The best CSR campaigns show the world that a business is a good corporate citizen. As a good corporate citizen, a business is committed to making environmentally-friendly decisions and caring about all humans.
Successful companies utilize philanthropic gestures, well-being initiatives, and sustainability efforts to garner brand loyalty and trust. These CSR strategies have long-term benefits with both the consumer and company growth in mind.
CSR might seem a far-fetched idea, but popular brands and franchises are using sustainable business strategies and are experiencing growth and improved customer satisfaction.
Continue reading to learn more about the best CSR campaigns and how your business can emulate the CSR strategies of successful companies.
- 1 What is CSR?
- 2 Why is CSR Important?
- 3 Elements of an Impactful CSR Strategy
- 4 Best CSR Campaigns
- 4.1 1. LEGO: Rebuild The World
- 4.2 2. Levis: Buy Better, Wear Longer
- 4.3 3. Wells Fargo: Earning Back Your Trust
- 4.4 4. IKEA: People and Planet Positive
- 4.5 5. Adidas: Impossible Is Nothing
- 5 Wrapping Up
What is CSR?
CSR is an abbreviation for Corporate Social Responsibility. When a company is socially responsible, it means that they make efforts to preserve the planet, its resources, and the well-being of its people.
CSR activities are a social commitment from a company. In the short term, efforts to help the environment and stand up for human rights may affect a company’s profit. In the long term, CSR activities are beneficial for business.
Why is CSR Important?
Socially responsible organizations understand that we need the planet and its citizens to continue to conduct business. CSR is important because corporations have a larger impact than a single person alone.
On the negative side, corporations are responsible for huge amounts of waste, pollution, and depleted resources. But positively, corporations have the money, technology, and global spread to make adjustments to their production methods and internal processes to drastically reduce their negative impacts. Corporations can finance innovative solutions to help solve some of the problems they played a major role in creating.
Conscious companies see the benefits of CSR. Consumers are responding well when businesses share their CSR efforts with their stakeholders because they see that the company has values and an ethical mindset.
Elements of an Impactful CSR Strategy
CSR strategies look different for each company, but many CSR plans have some main elements in common:
- Sustainability in the supply chain
- A mitigated carbon footprint
- Corporate social justice
- Innovative and long-term mindsets
Below, we will show CSR examples and discuss what each of the above points looks like in different industries.
Best CSR Campaigns
The CSR programs listed below are examples of how businesses acknowledge their ethical responsibility. All of these CSR strategies focus on more than one singular issue, they understand that humans, our environment, and the products that we buy are all interrelated.
1. LEGO: Rebuild The World
The team at the toy-store LEGO has been taking big steps with their CSR efforts. The LEGO Rebuild The World campaign focuses on the slogan: If you can dream it, build it.
LEGO wanted to set an example for kids and began building a better world. The Our LEGO Responsibility commercial shows how LEGO is working with renewable energy sources to mitigate its carbon footprint.
The LEGO brand uses innovative ways of looking at business to build strong brand loyalty. LEGO Replay places LEGO donations in the hands of low-income families so that children of any economic background can enjoy the creativity and educational fun of playing with LEGOs.
LEGO Replay comes out of a long-term mindset that supports a circular economy. Rather than encouraging single-use, LEGO is encouraging reuse to the benefit of the environment and citizens.
Internally, the LEGO Sustainability Responsible Workplace commercial shows that corporate social justice is also on LEGO’s radar.
Measurable Outcomes from the LEGO CSR Campaign
By partnering with the World Wildlife fund, LEGO committed to reducing the energy consumption of all elements of LEGO products by 10%.
LEGO’s goal was to have all processes 100% balanced by renewable energy by 2020. LEGO invested in 110 offshore wind turbines that generate more power than LEGO consumes in all of its stores, offices, and manufacturing plants combined. LEGO achieved this goal three years early, in 2017.
LEGO Replay has benefited over 100,000 children with over 700,000 lbs of bricks being donated.
LEGO reported earnings in every quarter of 2021. They also reported growth in consumer sales and revenue.
2. Levis: Buy Better, Wear Longer
The clothing brands Levi Strauss and Co. and Levi’s Jeans have a CSR plan that disrupts the notion of fast fashion.
In 2021, Levi’s released the Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign to encourage long-term sustainability. Levi’s sustainability efforts are built on the three pillars of climate, consumption, and community.
Levi’s wants consumers to wear their clothes for generations, not seasons, highlighting the importance of quality and durability in clothes.
To mitigate the environmental impacts of the denim industry on the planet, Levi’s Buy Better, Wear Longer campaign includes goals for 100% renewable electricity sources by 2025 and 100% of their products manufactured with Water<Less technology.
The new collection of WellThread jeans showcases Levi’s commitment to sustainability in the supply chain and the mitigation of their water usage and carbon footprint. The WellThread line uses fibers from discarded denim called Circulose® fiber by Re:NewCell. The brand also invested in cottonized-hemp and organic cotton.
In 2021, Levi’s released Levi’s Secondhand store where they buy back your old jeans for resale to prolong the product life of every pair of jeans and encourage a circular economy.
Levi’s also took action for employee well-being with their Worker Well-being initiatives. These initiatives aim at reducing hunger, increasing good health, gender equality, and more.
Measurable Outcomes from Levi’s CSR Campaign
According to Levi’s Sustainability report:
Over 70% of products from Levi’s are made using Water<Less manufacturing. By 2025, Levi’s aims to make this 100%.
Since introducing Water<Less, more than 10-billion liters of water have been recycled and more than 4-billion liters have been removed from production methods.
