Erin Klem  | September 17, 2015

From Saving Energy to Building Careers, Business Steps Up

–Cross-posted from the Corporate Citizenship Center

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center tells the stories of the positive social, economic and environmental impact of business. Since 2000, the Center’s Corporate Citizenship Awards have showcased how businesses make the world a better place. Every day, businesses serve as a powerful force for good in communities across the United States and in countries around the world.  They solve today’s greatest challenges through innovation, expertise, efficiency, capital, and collaboration. Awards are given in eight categories, and we will feature the finalists in each category separately.

The Corporate Citizenship Award for Best Corporate Steward – Large Business honors companies with overall values, operational practices, and stakeholder strategies that exemplify shared value. The 2015 finalists show the significant, positive impact businesses have around the world.

Ecolab, Inc. brings a unique combination of innovative technology and personally delivered service helps customers tackle complex business and environmental challenges with results that make the world cleaner, safer, and healthier. Around the world, many recognizable brands in food service, food processing, hospitality, health care, industrial, and energy markets rely on Ecolab to keep their environments clean and safe, operate efficiently, and achieve more sustainable business outcomes. In 2014, Ecolab set the bar higher by launching more aggressive global sustainability targets, including 25% reductions in effluent discharge and waste, 20% reduction in water use, and 10% reduction in GHG emissions by 2017. The company made meaningful progress against these goals in 2014 and instituted a global strategy to improve performance across metrics in 2015. Ecolab has helped nearly every sector of the economy reduce, reuse, conserve, and treat water. Its innovative water-saving technologies and on-site service helped customers save more than 461 billion liters of water in 2014.

IBM offers tens of thousands of different products and services to clients in every industry. And just as its business is diverse, so, too, are its citizenship efforts. IBM aligns all these efforts—for profit and progress—with one strategic platform called Smarter Planet. Smarter Planet provides the platform that unifies and inspires IBM stakeholders. For example, IBM founded P-Tech, a new education model developed in response to the global skills gap in STEM. Incredibly, by 2016, 100,000 students, 100 schools, and100 corporate partners will have joined IBM’s pioneering P-Tech efforts. Corporate Service Corps, another IBM Smarter Planet initiative, was launched in 2008. It works with clients, partners, communities, and nations in emerging economies on pro bono consulting projects that solve critical problems. Corporate Responsibility Magazine has listed IBM among its top 100 Best Corporate Citizens every year since the list began. This year, IBM ranked No. 1 in climate change, No. 2 in philanthropy, No.2 in human rights, and No. 4 in environment.

Intel Corporation believes that corporate responsibility helps it manage their business more effectively and identify ways to apply Intel technology and expertise to benefit the environment and society. This, in turn, helps mitigate risks, reduce costs, protect brand value, and identify market opportunities. Intel seeks to empower people and expand economic opportunity through education, technology access, energy-efficient technology solutions, and employee engagement. For example, Intel and the Intel Foundation invest in many programs and partnerships to inspire, engage, and retain more girls and women in technology and engineering fields. Since 2008, Intel has invested more than $118 million and completed more than 2,300 projects, saving more than 2.44 billion kWh of energy, or the equivalent of approximate CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 153,000 average U.S. homes for one year. These investments also generated cumulative energy cost savings for Intel of $249 million through the end of 2014.