We’ve identified twelve companies that are setting the standard when it comes to delivering real impact.
Thousands of large organizations around the world are working to create a positive change. They’re up-skilling communities, implementing skills-based volunteering programs among their team, and committing to long term sustainability initiatives.
We’ve identified twelve companies that are setting the standard when it comes to delivering real impact. Welcome to The Paragon One Impact 12.
These leading companies were selected through independent research conducted by the Paragon One team. We focused on those brands leading the way in creating transformative, long-lasting social and environmental initiatives that drive and facilitate global change.
Apple is leading several powerful initiatives, including their Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create programs, where students learn the basics of the Swift programming language through a series of puzzles and challenges. Educators use Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum to deepen creative expression and engagement. Apple has also set aside an impressive budget of $30 million towards their Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which focuses on their CSR goal to address systemic racism and expand opportunities for communities of color across the country. Many of their partnerships have focused directly on education and innovation in underserved communities.
The Dublin-based consulting company has several key areas of social impact they have been working towards: Supporting women from racially and ethnically marginalized groups by increasing their representation in corporate leadership, championing workplace inclusion and equipping global companies to rectify inequities across multiple intersecting identities, and engaging men to leverage their influence to advocate for gender equity in the workplace.
Bank of America believes that as a financial institution it is their responsibility to help to make financial lives better for people across the USA. Their work with the National Urban League seeks to help African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve achieve social parity, economic self- reliance, and improved civil rights.
Cisco is encouraging their employees to embrace virtual volunteering through several different previous opportunities, such as providing personalized career advice to students through Career Village, volunteering for crisis help lines, virtual trivia night fundraisers in support of Rise Against Hunger, and writing thank you notes to Mercy Corps first responders. They’re also seeking a 25% increase in representation of all employees who self-identify as African American/Black from entry level through manager and a 75% increase in representation from Director to VP+.
Coca-Cola has a public goal to “act in ways to improve people's lives, from our employees to those who touch our business to the many communities we call home,” and they have been standing by their word. Their 5by20 program is designed to address structural inequalities and barriers long in the making, which includes education and training, cultural and social support, and access to peer networks and mentors. 5by20’s Supplier Training and Empowerment Program (STEP) helps turn female entrepreneurs into CocaCola suppliers. Since the program launched in 2014, STEP has trained more than 40,000 women business owners.
EY, through the development of their EY Ripples program, has been helping champion actions that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, bringing together the combined skills, knowledge, and experience of the global EY network to positively impact one billion lives by 2030. EY people use their distinctive skills, knowledge and experience to bring positive change across three focus areas: supporting the next generation workforce, working with impact entrepreneurs and accelerating environmental sustainability. They are also championing processes to help facilitate a more inclusive team of leadership professionals.
Exelon’s social impact work extends into creating a diverse future workforce, energy empowerment in our communities, enrichment through local vitality, and equal access to arts and culture. Exelon’s WITS (Working In The Schools) program helps set students and educator’s up for success by establishing critical literacy skills and developing positive self-identity through teacher-led professional development and volunteer powered mentorship programs.
Google has a multitude of projects surrounding upskilling, and has committed more than $250 million since 2005 to tackle global education gaps, while empowering Googlers to volunteer their technical expertise through skills-based volunteering. In collaboration with the Google News Initiative, Google has committed $10 million to support organizations working on global media literacy efforts to help people distinguish quality content online. Google has also committed nearly $3 million to help close the racial equity gaps in computer science education and increase representation in STEM fields. In their 2022 impact report, Google’s parent company Alphabet said that it issued a whopping $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds, easily surpassing all peers in the industry.
Along with consistently being named on the the Top 10 of Diversity Inc’s 50 Best Companies for Diversity, Mastercard leads the way in several DEI initiatives. These include programs like: Equal Pay for Equal Work, where women employees at Mastercard doing the same role globally receive the same pay as their male co-workers. The “YoPros” BRG (the Young Professionals Business Resource Group) offers a one-on-one ‘Social Media Reverse Mentoring’ program to older employees who want to become familiar with social media platforms and learn best use practices. Through the Girls4Tech program, Mastercard is working to help young girls explore STEM careers through a highly engaging curriculum.
Many of Microsoft’s social impact priorities are centered around education. The company has set up partnerships with nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and provided these HBCUs with $5.7 million in funding through 2021. Microsoft has also been working to expand their justice reform work with a five-year, $50 million sustained effort, expanding access to affordable broadband and devices for Black and African American communities and key institutions that support them in major urban centers.
The Salesforce Foundation supports key causes across education and workforce development. In education, they provide engaging and inclusive academic experiences through STEM education, supporting educators by investing in professional development and creating a diverse educator pipeline. In workforce development, Salesforce helps connect young people to professional and technical skills, and enabling them to access entry level jobs that will advance into strong careers. The program also works to ensure higher education students from underrepresented and underserved communities have access to the professional experiences, skills, and networks needed to secure strong first jobs post-graduation. In 2020, Salesforce signed an agreement with renewable energy firm X-ELIO’s Blue Grass solar farm in Australia. The project will have the capacity to power 80,000 homes and save more than 320,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Verizon supports social impact through four pillars: governance, integration, engagement, and reporting. The Verizon Innovative Learning program helps both students and teachers, and aims to provide 10 million youth with digital-skills training by 2030. They have committed to dedicate 2.5 million volunteer hours by 2025, wherein 2 of the 3 Citizen Verizon focus areas are digital inclusion and human prosperity. The company pledged to go carbon neutral by 2035. Earlier this year, Verizon struck 15 new deals related to renewable energy including deals with Duke Energy, Leeward Renewable Energy and Lightsource BP.
We’re inspired by your dedication and perseverance and cannot wait to see what you do next.
If you’re inspired by these companies like we are, talk to us to learn how creating real-work experiences for Fortune 1000 leaders of tomorrow can accelerate your CSR goals.
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