BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business

As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.

Come by often to read the latest news, subscribe to our blog via email or RSS reader. Even better, join the conversation and share your ideas on how business can be a force for good in your community and environment.

TOMS Shoes Sees New Vision With Eyewear

Jun 7, 2011   //   by Bradley Short   //   Blog, Company Culture, Company Profiles, Marketing & Communication, Social Entrepreneurship  //  No Comments

At this year’s SXSW back in March, we got to see Blake Mycoskie, “Chief Shoe-Giver” of TOMS Shoes announce that TOMS would be unveiling a new product on June 7th of this year.  Today, he announced that the next major world problem that TOMS would use its groundbreaking yet simple “one-for-one” business model to tackle would be vision.

TOMS eyewear, which is available today, will be sold and given away just like TOMS shoes have in the past.  When customers purchase a pair of sunglasses, one person in the developing world will be “given the gift of sight.”  TOMS reports that “of the nearly 284 million people in the world who are visually impaired, almost 90% live in developing countries.”  Each sale will translate to either one pair of prescription glasses given away, one medical treatment (meaning fighting infection, injury, or disease), or one sight-saving surgery, like a cataract surgery.

A winning business strategy

“When you incorporate giving into your business, your customers become your marketers,” Mycoskie told a group of us last March.  TOMS Shoes has been a great archetype of a profitable company with a social agenda sewn right into the thread of its business model.  Customers have latched on to the company and its mission and have done more for the brand than any advertising campaign ever could.

It is hard to think of another company that has such devout brand evangelists, bright young people dreaming of jobs there, and a story that spread across the world so quickly and easily.  TOMS has shown the business world that embedding social good into a company’s DNA is a winning business strategy.

What do you think about TOMS’s decision to move into eyewear?  What are your favorite for-profit brands that accelerate a social agenda?

BE Profiles Second Chance Coffee Co.: Social Value Brews Up Profits

May 27, 2011   //   by Bradley Short   //   Blog, Company Culture, Company Profiles, Social Entrepreneurship  //  3 Comments

One of BusinessEarth’s goals is to prove that socially and environmentally responsible business is possible and profitable. When we find a company that embodies these principles, we highlight their achievements and challenges so you can apply their lessons to your business. John Quinn of Second Chance Coffee Co. talked with us about how a for-profit enterprise with a social mission can create social good by becoming a successful business.

Since June 2009, Second Chance Coffee Co. has been producing “I Have a Bean” coffees, some of the finest and most meticulously roasted coffee around. At their Chicago, Illinois headquarters, things feel very similar to any other rapidly growing start-up, but for one thing…many of the employees are former prisoners.

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SXSW Interactive 2011: A Responsible Business Recap

Mar 16, 2011   //   by Bradley Short   //   Blog, Company Profiles, Marketing & Communication, Social Entrepreneurship  //  1 Comment

Business and technology can make the world a better place, and some people are really starting to get it.  An overarching theme that I’ve seen at SXSW is that many thought leaders are realizing that social good is the best market to work in.

Of course, we have a long way to go to before everyone is on board the corporate-responsibility train, but entrepreneurs are coming up with new business models, new innovations, and new plans to help do their part while making money.

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