Top 5 Companies in Terms of Social Responsibility

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November 13, 2012
Top 5 Companies in Terms of Social Responsibility
We live in a society that holds companies accountable for their actions in relation to the environment, the welfare of the less fortunate, and the investors that fund them. A company’s actions in terms of social responsibility are placed into three categories: profit responsibility, stakeholder responsibility, and societal responsibility. Profit responsibility refers to a company’s responsibility to maximize profits without using deceptive or unfair practices. Stakeholder responsibility is a company’s responsibility to consider the consequences of its actions on those that can be negatively affected by them. Societal responsibility refers to the duty a company has to preserve the environment and to the public in general. Using these guidelines, CR magazine compiled a list of the most socially responsible companies. The top five on this list are: 1. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

2. International Business Machines Corp
3. Intel Corp.
4. Microsoft Corporation
5. Johnson Controls Inc

As a global “BioPharma” company, Bristol-Myers Squibb uses its resources to formulate medicines that help millions of people affected by various illnesses. They have devised a strategy that combines their resources in order to maximize profit while providing a value to consumers. “We focus on our customers’ needs, giving maximum priority to accelerating pipeline development, delivering sales growth and continuing to manage costs” (BMS). While making a profit, Bristol-Myers Squibb has continued to pursue its mission to provide access to healthcare through their patient assistance programs. These programs provide free or low cost medicines and services to those that have met financial hardship. In addition, they provide a diverse workforce that respects cultural and familial differences among its employees. As for the environment, Bristol-Myers Squib integrates “comprehensive energy management, pollution controls, and other practices to reduce environmental impacts” at their worldwide facilities. “Bristol-Myers Squibb delivers on its commitments: to our patients and customers, to our employees, to our global communities, to our shareholders and to our environment” (BMS). According to the New York Times, Bristol-Myers Squibb declared a self imposed ban on drug ads in 2005. He reasoning behind this ban was to give physicians time to understand new products before patients began asking for them (Saul). “We want to make sure that before we start mass media - television, radio and print branded advertising - that physicians have a level of comfort about the treatment and which patients are appropriate for it,” Brian Henry, a spokesman for Bristol-Myers, said (qtd. in Saul). International Business Machines Corp, also known as IBM, is a global technology company that prides itself on thinking outside of the box to “solve some of the world's most complex problems” (IBM). In terms of corporate citizenship, IBM uses a comprehensive approach to focus on societal issues that include literacy, education, and community economic development. They utilize a global environmental management system to ensure they are protecting the environment at all of their worldwide facilities. Approximately 8% of their purchases are from diverse suppliers and they also have a commitment to maintaining employee diversity. “IBM believes that a company culture based on core values not only helps our business, but also defines the role that we can and should play in society” (IBM). CBS News published an article detailing IBM’s 2008 study on corporate social responsibility. This study showed that only 17 percent of companies ask customers for their social responsibility concerns. “IBM believes that by asking customers about their CSR concerns, companies can actually uncover new sales opportunities” (Holstein). “One clear implication of the study for top...
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