies do not provide you with the opportunity to go
aboard for a social cause but TOMS allows its employees to experience this and
helps them see what its like first hand. Over the next couple of years the new
generation of employees will not be looking for a big brand name companies to
work for but they will be look at what companies are doing to help there
communities and environment. Other
companies should consider improving upon their CSR to make a positive impact on
society, while making profit like the shoe empire TOMS.