We're in the era of Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR has become critical for overall business strategy, as all stakeholders — from consumers and investors to employees and contractors — expect companies to step up and become agents of societal change. Leading businesses have adopted CSR tactics to gain competitive advantage, with 'doing well by doing good' reflecting within every good example of CSR in companies.
💡 Did you know?
Fortune 500 businesses spend about $20 billion annually on CSR initiatives alone.
Read ahead to find the various goals, initiatives, and tactics the leading companies worldwide have established to pioneer societal impact and corporate social responsibility.
Top 12 companies with inspiring CSR Programs
Successful companies with good CSR programs have balanced growth and social impact, fostering an atmosphere that benefits all stakeholders – employees, shareholders, customers, and communities. These businesses have led by example and achieved significant progress in advancing sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusive culture.
CSR Goals: Racial Equity, Employee Volunteering, Humanitarian Aid, Digital Literacy, Carbon Negative, Zero Waste, Water Positive.
Microsoft has consistently ranked high among companies with best CSR programs over the past few years. They’re pioneering employee volunteering with a promise of supporting inclusive economic growth and protecting fundamental rights. In 2022, Microsoft and its employees donated $255 million to over 32,000 nonprofits, and over 29,000 Microsoft employees volunteered more than 720,000 hours. They're big on sustainability, have pledged $1 billion to accelerate climate innovations, and aim to be carbon negative by 2030.
CSR Goals: ESG, Women's Empowerment, Sustainable Packaging, Water Security, DE&I
Coca-Cola’s CSR programs are focused on a 'Better Shared Future' with diversity initiatives, community interaction and ESG dedicated to using Coca-Cola’s voice and position to support equality, justice, and human rights advocacy across communities. To advance sustainability, 90% of Coca-Cola's product packaging is recyclable, with plans to reach 100% by 2025. They're also committed to water conservation and return 100%+ of water used in their beverages to increase water security.
CSR Goals: Carbon Neutrality, Water Conservation, Worker's Rights, Supply-Chain Transparency, Reduce Agrochemical Usage, DE&I
The Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) program sets their ethical sourcing standards, which verifies farms on socioeconomic and ecological criteria to build transparent, profitable and sustainable farming practices and protect farmer's health and well-being. They consistently encourage suppliers to work with their farmer support centers to enhance inclusion and status in the coffee supply chain. They're committed to protecting workers’ rights and conserving water and biodiversity.
CSR Goals: Racial Equity, ERGs, LGBTQ+ Allyship, Carbon Neutrality, Energy Conservation
For 12 years, Citrix has held an annual global month of service, which catalyzes the rest of the year's charitable endeavors. In 2022, they mobilized 1500+ employee volunteers in 44 countries to create hyperlocal impact in their communities together with 300+ global nonprofits through their Month of Service. Citrix is committed to being environmentally responsible and strives to follow the highest environmental standards in the industry.
CSR Goals: Waste Reduction, Circular Economy, Wildlife Preservation, Carbon Neutrality, Energy Conservation, Racial Justice, Crisis Response, Economic Empowerment
Since 2007, Google has been carbon-neutral and a leading example of companies with good CSR programs. By 2030, they’re determined to achieve net-zero emissions across operations, running on carbon-free energy and empowering change with technology. Since 2015, through employee volunteering, they've committed $40 million and 50,000 pro bono hours committed to racial justice and $100 million and 50,000 pro bono hours committed to COVID-19 relief.
CSR Goals: DE&I, Racial Equity, Accessibility, Women's Empowerment, Disability Rights, Energy Conservation, Carbon Neutrality
The Netflix Fund for Creative Equity is a dedicated effort to help build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within entertainment. They're persistent in bringing in diverse voices, both on-screen and within the workplace. They're pioneering digital accessibility by providing various accessibility features for consumers with hearing, sight, or physical mobility limitations, working in tandem with disability advocacy groups to consistently improve services.
CSR Goals: Humanitarian Aid, Crisis Relief, Support for Refugees, Supply-Chain Sustainability, Digital Literacy, Women's Empowerment, Circular Economy, Carbon Neutrality
Cisco is a frontrunner for social impact, ranking high among companies with the best CSR.
