Friday, August 15, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility (Because I can’t find a better title)

Disguise it anyway you want, the true purpose of any business is to make money.

Whole Foods Market has a cool marketing strategy. Throughout the year, they have these "5% days" where they donate 5% of that day's profits to charities. Now, while this make seem like a wonderful humanitarian cause (which it is, in a way), under closer inspection, it is no more than an amazing marketing strategy. If Whole Foods really wants to be the best charitable business that it could be, then it should donate perhaps 70, 80 or perhaps 100 percent to charity. Even Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said himself that the 5% days, in addition to pleasing the community, attract new customers, please shareholders and make more profit. So the 5% days are intended to benefit Whole Foods, the humanitarian facet seems to be a major side-effect.

So, is this to jump on the far-left bandwagon that making money is bad? Hell no, nothing can be further from the truth. Businesses exist to make money, thus this is ethical. It is the possibility of unethical treatment of workers, the environment and sweatshop conditions for the corporation's now ill image. But still, any sensible business would have some way to ensure that its practices are ethical (Or else they might find themselves up to the eyeballs in boycotts). Also it should be noted that of the tens of thousands of corporations out there, only a small percentage of them have "evil" business practices.

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