Corporate Social Responsibility: Campbell Soup Co. Analysis

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“COOKING UP SCHEMES” (CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY)

They've been known globally for their infectious "Mmmmm mmmm good" slogan. In recent years, however, the New Jersey based, food and beverage company that brought us V8 Splash, Pepperidge Farm and Campbell's Soup, has become known for a bit more - their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Campbell Soup Co. has consistently made the top ten list of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens - placing second in 2011 and eight in 2012. The company was also the only food and beverage company in the US to make Corporate Knights' 2012 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporation rank. Indeed, Campbell Soup Co. has seemingly embraced the CSR movement that's been transforming the global business environment. Not only has it willing integrated CSR into its business strategy, but it also hired a vice president of CSR in 2010. Even further, the company incorporated the culture into its mission: "Together we will build the world's most extraordinary food company by nourishing people's lives everywhere, every day." On its website, it glaringly displays its CSR initiatives, which it labels: "nourishing the community, nourishing the planet, nourishing consumers and nourishing employees"; even stating its total giving - approximately $51 million of its $805 earnings for 2012. Given these initiatives and the unquestionable influence that they have on its bottom-line, one must ask the question, is Campbell Soup Co. truly concerned about its impact on the wellbeing of its stakeholders, or is this all high level greenwashing? A closer look at the company's activities reveals an unequal mix between the two.

Let's start with the good. Campbell's Soup actually defines a set of external and internal CSR goals, which it hopes to achieve by 2020. Amongst these, is its intent to improve the health of young people in hometown communities, by reducing hunger and childhood obesity by 50%. In its hometown of Camden, New...
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