Montag, 11. August 2008

Get inspi(RED) by (RED)

(RED) raises money for The Global Fund by collaborating with the world's famous brands to support women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) and brands such as Motorola, American Express, GAP, Emporio Armani, Converse, Apple, Hallmark, Dell and Windows Vista have produced (PRODUCT)RED branded products to direct up to 50 % of their gross profits to The Global Fund. 

I think this is an amazing commitment and hopefully many more companies will team up with (RED) to fight against AIDS in Africa. About 4,400 people die every day of AIDS in Africa, a preventable, treatable disease. 

My friend Nicoletta advices me of (RED) by wearing a GAP (PRODUCT)RED T-shirt. So probably next time when you go into a store, you will find RED products and you will be one of them who help fighting AIDS. "Think (RED) and give back"!

Mittwoch, 6. August 2008

Deutsche Bank


It is the first time for me writing about a German company with a strong commitment to support the environment and people. Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank that gets involved with a solar project, corporate volunteering and microfinance among other things.

With its support for the Solar Impulse project Deutsche Bank is assisting to open up the way for the first manned round-the-world flight in an airplain powered by solar energy. As a passionate traveler and frequent flier I think this is amazing: around-the-world just with the power of the sun and without producing pollutant emissions!

Corporate Volunteering is another commitment and the foundation of Deutsche Bank's CSR activities. It includes an initiative that enables employees applying for a grant to be donated to their particular charitable organization. Besides, employees have the possibility to improve their community's infrastructure by undertaking tasks, such as gardening, renovation or conversion work to enhance life of handicapped persons. Mentoring is another part of Corporate Volunteering at Deutsche Bank. Experienced mentors support mentees finding a job or finishing their studies. A project in Frankfurt, Germany for example focuses on women with a migrant background who are looking for a qualified job. Mentors encourage them and also open doors to other companies. During my time here in the U.S. I always appreciate every support I can get. I think this is a useful way of lightening the first steps in a foreign country.

Deutsche Bank was the first bank to create a microfinance fund. Over the past ten years about $ 170 million have been donated to more than 100 institutions in more than 45 countries. This helps to fight poverty in developing countries.

Mittwoch, 23. Juli 2008

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) supports a wide range of organizations such as Coffee Kids, Grounds for Health, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross as well as libraries, schools, counseling centers and community food-shelves in coffee-growing communities around the world.

GMCR created the Community Action For Employees program (CAFE) that authorizes employees to take paid time off to volunteer in their community wherever an employee sees a need. In 2008 GMCR employees will spend about 2,000 hours volunteering at schools, fire departments, and other community organizations. Some of them also volunteer in in projects in Mexico and Central America to improve the health care and housing of coffee farmers and their families. Isn't this a great opportunity for employees to get involved with community services around the world?

Supporting Fair Trade Coffee is another part of GMCR's core values. Fair Trade ensures farmers a fair price. This enables them to support their famalies, keep their kids in school and invest in the quality of their coffee.

GMCR also donates money to different communities worldwide in emergency situations. Hurricane Stan and Tsunami Relief Efforts are just two examples.

Dienstag, 22. Juli 2008

Nike - Potential through sport

Nike supports different types of programs around the world, including the Bowerman Track Program, Jordan Fundamentals, Let Me Play, Nike School Innovation Fund, and Reuse-A-Shoe and Nike Grind. Nike also established a Foundation to improve the lives of adolscent girls in the world's developing countries.

The Bowerman Track Renovation Program was set up in honor of Bowerman's lifetime contributions to the sport of running. He was the co-founder of Nike. It is a worldwide program that provides matching cash grants to community-based, youth-oriented organizations for refurbishing or constructing running tracks. The program distributes about $ 200,000 in matching grants each year.

Besides, the Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program was found in 1999. It arises out of Michael Jordan's belief that education is the key to build commitment among our youth. The program supports public secondary schools that serve economically disadvantaged students and is created to reward impressive teaching and instructional creativity.

Let Me Play is another part of Nike's community programs which provides access to the benefits of sport to all young people. During the last two years, Nike invested $ 100 million worldwide in community-based programs to enhance their lives through the access to sport.

In 2007 Nike established the Nike School Innovation Fund, a $ 9 million, five-year commitment to support major school districts in Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro, USA. 

Since the beginning of the Reuse-A-shoe program in 1990 Nike has recycled more than 21 million pairs of worn-out athletic shoes.  These shoes and other scrap material left over from the manufacturing of footwear are ground up and purified to become a material the company called Nike Grind. This advanced recycling technology turns Nike Grind materials into everything from basketball and tennis couts to tiles for gym floors, playground surfaces and more. 

In this connection I would like to refer to Paul Schwartz's Blog. Paul stated that a company's CSR activities should be related to its profile and strategy of the specific business, otherwise CSR efforts won't be neither sustainable nor will it impact customer's perception.
I think Nike is a good example for doing CSR activities that fit into their core business sports. Moreover the community programs and foundations create a strong commitment around the world. And does it not  also encourage us to reflect environmental issues? 

Mittwoch, 16. Juli 2008

United Colors of Benetton - Africa works


In 2008 Benetton Group puts the spotlight on Africa. Benetton's latest global ad campaign promotes the Birima micro-credit program in Senegal that receive financial support from the company.  This is a co-operative credit society founded by the singer Youssou N'Dour. 
This campaign features Senegalese workers who have used micro loans to start small, productive businesses. These people become tangible symbols of Africa that uses work to fight poverty, increases its resources and take back responsibility for creating its future. 

According to Alessandro Benetton the project emphasizes "the new face of Africa" through entrepreneurial talent, hard work, optimism and interest for the future.
What's special about this program is Birima grants higher loans for a longer period of time compared to normal micro-crediting. It enhances the community's confidence and guarantees profits and development. 

It seems to be an effective way of fighting poverty and is therefore a good choice supporting this project. 

Montag, 14. Juli 2008

TOMS - Shoes for tomorrow


TOMS makes a difference... For every pair of shoes customers purchase, TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. Since the beginning in May 2006, this company has given over 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina, and 50,000 pairs to children in need in South Africa.

I have heard of TOMS shoes during my time here in the U.S. In one of my classes the instructor showed us the video on YouTube about the shoe drop in Argentina and I was right away fascinated by this impressive commitment. So this company came first into my mind when I decided on the blog's topic.

The company's history is related to Blake Mycoskie's life changing experience in his travels to South America that inspired him to create the debut collection whith its vibrant colors and patterns. He was affected by the continent's poverty and health issues and set out to reinvent the traditional rope-soled Argentine shoes called "alpargata" for the U.S. market to give something back to those who have little. Therefore TOMS was designed with a single goal: To make life more comfortable.

For me, this an example of an outstanding accomplishment that helps where it is most needed. The video speaks for itself!