Corporate social engagement can take many forms: donations to non-profit organizations, employee benefits that encourage work-life balance and leadership training, sustainability efforts, community support programs, and the list goes on. To focus social goals, a company should be guided by its values.

“Our community affairs mission is to strengthen and empower healthy communities in Campbell hometowns and enhance employees’ connection to both company and personal purpose,” said Kim Fortunato, vice president, community affairs, Campbell Soup Co., Camden, NJ. “Our focus areas include increasing healthy food access, encouraging healthy living and nurturing Campbell neighborhoods.”

With this mission in mind, the snack giant can focus its financial donations, in-kind contributions and employee giving and volunteerism.

“A large amount of support for our communities comes directly from our employees,” Ms. Fortunato said. “We believe it is critical to enable our workforce to give back, both to benefit our communities and benefit the employees themselves by giving them opportunities to tap into their own sources of purpose and motivation.”

Throughout the year, Campbell provides programs that offer employees opportunities to donate time or money to benefit their communities. The Campbell Soup Foundation will even match employees’ donations to extend the impact.

Additionally, Campbell’s Healthy Communities is a 10-year, $10 million program aimed at improving the health of young people in towns where the company operates. Again, this program is guided by four areas that Campbell believes makes communities healthier: food access, physical activity, nutrition education and public will.

[Related reading: Companies give back to communities, employees in COVID-19]

All this good is measured against Campbell’s five new community goals for 2025. This ensures that the company’s social responsibility work actually has an impact.

“Benchmarks for success include increasing food access in Campbell’s communities, investing in healthy school food programs for all students and increasing engagement among Campbell’s employees,” Ms. Fortunato said.

Wyandot solidified its core values in 2016, centering on being a better-for-you company that makes snacks that transform the industry landscape.

“A lot of it has to do with making sure we’re doing right by the environment, being good stewards of the resources we have, keeping teammate welfare top of mind and taking care of customers,” Mr. Sarlls explained. “That’s really evolved a bit more into making snacks that really benefit society.” 

“You can’t separate workplace support from community support.”

- Alicia Sexton, Wyandot Snacks

Wyandot’s B Corp certification in 2020 not only further focused the company’s missions and goals but also provided a framework to track goals and impact. B Corp uses the B Impact Assessment to evaluate the company’s interactions and impact on employees, customers, community and environment.

Applicants must document and validate their policies to show they are doing the work required of their social responsibility programs. The certification is renewed every three years.

As a part of its B Corp status, Wyandot had to choose a sustainable development goal. Instead of being chosen by a board or committee, the snack manufacturer opened the decision up to the entire company. All 350 employees voted from a list of goals on which one meant the most to them personally. The company chose the sustainable development goal of Zero Hunger.

When it comes to supporting employees, Wyandot not only encourages buy-in on social responsibility, but it also takes care of its teammates with benefits, community engagement and mentorship, especially for building up women and minority leadership in the company.

“You can’t separate workplace support from community support,” Said Alicia Sexton, senior sales manager, Wyandot Snacks, Marion, Ohio.

[Related reading: Grupo Bimbo committed to corporate citizenship]

Clif Bar & Company, Emeryville, Calif., also weaves its support of employees into community initiatives. At its LEED-certified bakery in Indianapolis, the company offers workers a fitness area, lactation room, wellness room and outdoor patio. The Clif’s Cool Commute program helps employees purchase electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

The bar producer also encourages volunteering and donating to national parks, which is in line with the company’s mission of providing fuel for outdoor activities. In 2019, Clif Bar employees logged 21,924 hours of volunteer work and $6.4 million of financial donations.

This article is an excerpt from the July 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on social responsibility, click here.