On June 10, 1995, Greenpeace activists in small boats circled around a Shell oil rig named the Brent Spar that was being towed out to be sunk 150 miles off the coast of Scotland. They claimed Shell was about to cause an environmental disaster.
Why Respond to Community Problems and Needs
Researchers believed it was a sound environmental decision.
In the face of public and political opposition (including a widespread boycott, some physical attacks and an arson attack), Shell abandoned its plans.
Greenpeace later acknowledged that its assessment of the oil remaining in Brent Spar’s storage tanks had been grossly overestimated.
Driver – Environment; Impacts – Costs, Public Relations
A local historical society, dedicated to the preservation of character and history, particularly the Civil War history, stops Disney from building a theme park in Northern Virginia.
The proposed park would have been built near Civil War battlefields, shattering the solemnity of the area and perhaps causing damage to the historical properties.
Controversy further arose as claims were charged that Disney was participating in "corporate history" by selling knowledge of past events that would deliberately be skewed and toned down for entertainment and not historical accuracy.
Driver – Education; Impacts – Economic Growth (private and public?) Why Respond to Community Problems and Needs
Monsanto developed a genetically modified organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Some African nations refused emergency food aid from developed countries, fearing that the food is unsafe even while the UN encouraged the countries to accept the aid.
In response to negative public opinion, Monsanto announced its decision to remove their seed cereal business from Europe and stopped producing and marketing bio-engineered crop seed in Europe and Africa.
Driver - Product Safety; Impacts – Growth, Public Health Why Respond to Community Problems and Needs
Threatened with a boycott, Toyota committed nearly $8 billion over ten years in 2001 to diversify its work force and reach out to more minority suppliers and customers. The boycott had been planned due to a perceived poor record with minority customers in Chicago and Detroit.
Toyota said that it would work to expand the number of minority dealerships, create new career training programs for minorities and invest capital with minority-owned asset management companies.
Toyota said its program was a reaffirmation of its goals to diversify and broaden its supplier network and that it would further increase company spending on minorities.
Driver - Economic Development; Impacts – Public Relations Why Respond to Community Problems and Needs
Grameen Bank (meaning village bank ), based in Bangladesh, is an internationally recognized innovator in the field of economic development.
In 1974, Muhammad Yunus, an economics professor at Chattagong University, took his students on a field trip to a poor rural village. There, they interviewed a woman who supported herself by crafting bamboo stools.
The woman had to borrow money for raw materials at the outrageous interest rate of 10 percent a week, leaving a profit of only one penny per stool. The professor, shocked by what he saw, began lending his own money to villagers.
Finding that small loans helped many people pull themselves out of poverty, Yunus founded Grameen in 1983 to provide micro-credit to individual entrepreneurs who would not normally qualify for loans.
Today, Grameen has nearly two thousand branches and serves six million borrowers. “These millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder,” Yunus has said.
BofA has partnered with Women in Community Service (WICS), a nonprofit organization that provides job and life skills training to women who are on public assistance, in prison, or are homeless or living in public housing
Bank has contributed staff, products and services, internship opportunities, and money to WICS, and has hired thousands of new employees out of welfare-to-work programs
BofA has experienced many benefits: an improved reputation, tax credits, and recruitment of motivated workers
A community has site, fence-line, cyber, stakeholders and employee elements to it.
Business and communities depend on each other
Reasons for community involvement
To win local support for business activity and be granted an informal “license to operate” in the community
To build “social capital,” the norms and networks that enable collective action
Social issues areas where a number of corporations are now focusing their efforts include economic development, crime abatement, welfare-to-work job training, aid to minority enterprises and disaster, terrorism, and war relief