1) Starbucks (SBUX)
Starbucks has been long known to care about social impact and is one of the best stocks to buy now if you want to make a difference with your investment dollars. They offer health benefits to part-time employees. They build local partnerships with non-profit organizations through their Starbucks Foundation. And they invest in youth leadership programs.
They also practice impact sourcing where they “responsibly grown and ethically traded”. That just doesn’t include their coffee beans. This stretches to their teas, cocoa and merchandise.
Limiting their environmental impact is also a core value of Starbucks. They build their stores as green as possible. They also encourage recycling in their stores and find ways to reduce global warming in how they source their coffee.
More info: http://www.starbucks.com/responsibility
2) Whole Foods Market (WFM)
Whole Foods has been in the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) game since the 70’s. It’s nothing new to them. Here are some of the recent advances they’ve made in this area.
First, they announced they will require their stores to label all genetically modified foods (GMO’s) by 2018. It’s already a requirement in the European Union, and it’s a movement that’s reached the US, but have not made it to the law books yet.
They’re very intentional about working with local producers. They even have a program to give out loans. Of course, they also give micro-loans to the developing world.
But in general as a business, it has a ton of value. They’ve figured out their market, they make tons of money and are expanding well. All of this make this a good stock to buy.
3) Disney (DIS)
Disney’s CSR program is extremely active. They seemingly try to find every way possible to make a social impact.
Most recent advances include their Star Wars Force for Change campaign which raise $4.26 million for UNICEF. They’re an avid supporter of the Boys and Girls Club as well as countless other youth programs around the country.
In 2013, Disney donated $370 million to organizations around the world.
More info: http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship
4) General Electric (GE)
GE is a leader in the green revolution. It’s not a secret that they’re constantly innovating to produce technologies to reduce energy use and save the planet.
They are active on the front lines of social impact.
More recently, they’ve created 12 initiatives to empower women in the Middle East, build sustainable infrastructure with the South Koreans, strengthen regional sustainability in Latin America and managing water in Bangalore. They even confront human rights issues as it relates to business in developing countries.
More info: http://www.gesustainability.com/
5) Microsoft (MSFT)
In addition to giving more than $100 million to over 18,000 nonprofits last year, they’ve donated over $795 million in software to more than 70,000 nonprofits. For organizations that can’t afford the full $500 for theirs suite, its been a lift of a huge cost burden, especially to smaller nonprofits. More recently, they launched a program to train soon-to-be veterans and connecting them with tech jobs.
What goes around, comes around. If you want to invest in socially responsible companies, they’re out there!