6 Brands Working Hard to Make the World a Better Place
These companies prove the power consumer brands have in the fight to end extreme poverty.
Global Citizen believes in bringing together the leadership of advocates, governments, and corporate brands to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
Powerful changes don’t happen overnight, but some brands have made huge efforts toward education, health, water and sanitation, food and hunger, and the environment, and they are great examples of how to tackle even the most challenging issues.
Global Citizens rely on the leadership of brands like these to create a movement that brings forward good social change.
The ALDO Group has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the 1980s. From the get-go, it has worked to raise awareness with marketing campaigns and donations through the initiative ALDO FIGHTS AIDS, which started in 1985.
ALDO joined in the fight against AIDS after being moved by the death of a colleague who was affected by the disease. This sparked a commitment to de-stigmatize and raise awareness around AIDS.
“We have been committed to the fight against AIDS as far back as 1985, when few were willing to take a stand,” said Aldo Bensadoun, founder and executive chairman of the ALDO Group. “It’s a cause very close to our heart and today, more than ever, we continue our commitment to raising awareness and funds to help protect and educate people around the world. We’ve come a long way but the fight is not over yet.”
Take Action: We all need good food to thrive
There are a number of ways in which ALDO has contributed to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.
In 2005, their “Hear No Evil? See No Evil? Speak No Evil?” campaign raised funds with YouthAids and celebrities. Their empowerment tags sold for $5 each in Aldo stores and 100% of the net proceeds went to YouthAIDS.
In 2009, collectible tote bags were created and sold and 100% of the net proceeds from their sales went to AIDS education and prevention programs in South Africa with YouthAIDS.
In 2014 and 2015, the funds from their #FriendsFight campaigns (a collection of friendship bracelets) were donated to Partners In Health.
In 2015, Aldo and the Farha Foundation came together for Quebec’s ÇA MARCHE, an annual event celebrating life and solidarity.
Since 1985, ALDO FIGHTS AIDS has generated over $10 million in donations to AIDS organizations around the world. The fight is not over and the ALDO Group will keep on fighting until AIDS is completely eradicated.
The world is currently facing a refugee crisis like no other before, and this year, Airbnb found a way to help. In June 2017, Airbnb launched Open Homes, a platform that helps connect hosts with people who have been uprooted to provide them with free housing.
Hosts who want to list free space to people displaced by conflict or natural disasters can do so in almost 200 countries around the world. Airbnb does not make money off these listings and specialized agencies have partnered with them to help bring together hosts and refugees.
Through their Global Citizenship Champion program, organizers plan volunteer events for Airbnb employees and hosts, and donate to local causes. In 2016, the Airbnb group logged over 17,000 hours of community service.
Airbnb also partners with different organizations within local communities. They share office spaces with nonprofits, donate food to shelters and donate funds they’ve received from the sale of used equipment.
In 2011, JetBlue partnered with Random House Children’s Books to launch the Soar with Reading Initiative. The initiative was designed to encourage reading amongst children and to deliver books to those in need.
By 2015, they had designed book vending machines that were installed in cities in United States. So far, the vending machines have been placed in Washington, D.C., Detroit, MI and Ft. Lauderdale, FL., distributing 100,000 free books to each city.
“Soar with Reading empowers children to take pride in owning books,” Icema Gibbs, JetBlue’s director of corporate social responsibility, said in a press release. “Students who visit the vending machines are able to take as many books as they want as often as they want to build their own personal libraries.”
Research found that three out of four children with access to the machines achieved higher scores on literacy tests than before they were installed.
Whole Foods is known for promoting local food, sustainable agriculture, waste reduction, and the use of renewable resources.
Whole Foods created the Whole Planet Foundation in 2005 to help bring an end to poverty through microloans in rural communities across the globe. They have committed $73,495,440 and supported 11,520,000 people. Microloans have gone to more than 2,096,000 women entrepreneurs in 69 countries.
Whole Foods also established the Local Producer Loan program in 2006. It provides $25 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers.
“We’re proud to support small producers who need a hand, not a handout, to help them make their dreams reality,” the Whole Foods website reads.
Kimberly-Clark is a cofounder of the Toilet Board Coalition, a group that aims to provide solutions to the world’s sanitation crisis.
Kimberly-Clark’s Toilets Change Lives program is an example of investment in improving water and sanitation. In 2014, the company invested $35.8 million in product and cash donations.
“Girls miss school every month because menstruation becomes too hard to manage when you don’t have proper facilities. And children miss school because of the spread of disease and infection from a lack of basic sanitation,” Mauricio Troncoso, vice president and managing director for Western Europe, said. “This issue is not just affecting the health and hygiene of these communities, but also their futures.”
Best known for its chains like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, Yum! Brands works to eliminate hunger in the world. In 2007, the company created its World Hunger Relief program. All of the funds raised through this platform go to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which is dedicated to eliminating hunger.
The World Hunger Relief initiative supports the WFP’s programs that concentrate on school feeding, mother-child health and nutrition and emergency operations. They also donate an additional $2 million a year to take care of expenses associated with their global campaign so that 100% of their donations go to the WFP.
The World Hunger Relief program has raised almost $600 million in cash and food donations for WFP and other agencies.
Global Citizen campaigns on issues as they related to the United Nations Goals for Sustainable Development. These brands have all taken action on some of the world’s biggest challenges and you can too. Take action here.