Coffee Brands and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco’s Mission District (Image via KNSTRCT)

United Nations Industrial Developmental Organization defines corporate social responsibility as

“a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders.”

Coffee brands such as Starbucks Coffee Company and Caribou Coffee recently used Tuesday’s “National Coffee Day” as a platform to implement socially responsible business practices.

Starbucks helps farmers in Central America

Starbucks announced Monday the ‘Starbucks One Tree for Every Bag’ campaign to distribute a coffee tree for every bag of coffee sold in U.S. and Canada stores through September 2016. The coffee giant paired up with Conservation International to provide coffee trees to farmers whose crops have been impacted by coffee rust in El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia and Mexico. Starbucks also launched 1912 Pike, a blog about all things coffee and community.

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Image via 1912 Pike

Caribou Coffee gives back to cancer charity

Eco-conscious Caribou Coffee also rolled out a charitable campaign on National Coffee Day– the company donated proceeds from its Amy’s Blend purchases to caregivers and family members in U.S. CancerCare centers. Amy’s Blend Collection is inspired by Caribou Coffee’s beloved Roastmaster Amy Erickson, who lost her battle with breast cancer at age 33. Ten percent of all Amy’s Blend Collection sales are donated to CancerCare.

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Image via Caribou Coffee Facebook

Why does CSR matter?

As opposed to offering free or discounted drinks on the national holiday, Starbucks and Caribou Coffee offered customers the opportunity to help others. According to Edelman’s global brandshare 2014 report, 87% of respondents want more meaningful relationships with brands. Companies are now expected to go beyond offering products or services by committing to socially and environmentally responsible approaches.

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