Create positive impact & generate new revenue streams

Global companies including Unilever, Dow, Interface, Adidas and Nike are just a few companies leveraging the power of their organization to solve social and environmental problems and create new revenue streams. This continues to be a top priority for our clients running innovation challenges and campaigns.

Written by Ashley Edwards-Giltrop
May 20th, 2019

Corporate social responsibility is no longer enough

Consumers and employees have higher standards than ever as they increasingly come to expect global companies to act socially responsible. While your organization may already engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) through philanthropic funding or volunteer efforts, stakeholders are beginning to see this as another check of the box activity to gain goodwill, boost sales, and reach the ever-growing environmentally conscious consumer group. Ten years ago, organizations that participated in CSR were far and few, but today, this is the norm.

The difference between corporate social responsibility and corporate social innovation

While the purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to gain goodwill often times through volunteer efforts or philanthropy, Corporate Social Innovation (CSI) aims to produce new sources of revenue that serve as a competitive advantage for an organization. CSI is related to strategic investments in which an organization uses its own assets and business expertise to solve a societal problem by leveraging the expertise and knowledge of others through collaboration. Not only creating a sustainable business model for the organization but creating positive impact on people and the planet.

The power of strategic investments

Unilever and Dow are on a mission to make soap accessible to prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases. With the support of Dow Chemical, Unilever was able to develop a soap that lasts longer, cost less and lathers easier enabling more people to have access to basic hygiene products and ensuring healthier communities across developing countries.

Interface set out to make carpet tiles with the least environmental impact. The result was an environmental footprint 90% lower than traditional carpet adhesives by almost entirely eliminating the need for adhesives to hold carpet tiles in place. Further, the carpet tiles could be selectively removed reducing excess waste.

Adidas and Parley partnered to create footwear made from ocean plastic, while Nike created a new material for footwear by binding leftover hide. These innovative product lines not only add to the bottom line but reduce waste by upcycling.

A platform that supports corporate social innovation

Industry leaders including Bühler, Covestro and Evonik use the Nosco platform to invite students from across the world to submit business ideas that decrease the carbon footprint of their manufacturing, industrial processes and products throughout their value chain. Learn more about the Carbon Footprint Challenge by watching the video below or read the case, here.