or buy products from strive to improve
the environment. Moreover, 68 percent of
those surveyed said they favored buying
green goods, indicating that an investment
in eco-friendly products and services can
provide a pay-off.
The benefits of environmental sustainability are similar to those of other CR
initiatives—they give companies a com-
“THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
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IS A NATURAL EXTENSION OF
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CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
petitive edge and offer growth opportunities.
When market-research firm Frost & Sullivan
asked 593 senior executives why they adopted sustainable business practices, 69 percent
Who Is Driving Sustainability?
Source: The Vandiver Group, Inc.
10.9% Executive VP
6% Division Director
1.6% Environmental Health
and Safety Officer
1.6% Public Affairs/
cited the potential competitive advantage as
the reason and 67 percent said it was the opportunity for business growth.
Sustainability also improves the bottom
line. “If you have an energy strategy or you’re
reducing wSaUstBeHiEnAyDou-Gr IoLpLeSrAatNioSns1,0yPoTu’re
going to drMivaeindBoarwcnopcoy-sGtsil,l”Ssaanyss1S0tpotkes. “Plus,
employees, including top MBA prospects,
want to work for environmentally conscious,
sustainable organizations—and that reduces
recruitment costs and turnover.”
MASTERCARD BUILDS STRONG COMMUNITIES
Financial-services giant MasterCard not only
works to promote business commerce, the
company strives to enhance the communities
where it operates through employee volunteerism and educational and disaster-relief programs. To encourage employee involvement,
MasterCard launched its Volunteer Incentive
Program, which provides donations of
up to $500 to the organizations to which
MasterCard employees donate their time.
Through a separate Matching Gift program,
MasterCard contributes funds to eligible
charitable organizations supported by more
than 2,000 employees, matching gifts of up to
$5,000 per employee per year. MasterCard’s
total Matching Gifts contributions exceeded
$500,000 last year. A sampling of MasterCard
employee-volunteer programs: At the company’s Purchase, N.Y., headquarters, employees
renovated a school for young people with disabilities and helped 140 underprivileged school
children receive new clothes and school supplies from sponsors. In St. Louis, more than 250
employees have given financial-literacy classes
to low-income students (shown).
To further promote education, MasterCard
partnered with The Hispanic College Fund four
years ago to launch the MasterCard Hispanic
Excellence Award, which provides financial assistance to promising young Latino scholars. In
addition, the MasterCard Scholars Program, in
collaboration with the United Negro College
Fund, has helped more than 25 college students
in New York City and St. Louis graduate from an
HBCU (historically Black college or university).
What’s more, MasterCard is committed to
providing disaster relief globally. That support
includes the donation of prepaid MasterCards
for use by American Red Cross personnel to
buy gasoline, food, water and other supplies
in the field. Following the South Asia tsunami
in December 2004, for instance, MasterCard
waived fees for contributions made by U.S.
cardholders to the Red Cross’ tsunami-relief
fund. Similarly, when Hurricane Katrina struck,
MasterCard donated $500,000 to the Red
Cross and double-matched the contributions
of its employees.