August 22, 2008

Pip’s Tips: Nike, Target, Wal-Mart to join the ranks of Whole Foods?

“Corporate and Cultural Leaders Making a Difference” via Pippa Sorley, from our Autumn 2005 issue.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ~Greek Proverb

Enron, Halliburton, Worldcom and SUV-spewing car manufacturers aren’t the whole story. Plenty of corporate and cultural leaders are making a difference.
1. Leaders on a Mission: At July’s Colorado’s Snowmass Wellness Festival, Deepak Chopra announced that the new Affinity for the New Humanity will work to galvanize influential industry leaders, rock stars and citizens around the world to spread peace ‘like a fungus.’ Execs at Coca-Cola have already come on board to package, market and sell peace as effectively as their ubiquitous soft drink.

2. Nike: All our bitching and moaning about Nike underpaying their workers may have paid off. For Nike is now one of the top corporations when it comes to social and environmental responsibility, removing toxic substances including PVC from their approved material list, and keeping old shoes out of the landfill by converting them into athletic fields.

3. Whole Foods: As a pioneer of conscious consumerism, Whole Foods has been giving back to its communities for years. But this past January they surpassed all expectations when they raised more than $550K (in one day of sales!) for the new Animal Compassion Foundation.

4. Leveraging Fame for Good: He may not be Paul Newman or Robert Redford, but Brad Pitt is doing something good with his fame. At the height of Angie/Bradgate he agreed to an interview with Diane Sawyer on one condition: that 60% of the program address AIDS in Africa. The network agreed, and 20 million viewers got their dose of Brad—and reality.

5. Walmart: this most controversial of corporate behemoths (did you know that their stores and parking lots occupy roughly 75,000 acres in the U.S.?) will soon unveil their first ‘green’ store in Dallas. They may still be selling crap, but at least they’ll be selling it in a mindful space.

6. Target: A founding member of the “Five Percent Club,” Targé gives $2 million/week to neighborhoods,
programs and schools across the country.

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