Despite your first thoughts: For The Walt Disney Company, it’s not all about having fun, and creating memories for families and kids. It’s also about acting responsibly, and corporate social responsibility is an integral part of their brand.
“Our efforts to be a good corporate citizen have a direct impact on our financial strength, as well as our reputation as one of the most trusted and admired companies in the world,” commented Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo in the 2014 Disney Citizenship Performance Report.
To Disney, citizenship also means motivating others. The company believes that the example set by its more than 180,000 employees is nothing compared to the impact it can have when it inspires the millions of kids and families it reaches every day to take action and make a difference.
Three guiding CSR principles
Disney works to embed citizenship into all its daily decisions and actions, guided by three core principles:
1. Act and create in an ethical manner and consider the consequences of decisions on people and the planet. This includes not just ethical conduct, but also responsible content, environmental stewardship, respectful workplaces and a responsible supply chain.
- One recent accomplishment: In 2012, Disney launched Heroes Work Here with an initial goal to hire more than 1,000 veterans by 2015, and then made a commitment to hire an additional 1,000 veterans. As of October 31, 2014, the company had hired more than 3,800 veterans in 31 months.
2. Champion the happiness and well-being of kids, parents and families – Help make healthier living fun and accessible, and strengthen communities around the world through strategic philanthropy.
- In 2014, Disney gave nearly $87 million in cash donations to nonprofit organizations and schools. It continued its more than 50 years of support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, adding a new sponsorship for the National Youth of the Year program, and investing in the club’s Great Futures campaign so it can serve more members, more often.
- Donating 18 million books to organizations for children in need and encouraging story telling was their goal. By the end of 2014, Disney had donated more than 23 million books in two years.
- Mickey Check at all their table and quick serve restaurants in domestic parks and resorts, including Disney Cruise Lines, makes it easier to identify nutritious choices. (BTW, Disney was the first major media company to establish nutritional guidelines for its brand and characters in 2006.)
3. Inspire kids and families to make a lasting, positive change in the world. This involves nurturing creative thinking skills for kids as well as connecting them to nature to build lifelong conservation values.
- In 2014, Disney inspired kids and families to take 3.7 million actions, ranging from pledging online to protect the planet and volunteer in local communities, to supporting programs raising thousands of dollars, to unlocking donations to deserving nonprofits around the globe.
- Disney exceeded its goal to connect 35 million kids and families with nature experiences by 2015. About 26 million of these experiences were through its theme parks and resorts, and the other 12 million came from grants to organizations which get kids and families involved with nature. In two years, Disney connected more than 38 million kids and families with nature.
Setting and measuring results
Consistently ranked near the top of the annual list of the World’s Most Reputable Companies, Disney earned the #1 spot last year (sharing top honors with Google). The 2014 list, published by Reputation Institute, a leading reputation management consulting firm, evaluated 130 companies through an online survey with more than 55,000 consumers across 15 markets around the globe.
The Walt Disney Company may be an international and large family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments (media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media), but their commitment and approach set a great example and give any company ideas it can use.
Disney clearly understands how to be a good citizen, and takes pride in doing it right! Read more details in their annual performance summaries, which are great resources for setting CSR goals.
Inspired to improve your citizenship efforts? We can help you include philanthropy that supports your goals—just contact us.
– Candy Culver