WHAT MAKES A COMPANY GOOD?
Anita Sharpe on Making a Difference
It's probably fair to say that when it comes to social responsibility, there is no such thing as a perfect company.
One company may do right by trees, but treat its workers like dirt. Other firms provide plenty of passion and great pay for employees, but that's about as giving as they get. And you may recall that Enron once ranked high with socially responsible investment funds.
We talk about this a lot at Worthwhile. In fact, before we decided to create the magazine, we knew we were venturing into imperfect territory, that virtually any company we feature is bound to have legions of critics. This is only going to get murkier as more companies realize they have to clean up their acts or lose a lot of goodwill, not to mention customers. (See David Batstone's piece below about the Gap.)
If a company does the right thing, but its motives are less than pure, is it still the right thing? What about a once-tainted company that is taking steps in the right direction -- can it ever escape its sordid past? If business is indeed the best hope for social change, how do we identify the good guys?