We’re always on the look out for everyday brands (or corporations) lending more focus to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and taking an active role in improving their community and the world in general. As more and more companies see the the multi-layered benefits to incorporating a progressive CSR policy its encouraging to see it being a field of pride and dare I say it competition. Today I wanted to focus on another giant making huge strides in the right direction in terms of CSR.
Campbell Soup Company are in their 141st year of operation and now operate in a remarkable total of 120 countries around the world. Total revenue of some $8 billion in 2008 makes Campbell’s a household name for soup as well as many of their subsidiary operations. For 11 years a list of the 100 best corporate citizens is published and Campbell’s made the single biggest leap for the latest list (2010) moving all the way up to 12th. A full list of the companys and ranking is available here. The rankings take an aggregate scoring for numerous categories to evaluate and rank business based on the twin goals of of CSR and sustainability.
Naturally enough the company are proud of the inroads being made, as the President and CEO of Campbell Douglas Conant adds:
“Campbell is committed to advancing our commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. I am proud that Campbell’s corporate responsibility practices and performance have been recognized, which reflects the effort of thousands of dedicated Campbell people around the world. We are absolutely committed to winning with integrity, while we strive to win in the marketplace, the workplace and the community.”
The 100 Best Corporate Citizens List is compiled from over 360 data points of information that are all publicly available each of which falls in to one of seven categories: environment, climate change, human rights, employee relations, governance, philanthropy and financial performance. Campbell’s operate within seven core ‘business strategies’ which include both CSR and sustainability. Their CSR focal points reside within ‘Our Consumers, Our Planet, Our Employees and Our Community’.
When you dig deeper into Campbell’s commitment to the process you can see how they climbed the ladder of recognition. For example just look at their achievements in terms of sustainable packaging
In the last four years, Campbell have reduced the amount of steel required to make our soup cans by more than 1,800 tons. This also has indirectly contributed to fuel savings by reducing the number of trucks required to deliver those cans.
In 2007 their Napoleon, Ohio, plant reduced on-line glass breakage in Prego products by more than 90 percent. This significant increase in packaging yields led to an overall reduction in material use, and also contributed to broader energy conservation through higher production line efficiencies and the reduction in fuel use associated with incoming material deliveries.
Internal packaging experts have been deployed on a “Damage Reduction Task Force” whose objective is to reduce the quantity of product returned to Campbell by customers due to damage during transport. In 2007 they completely redesigned the corrugated tray used for our aseptic soup line, which reduced the amount of cardboard used and significantly decreased returns.
Naturally enough food sourcing is another area where Campbell seek to make a difference, especially in their support of sustainable farming methods. For over 20 years that they have worked with farmers to develop sustainable agricultural practices in the U.S. and Mexico. These grower practices include promoting biological diversity through a system of crop rotation, and preserving wetlands and natural drainage through more natural habitat management. In the 1980s Campbell began working to educate tomato farmers about the concept of Integrated Pest Management. The objective has been to promote alternative pest control measures that significantly reduce workers’ exposure to chemicals and pesticide residue in food crops while ensuring the highest imaginable quality for theit consumers.
I encourage you to visit their site to see the significant progress in other areas.