Corporate responsibility – has your business thought about this? Do you have a policy in place? Are you actively engaged in any projects you have ongoing? Corporate responsibility is something many companies, of all sizes – including smaller businesses, are starting to recognise as an important part of their daily business activity.
Investopedia describes how it has become so important “Companies are increasingly ramping up their focus on social responsibility, whether it’s championing women’s rights, protecting the environment, or attempting to obliterate poverty, on local, national, or global levels…From an optics perspective, socially responsible companies project more attractive images to both consumers and shareholders alike, which serves to positively affect their bottom lines.”
But what kind of projects can your business embark on to make an impact? It needs to be the right ‘fit’ for your company. This gets tricky when you’re small to medium sized and unsure of where to make your mark.
So this week we’re taking a close look at Fruitful Office, a successful London based office fruit delivery company. They managed to align a social responsibility project with their company ethos, which makes their brand stronger at its core with a strong philanthropic identity but also gives the added benefits of presenting a more trustworthy brand that customers want to help succeed.
So, what are they doing? In 2015, in association with UK charity RIPPLE Africa, every time a customer purchased an office fruit basket from Fruitful Office, the company pledged to plant a tree in Malawi, Africa. This turned out to be a very successful campaign, with a total of 105,981 trees in Malawi being planted over the course of a few short months upon the campaign’s launch. The trees that were planted were fast growing trees, such as guava and papaya fruit trees. They only take 3-5 years to grow, are relatively low maintenance, and are often abundant with fruit, making it ideal for the communities growing them.
Fig 1. Fruitful Office team planting in Malawi.
Why does this help? Well, the Malawian community are able to continue the work after Fruitful Office have provided the tree seedlings and guidelines for their care. The seeds were given to farmers, schools and community clubs across the region. In some cases, equipment was also given to the community to assist with the maintenance of the trees. The trees provide a means of income for many.
The campaign doesn’t stop there. Fruitful Office are actively implementing plans to take their campaign to the deforested region of Mzuzu. Currently, the plan is to plant more fast growing trees in this area, with a target of 300,000 trees in the first year.
The Fruitful Office campaign is successful for many reasons. The first is that the campaign makes a real difference. It is a worthwhile cause and a lot of long-term good is being done for the right reasons. Secondly, Fruitful can talk about the campaign on their website, social media and in press releases (you’re reading about it right now, afterall.) Detailing the work and benefits of such a project undeniably enhances the brand image. This offers the second hand benefit of customers realising they are directly contributing to a tangible difference on the other side of the world – Just one fruit basket is equivalent to the planting of one fruit tree, so the campaign can feel effective from the first order. The campaign is also in line with the Fruitful Office branding and ethos, which is an important consideration when choosing a campaign area to hitch your support too. It’s a natural fit as the Fruitful Office brand represents ideas such as consciously making good choices, healthy living, sustainable development, and so on, which this project holds at the very core of its mission statement. Fruitful Office extended this campaign and didn’t stop at the end of the first project five years ago. By providing ongoing support, real relationships have been built and continue to flourish as time goes on. They show no signs of stopping this support, despite the on-going chaos of the global pandemic wreaking havoc with revenue and travel plans alike.