Blogs & Comment

"How do we know if they're telling the truth?"

That’s what a nine-year-old boy in my daughter’s class asked me during a presentation I did for them in January about corporate responsibility.
I thought about his question again this morning as I was looking through the April issue of National Geographic. Going through the magazine you would think that most large corporations are social purpose businesses. Here are the companies and brands that have ads in the first 36 pages that focus on social impact: SC Johnson, Sunchips, Kohler, Canon, Monsanto, Earthgrains Bread, Calvert Investments, Delta Faucet, Becton, Dickinson and Company, ITT Corporation, Pepsico, Bayer, and Nature Valley.
Needless to say, I’m all for this. However, the boy’s question remains key. How do we know if they’re telling the truth?
Most often, corporations that are improving and emphasizing their social purpose (including those listed above) are communicating their actions without a third party to verify/substantiate their claims. As a result, their positive efforts aren’t as authentic as they could be.