Levi’s uses 76% renewable electricity at their facilities. The jean brand also uses solar power at their distribution center in Nevada, meeting 20% of the facility’s power demands. They aim to increase to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
In 2020, 83% of cotton in Levi’s clothes was sustainably sourced.
Worker Well-being initiatives have been launched in more than 100 sites decreasing absenteeism and increasing employee engagement.
3. Wells Fargo: Earning Back Your Trust
Wells Fargo suffered some very negative PR after a scandal, and in 2018 they launched the Earning Back Your Trust campaign. Since then, Wells Fargo has shown social responsibility in business in various ways.
Wells Fargo’s CSR strategy aimed at increasing its standing with consumers focuses on a wide array of social and environmental issues. Their CSR plan focuses on promoting small business growth, affordable housing, financial health, and a low-carbon economy.
Wells Fargo aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The banking franchise also aims to invest 500-billion into sustainable business practices by 2030.
The Wells Fargo’s Inclusive Communities and Climate Bond was released in 2021. This bond supports job creation, health services, affordable housing, and the development of renewable energy sources in minority and low-to-moderate income families.
The Wells Fargo Banking Inclusion Initiative aims to help unbanked individuals have access to bank accounts within a 10-year span.
Measurable Outcomes from Wells Fargo’s CSR Campaign
According to the 2021 Wells Fargo Goals and Performance Report:
Since 2016, Wells Fargo allocated 173-million to support social needs, helped 507,000 minority households purchase a home, and donated 584-million dollars to support economic needs, small businesses, and sustainable housing.
In 2019 and 2020, Wells Fargo achieved carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. They also made financial commitments of approximately 74-million to sustainable finance and achieved 71% success toward a lower-carbon economy.
4. IKEA: People and Planet Positive
IKEA has a strong CSR strategy worth emulating. IKEA started the People and Planet Positive campaign in 2012 and continues to update its goals.
IKEA’s CSR plan focuses on sustainability in the supply chain, corporate social justice, long-term mindsets, and a mitigated carbon footprint.
The IKEA franchise has storefronts, warehouses, and distribution centers that consume large amounts of energy and contribute to pollution. To combat this, IKEA aims to produce more renewable energy than the company consumes.
As a major producer of wood objects, IKEA’s People and Planet Positive goals include expanding reforestation efforts and utilizing more electric vehicles for home deliveries. They also sell sustainable products like LED lightbulbs, solar panels, and mechanisms to recycle water from showers.
The IKEA Diversity and Inclusion policy aims for a 50/50 gender split by 2030, and IKEA updated its codes of conduct to reduce workplace discrimination.
During the Covid pandemic, IKEA donated more than 1.7 million medical supplies.
IKEA’s goal to have a more plant-based menu shows its long-term mindset for a sustainable future.
Measurable Outcomes from IKEA’s CSR Campaign
According to IKEA’s Planet Positive Strategy for 2020:
Since the People and Planet Positive initiative started, over 165,000 environmental and social improvements have been recorded.
Currently, IKEA invests in wind farms in six countries and has installed solar panels in 120 stores and warehouses. This has mitigated their consumption levels by 27% of the 100% plus goal.
Energy efficiency in IKEA stores has improved by 10% and by 35% in distribution centers.
IKEA sources 98% of its wood products from FSC-certified or recycled materials. Now, 80% of IKEA’s textiles are manufactured with recycled polyester.
In 2020, seven out of 11 retailers had over 40% women in management positions.
5. Adidas: Impossible Is Nothing
Adidas is another example of a big, successful company that also has good CSR. Adidas’s famous slogan is Impossible Is Nothing, and their CSR strategy shows that they walk the talk.
To Adidas, a more sustainable future is not impossible. The shoe and apparel brand has targets for 2025 to use more sustainable materials, inspire social change and fair wages, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Adidas’ CSR strategy includes collaborations with other socially responsible brands to uplift companies with planet-positive initiatives. One collaborator is Parley, a brand that recycles plastic from the oceans into thread used in Adidas shoes.
Adidas seeks to improve its Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) efforts. Part of Adidas’ CSR plan is fair wages for employees and achieving gender wage equality.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption is a short and long-term plan for Adidas. Adidas aims to reduce water consumption by 15% by 2025. The brand also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and be fully neutral by 2050.
Measurable Outcomes from Adidas’s CSR Campaign
In 2021, Adidas launched a vegan shoe made from mushroom leather which is a more sustainable version of other shoe designs.
As of 2021, more than 70% of Adidas products use recycled polyester. Recycled polyester has a significantly less environmental impact than products made from scratch. The shoe brand continues to work with collaborators to use recycled materials for its premium sports shoes. Adidas’s goal is to use 100% recycled polyester by 2025.
Adidas has been part of the Fair Labor Association for over two decades and is committed to identifying and managing human rights issues within every aspect of its supply chain. They have a good standing on the rating site KnowTheChain.
Businesses have impacts on the environment and social well-being of all consumers. Corporate Social Responsibility is when a company acknowledges its impact and uses it for good.
The best CSR campaigns are genuine and care about sustainability, human well-being, and innovative thinking to benefit profit without consequences to the planet.
Successful companies like LEGO, Levi’s, Adidas, and more are all making big efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, use sustainably sourced materials, and have ethical business practices. CSR strategies are ways for capitalism to have positive benefits as corporations seek a better future for all.
Show the world that you are a socially responsible company and contact Prodigium Pictures today to start planning your company’s own CSR marketing campaign.