Being socially responsible can also be profitable

Being socially responsible has always been fashionable in the corporate world. But after Al Gore’s moving and thoroughly inspiring ‘An inconvenient truth’, a lot more companies have jumped the bandwagon of being socially responsible or environmentally friendly.

But honestly, besides putting up a nice cute statement on their website or donating part profits to their pet cause, how many companies really walk the talk? All it amounts to is a PR gimmick, that they think readers are blind to.

What a pity.

Who says that social responsibility doesn’t pay.

Take the example of Patagonia. Their founder Yvon Chouinard, a mountaineer, who made a fortune manufacturing climbing gear. Somewhere down the line, he realized the damage he was causing to the environment. He decided to something about it. Since then Patagonia manufactures equipment and gear that is as eco-friendly as possible. But the Yvon took the idea and dream a step further. The company started hiring people who were passionate about the outdoors and yet eco-friendly. Next, they encouraged them to take sabbaticals just so that they could go and live this life. The only catch was that each one had to write his or her experience. Soon stories began to appear on their website. Simple yet engaging tales of their experiences. Word spread and soon more and more people got interested. In time, other eco-friendly outdoor enthusiasts asked to contribute their stories as well – celebrities and commoner alike. Sales increased and the rest, as they say, is history.

Patagonia has not just taken social responsibility to another level. It has also tapped into the power of storytelling to engage people into their brand’s credo as well as make a successful business out of eco-friendly outdoor gear. To how inspiring they are, visit www.patagonia.com.

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