Water. We drink it, shower with it, use it to keep our lawns green and often times waste it. According to Visualizing.org, “if everyone in the world used as much water as the average American, the planet would run out of clean water within eight years.” Since 1950 there has been a 99 percent increase in population in the U.S. combined with a 127 percent increase in water usage. In a state that is surrounded by water and receives an average of 54 inches of rainfall a year, it is no surprise that water is an integral part of the Florida environment.
Over the last decade, environmental and social issues have become top of mind for many consumers. Consumers are demanding that businesses have a positive impact on the world and it is why many organizations are now making corporate social responsibility (CSR) a top priority. CSR is the accountability of a company for the impact it makes on the communities where it does business. Through a responsible and sustainable CSR approach, a company builds both its brand and reputation, which ultimately strengthens the community and the marketplace which it serves. In its simplest form, CSR is often referred to the “triple bottom line” or people, planet and profit.
South Florida companies, like Waste Management & FPL, have placed part of their CSR focus on preserving our environment. A goal of Waste Management is to “conserve and maintain the wetlands, wildlife habitats and green spaces for people’s enjoyment.” Using a strategic approach to its CSR and philanthropy efforts, Waste Management partners with specific nonprofits or charities, such as the Audubon Assembly and Keep Florida Beautiful, that align with its goals and objectives to conserve the environment. Through funding, these charities are able to continue programs, services and advocacy efforts to help preserve our natural environment.
FPL is also committed to being an industry leader in the protection of the environment. A key project to preserve the wetlands in the Everglades is the restoration of the Everglades Mitigation Bank (EMB). The goal of this project is to restore this unique wetland to its natural state. The site, which is located in Miami-Dade, is over 13,000 acres and is “home to several ecosystems that support 46 protected species of plant and animal life.” FPL understands how water is an integral part of the ecosystem in south Florida and it is just one way they are able to do their part to preserve our environment.
With all the good that CSR does, you may wonder how more companies can do the same. The answer is simple. Consumers are driving the CSR movement. These days the consumer is much more socially conscious and demanding that their favorite brands or companies adopt CSR efforts. Companies who listen to their consumers and adopt CSR practices will ultimately reap the benefits. So do your research and reward those companies who are trying to make the world a better place.
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