Top 5 Innovative CSR Initiatives of 2012

July 11, 2012

2012 has seen the deployment of many truly creative and innovative CSR projects. Brave One wanted to call particular attention to these 5 standout initiatives. Each of the initiatives profiled below feature creative and original strategies to help convey their company’s commitment to people and planet.


Domtar: Domtar is the largest marketer and manufacturer of freesheet paper in North America.  The Paper Trail is a website that Domtar has created to prove and communicate their commitment to sustainability to consumers and stakeholders. Using this tool, customers can choose the product they have purchased and track the exact location and mill that it came from.   The Paper Trail can also calculate the environmental effects of each product in terms of water, transportation, greenhouse gases, waste, and renewable energy. The complete transparency of Domtar’s paper production is a huge step forward in environmental responsibility for their industry.


Unilever: As a parent to over 200 brands focused on health and wellbeing, Unilever has a remarkable dedication to social responsibility. They aim for improvement in this area through innovative strategies. An online platform for sustainable solutions is their newest effort to reduce environmental impacts while doubling in size. On this site, Unilever has published a list of over ten “wants”; areas in which they are seeking innovative solutions.  They request that stakeholders and potential stakeholders share cutting-edge, original ideas through on online submission portal from which propositions are screened and utilized. Inviting public involvement and suggestions is the most innovative CSR initiative Unilver has deployed since they announced all employees were now heads of sustainability.


CSX:  As one of the nation’s leading transportation suppliers, CSX operates on a number of core values that focus on the customer, making a difference, safety, and getting results the right way. The company recently launched a new website for their most recent Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The site was designed so that readers can easily navigate and locate information that they are interested in. This report is uniquely engaging and presents a transparent view of the company’s ambitions.


Warby Parker: This eye glass company has launched a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program where for each purchase made, glasses are given to someone in need. One billion people that need eye glasses do not have them. Warby Parker has already made a difference by donating over 150,000 pairs by working with nonprofit partners. In addition to this initiative, the company tracks all of their greenhouse gas emissions and then offsets them. These two major, sustainability efforts by Warby Parker make them a rising star amongst sustainable brands.


North Face:  Very recently, the North Face has launched a brand new online program, titled Role Models. By signing this pledge, individuals can commit to taking someone outside to increase appreciation of our environment.  In addition to stimulating interaction with nature, North Face asks all pledges to share images and stories from their exploration.  This is only one part of the company’s combined sustainability efforts and was developed to encourage a global movement of outdoor exploration.


Can you think of another innovative and disruptive CSR initiative? Please share in the comments below.

2 comments on “Top 5 Innovative CSR Initiatives of 2012”

  1. Thanks for sharing this article--it's really nice to focus on such innovative efforts! I just learned about Clif Bar's 2080 Project which is another interesting initiative ( is also a great resource for any company looking to improve their CSR program--it is like the for professionals who want to volunteer their time with high-impact non-profits.

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