Recycling as a Corporate Social Responsibility: Four Companies That are Making an Impact

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business meeting about recycling

Companies that are doing only the bare minimum required by law are often left behind by their competitors who are doing things beyond their own interests, and more than what the law requires. This is called Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR, a type of business model that has become more than just a set self-regulation programs imposed by companies.   Most business executives, especially those that are from huge multinational companies, believe that CSR brings in more revenue for the company. A meta-analysis of 52 studies with a total sample size of 33,878 also espouses a similar claim that CSR, including environmental responsibility, have financial benefits to the companies that practice it.

Recycling is one form of a Corporate Social Responsibility program that companies can embrace. They can do the recycling on their own, as some brands do, or they can employ the services of third-party recycling companies. Some businesses rely on the services of other companies when it comes to staffing in the recycling industry. The companies below are among the best examples of companies whose CSR includes recycling.

1. Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder is a skin care manufacturer whose products are under different brands, such as Bobbi Brown and Clinique. The company also manufactures hair treatment products and fragrances, and it has more than 20 factories. What is most impressive with Estee Lauder is that since 2003, they have environmental policies in place that enable them to reduce waste, minimize pollution, and protect the environment.

In fact, the company had achieved around 88% recycling rate in 2016, and those that can’t be recycled are processed and transformed to energy. They are also among the few companies whose factories have not sent any waste products to landfills.

2. Nike

man running on one of the treadmills at the gym

Nike has a Reuse-A-Shoe program where athletic shoes owners are encouraged to return their shoes to some participating Nike stores. They also accept athletic shoes from other brands. These shoes are recycled and made into other athletic products such as apparel and footwear, or sports surfaces like gym floors, sports tracks, and playground, under Nike Grind.

3. Levi Strauss & Co.

With over 150 years of manufacturing jeans and other apparel, Levi Strauss & Co. has acknowledged the need for proper waste disposal and had acted on it through the following:

  • Education: The company makes it a point to educate their consumers on the proper caring of their clothes to make them last longer. They have developed the Care Tag for the Environment, a product tag that lists several ways of prolonging the life of a product.
  • Levi’s Authorized Vintage: Levi Strauss also offers vintage products that are pre-owned, as an effort to lessen waste.
  • Used Clothing Collection: The company has partnered with Blue Jeans Go Green and other organizations all over the world in collecting used clothing.

Aside from these initiatives, Levi’s has increased their efforts in coming up with more products that are made from 100% recyclable materials.

4. Crayola

Crayola has been reaching out to children to make them understand that they have a role to play in protecting and conserving the environment through their ColorCycle program. The program encourages teachers and students to collect used markers and ship them to Crayola. The crayon brand will pay for the shipping. Crayola also developed downloadable lesson plans that include green practices.

There are more brands that are also admirable in their Corporate Social Responsibility activities, but these four companies have taken the lead in protecting the environment through their recycling programs. They have continued to grow and establish a good reputation across many industries, and they prove that CSR definitely pays off.