In fiscal year 2010, premium drinks business Diageo invested $40 million in community activities. But it’s how this investment is targeted and woven into its internal team that makes the company a leader in CSR practices. The company is well-aware of its role and responsibilities worldwide and has taken special interest in developing for the Latin American and Caribbean regions five main pillars of corporate citizenship: responsible drinking; education; cause-related marketing; sustained environment; and humanitarian relief.
The responsible drinking pillar is of special importance—commitment to promoting it is key to forging strong bonds with communities and business partners externally, and building pride internally. Of note is the Johnnie Walker Formula One sponsorship of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, which encompasses a pan-regional designated-driver-focused integrated campaign. The Johnnie Walker campaign promotes the acceptance of designated drivers using all available routes: advertising, consumer promotion, civic endorsement, public relations and viral marketing disciplines.
New in 2010 was the Johnnie Walker “Be a Giant: Don’t Drink & Drive” Caribbean-based campaign that featured cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards. The Diageo Foundation was also a rapid responder to the earthquake in Haiti, donating $120,000 to disaster relief. Even more impressive: Diageo employees alone donated $52,000.
AICPA: Corporate citizenship efforts at the Durham, N.C.-based American Institute of Certified Public Accountants are led by a very dedicated Culture and Community Task Force. In 2010 alone, the task force directed the donations of tens of thousands of dollars to Durham’s Partnership for Children, the Durham Arts Council, the Chapel-Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation and the Chapel Hill Breast Cancer Foundation, among many other organizations.
Amerigroup Corp.: Managed healthcare company Amerigroup is committed to having a community focus in all 11 states it serves. This includes health fair events, one-on-one case manager call visits and, especially, a formalized volunteer initiative that encompasses a Sustainability Task Force and Green Teams comprised of associate volunteers. Associates are encouraged to indicate areas of interest and to track their volunteer hours.
Carmichael Lynch Spong: Carmichael Lynch Spong’s new 100% wind-powered home base in Minneapolis (see Stakeholder Engagement category) is just the most obvious sign of its commitment to CSR, but it doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. Just as telling is its program that sends CLS employees every other month to a local homeless shelter, where they prepare and serve a meal during lunch hour.
VHA, Inc.: In 2010, VHA, a national network of not-for-profit healthcare organizations, used its networking expertise to bring members and other stakeholders together to share best practices take its citizenship and sustainability practices to the next level. As a result of tapping into the power of its long-existing networks, VHA provided disaster relief to the tune of $500,000, and employees donated 3,640 hours as part of a formal volunteer program.
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