This article is sponsored by CUA to empower community financial decision making. »
In 2020, it's becoming clear that the priorities of large businesses have shifted immensely.
More than ever, businesses are making an effort to break the status-quo by using profits to foster their consumer community for the greater good, becoming leaders in their fields in the process.
Here's a look into how 5 different businesses have approached generating positive impacts for their employees, economies, communities, and the environment, integrating those goals as part of the profit-making process.
CUA (Credit Union Australia) was founded on the ethos of giving members access to fair and affordable finance while also having a say in the company’s direction.
With a slew of community initiatives that have made up the foundation of their work since 1946, CUA members have the chance to participate in the governance of the company, as well as actively ask questions about their management and financial performance, putting the "people" at the forefront of their decision making as an entity.
Currently providing banking and other financial services to more than 500,000 Aussies, CUA's community focus extends beyond the power it gives to its members.
In an Australian first collaboration with Australian Red Cross and Infoxchange, CUA has sought to connect people who are isolated with its Connected Future partnership, a digital inclusion initiative that provides essential skills to its members and communities to thrive in an online world.
The credit union has also sought to create deeper social and community connections to support their most isolated members by educating and empowering them to make better financial choices.
Founded in 1996 in Fitzroy, Melbourne, aside from their immersive in-store consumer experiences, T2 is the largest tea retailer across Australia and New Zealand.
Its attitude as a business is skewed towards not only providing the best product in the tea market, but also by continually innovating in attempts to increase sustainability.
In 2020, the company officially sourced 72% of its tea ingredients sustainably, with the remaining 28% on track to be certified sustainably sourced by 2021. All T2 teabags are manufactured entirely from plant-based sources and, all teawares and accessories are derived from suppliers that are ethically audited by the SMETA 6.0.
Patagonia is one of the most popular outdoor apparel brands worldwide, with stores in 16 countries generating $750 million in revenue in 2017.
Their dedication to community fostering has always been front-of-mind, as the company was a founding member of the Textile Exhcnage (formally known as Organic Exchange) - a nonprofit group formed in 2002 with the goal of increasing global sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products.
It was also the first brand to join the network of Bluesign system partners, which seeks out to level up consumer safety through improving the process of textile supply chains, which uses the "Bluesign" system to ensure its products will yield minimal impacts on people and the environment.
Having launched in 2009, Kickstarter is a leader in the crowd-funding field. Since then, 7.5 million people pledged $1.5 billion to fund creative projects.
The independent company have a dedicated Trust & Safety team which is dedicated to delving into concerns raised by project backers to ensure the security of their projects.
The Body Shop
Skincare and cosmetics brands have been notoriously slow-moving in their efforts towards sustainability and cruelty-free product testing. The Body Shop, however, founded in 1976 with over 2500 stores worldwide, has been a leader in this movement.
The company have a history of engaging customers in "activist campaigns" including "Forever Against Animal Testing" which influenced lawmakers and stakeholders worldwide to discuss the change in legislation around animal testing.
Bringing their ethos into stores physically, The Body Shop's recycling scheme encourages customers to return empty bottles back into the store for correct recycling methods, to reduce the companies contributions to landfill.