Corporate Responsibility is woven into the fabric of econscious.
It informs and inspires our business model and our practices every day.
We are part of a worldwide movement towards “responsible capitalism,”
providing goods and services while embracing the “Three E’s” of
sustainability, which are: Ecological Sustainability; Social Equity; and Economic Vitality.
traditional corporate business model focuses on a single goal –
“increasing shareholder value.” For some corporations, this means laying
off thousands of workers to drive up stock prices. For others, it means
polluting groundwater because the fines are cheaper than the costs of
cleaner processes. Those practices are changing, as a new type of
corporation rediscovers a very old idea – that commerce can exist as a
force for social and cultural progress, where everyone affected by a
transaction can benefit.
1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development created a
definition for sustainability. It reads: “To meet the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.” Put another way, sustainability recognizes that the
planet’s resources are finite, and that if we want to be responsible
stewards of the earth, we have to use those resources wisely, so they
To act responsibly in this regard,
corporations have to look beyond the inflow of materials and the outflow
of products. We have to examine the impacts of our business up and down
the supply chain. We have to demonstrate leadership to our suppliers
and partners, and embrace ecological sustainability as a continual
process of improvement.
It takes one-third of a pound of
fertilizers and pesticides to produce the average cotton t-shirt. By
working exclusively with organic farmers, we can keep millions of pounds
of chemicals out of the environment, which has a positive impact on
watersheds, wildlife and humans. Organic farming also has a global
warming correlation; chemicals are manufactured and transported using
fossil fuels, and organic farmers use less water.
sustainability is perhaps most directly expressed in agriculture. We all
have to be fed, clothed, and sheltered every day. Agricultural products
– from our farms and forests – are all around us. By educating
ourselves and making conscious choices about what we consume, we can
join a worldwide movement towards a safer, cleaner, and healthier world.
people fairly, honestly, and ethically is a cornerstone of corporate
responsibility. It begins in our own backyard, paying employees a decent
wage, offering a safe and healthy work environment, and encouraging
employees to grow in their work and their lives.
also means that we work with our vendors, subcontractors, suppliers and
business partners to make sure that workplace conditions are safe, that
workers are not harassed or abused, that all workers are treated with
respect, and that our products will never be made with forced labor or
child labor. We require documentation of socially equitable practices,
and we inspect our overseas partners to ensure they comply.
successful and having a social conscience are mutually supportive
goals. Respecting human rights, and striving for fairness, respect, and
justice are values that enrich our lives as well as the health of our
The tenets of
Corporate Responsibility dictate that we look carefully at the economic
impacts of our business. We provide high quality products and services
at competitive prices, but we look beyond our financial success. We
consider the ethical, legal, and cultural implications of what we do. If
we contract with a farmer and pay him a fair price for his organic
cotton, we make an impact on his entire community. If we act ethically
and contribute to the economic success of our business partners, we
improve the quality of life for those communities and for society as a
Responsible corporations enjoy a myriad of economic
benefits. Using renewable resources ensures more reliable access to
materials, minimal costs for environmental compliance, and greater
customer loyalty. In addition, most responsible corporations give back
to their communities in a variety of ways. This can include support of
international movements, such as “1% For the Planet,” and support for
community efforts, by encouraging employees to volunteer and support
For us, it’s about, “doing well by doing good.”
we agree that “what we’re making” is of equal importance with “how we
make it” we accept that corporate responsibility is an ongoing process
of testing, examining, and improving our practices. For more information
about corporate responsibility, we offer these resources.
Business for Social Responsibility
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
The Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability
The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College