Cisco is dominating efforts for social impact, ranking high among companies with the best CSR programs. Their crisis response supports homeless and disadvantaged communities with resources. For sustainability, they have a unique program that fosters beehives to support the regeneration of the declining bee population, and their Circular Economy team works on resource conservation, which is further promoted by their Conscious Culture of fostering an inclusive workplace.
CSR Goals: Energy Efficiency, Carbon Neutrality, Zero Waste, Freshwater Conversation, Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment, Education & Skill Development, Disaster Relief
Apple’s CSR program is dedicated to achieving the highest social responsibility standards across its worldwide supply chain. Apple's 2022 Environmental Progress Report showcases its commitment to being 100% carbon neutral with all its products by 2030 and aims to use only renewable resources or recycled materials.
CSR Goals: DE&I, Women's Empowerment, Racial and Ethnic Equity, Disaster Relief, Carbon Neutrality, Supply-Chain Sustainability, Waste Reduction, Freshwater Preservation
Best known for its efforts against racial injustice and for women's rights in sports, Nike has consistently evolved its efforts for DE&I and empowering communities over the past decade and now ranks as a giant in the CSR industry. Their equitable approach begins with coaching kids through their Made to Play program, of which young girls hold 50% of participation.
CSR Goals: DE&I, Energy Conservation, NET-positive, Supply-Chain Sustainability, Hunger Relief, Racial Equity, Criminal Justice, Disaster Relief
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated $1.5 billion in philanthropic efforts of social impact. They foster a culture of DE&I, with an emphasis on beating systemic racism across health, finance, education and criminal justice. Their focus on nutrition and safe access to food accounts for Food Safety, Sustainable Chemistry and Animal Welfare practices.
CSR Goals: Energy Conservation, Carbon Neutrality, Sustainable Packaging, Supply-Chain Transparency, DE&I, Education, Housing & Food Security, Disaster Relief
Amazon strives to empower socially responsible purchasing with a deep commitment to sustainability, DE&I and ERG. Amazon has 13 affinity groups (ERGs) to empower internal networks that positively impact local communities. They aim to achieve NET zero carbon emissions by 2040, powering their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2050, and their $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund facilitates their low-carbon economy.
CSR Goals: HIV/AIDS, Community Development, Education and Sports Development, DE&I, Carbon Neutrality, Circular Economy, Reducing CO2 emissions
BMW Group prides itself on being one of the most sustainable automotive companies, focusing on ecology, economy and society as their key focus. The BMW Foundation works on education, skill development, road safety, health & hygiene, and local community-specific needs such as HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Potable Drinking Water in India.
Emerging Examples of Companies acing CSR
New CSR initiatives are snowballing and becoming increasingly important in our society. They provide an opportunity for businesses to invest in the future and make a lasting, positive impact on people worldwide. With their growth, we can expect more innovative solutions from companies that practice CSR to help create a better future for everyone.
Investing in corporate or employee volunteering programs (EVPs) aligned with the company's values is a great CSR strategy, demonstrating dedication to causes such as gender equity, sustainability, and social justice. It strengthens the organization’s reputation as a socially responsible and ethical organization. Ultimately, this leads to increased employee engagement, customer loyalty, and a positive impact on society.
Here are two examples illustrating how you can implement EVPs:
Kyndryl — First Anniversary
In 2022, a year after Kyndryl completed its separation from IBM's infrastructure services, it marked its first anniversary with service. They hosted a volunteering campaign spanning 13 countries, including 23 in-person and 21 virtual activities. With over 1000 employee volunteers, Kyndryl worked with over 30+ Non-Profits, impacted 730+ beneficiaries over five weeks, and celebrated a great start to their second year as a team!
Cloudera — Week of Service
Cloudera, a hybrid data platform, recently hosted a week of service for employee engagement to encourage virtual volunteering activities. Employees from EMEA, USA, APAC, Budapest and New York worked with 16 Non-Profits to volunteer for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and young girls from Ghana. With a week of service, they impacted 320 beneficiaries with 16 virtual volunteering events and 156 employees.
The growth of CSR is a sign of a shift in how businesses view their responsibility to society. Many leading companies with CSR programs have grown significantly due to their commitment to sustainability and positive social impact. A great way to embed an organization’s mission into its DNA is through people engagement. Organizations, irrespective of size, are choosing to mobilize impact by creating corporate volunteering programs that engage employees purposefully and scale CSR programs.