2012 CSR Awards: Workplace Innovation

Co-Winner: The Hershey Company – Hershey Honors Authentic Business Management Program

The 35-week Hershey Honors Authentic Business Management Program course is taught to senior honors business students at the Milton Hershey School, integrating core learning from classroom experiences and connecting them to relevant, corporate life. The curriculum engages 40 Hershey Company personnel as “Subject Matter Experts,” in on-site, interactive discussions about their work, goals, real-world challenges and successes. Leanna Meiser, corporate social responsibility manager at Hershey, says the program meets a dual need: “Our company wanted to connect closer with the nonprofit through business education to develop students into top-tier potential talent for employment in business and, hopefully, employment with our organization.” —BM

Fast Fact: In 2011, student requests for admission to the Milton Hershey honors business class were up 35% from 2010.


Co-Winner: Kraft Foods – Kraft Foods Garden

Improving the health and well-being of its neighbors is central to Kraft Foods’ corporate culture, and agriculture is a key strategy in its community involvement platform to address the root causes of hunger both abroad and in its own corporate backyard... literally. In 2011, Kraft turned over 8,000 square feet of unused land in a central courtyard at its Northfield, Illinois corporate campus to nonprofit partners for an organic garden that benefits the community. Kraft volunteers teamed with the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) and Windy City Harvest, CBG’s sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture job training program for young adults. This includes graduates of the Cook County Boot Camp, former inmates for non-violent crimes who are leveraging urban agriculture as a way to get their lives back on track. Between May and October each year, the garden will yield up to 14,000 pounds of fresh vegetables during three seasonal harvests. —BM


Honorable Mentions:

Deloitte – PlanetSaver: On Earth Day 2010, PlanetSaver was introduced to Deloitte employees as an alternative to conventional screensavers and a way to cut energy consumption. A feature article on the Deloitte Network News (DNN) and a video from the CEO Barry Salzberg to all Deloitte employees led the launch. Regular messaging on local and national levels reinforced the importance of PlanetSaver. In one year, PlanetSaver was installed over 50,000 times, resulting in a reduction of more than a 100,000 kWh hours of energy consumption.

WaterStone Bank – Celebrating 90 Years with $90,000: In the absence of a marketing budget to celebrate WaterStone Bank’s 90th anniversary, dollars from the Bank’s charitable fund were used to celebrate the milestone and increase brand awareness while supporting the community. The bank hosted an online contest to give a total of $90,000 to a few lucky local nonprofits or schools, leading to 8,548,522 votes and 61 deposit accounts opened in April 2011.