When The World Ends

December 21 will mark the end of the world according to some hysteric conspiracy fans or the end of the Mayan calendar to the rest of us.
But that date will mark something much more significant – World Goodwill Day.
Indeed, it isn’t a new concept, for example “Good Deeds Day” launched in 2009 by the American-Israeli Billionaire Shari Arison, which was perceived mostly in a cynical manner.
World Goodwill Day is something different. As reported on ViralBlog, a group of university undergrads from Thailand started this initiative, saying on their FB page: “The last day on Earth & the last chance to do good, a global event to celebrate random kindness, charity and humanity.”

I think this day could be a landmark and a starting point for us to take responsibility by acting in a thoughtful way, not only as individuals but also as businesses.
Our workplace is so impactful on our lives way beyond the time we leave the office – do we ever think about the energy wasted when the computers are left running, or by the garbage we throw? How about the products we manufacture?
For example, the Coca-Cola and WWF  cooperation to create an Arctic Home for Polar Bears.
What difference does it make really when the company’s product is responsible for so much non-degradable and environmentally harmful waste?

The Rainforest Alliance is an example of way to help the environment both as individuals and by encouraging the workplace to use only products that are certified by the little frog.
This clip of theirs is one of my all time favorite campaigns.

In the connected and “always-on” world we are living in, companies are required to be more open and transparent about their actions and most important accountable for them. Whether it is Walmart and their labor policies or Apple’s iPhone production lines in China, where people are allegedly working in sub-humane conditions.
Consumers are punishing bad behaviors by boycotting companies.
It is said that companies taking a socially responsible approach in business by contributing to the community, the environment and to the well being in general show better performance financially.
It is not enough to show a “Socially Responsible Image” when the core business displays exactly the opposite. You need to integrate it into your daily routine and into the business strategy. It’s good for the brand, the business and the rest of us.

Let’s see if I am right on December 22. We all have responsibility for the result.

What do you think? Does social responsibility is relevant to all businesses? Is it always good?


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