Given the diversity of our product portfolio, we were recently asked the following questions:
- How do you determine which brands are aligned with a particular social or environmental cause?
- How do you balance the causes that resonate with your employees with those that are relevant to consumers?
Here’s how we think about. Our mission as a company is to “Make everyday life better, every day.” This aspiration is at the heart of everything we do, and we believe it serves us well as we make choices regarding the causes we support.
We have a wide range of brands – Clorox® bleach, Hidden Valley® dressings, Kingsford® charcoal, Brita® water filters, and Fresh Step® cat litter, to name a few – and selecting a single cause that resonates across our brands’ target consumers isn’t something we think will work. Instead, brands decide which causes they believe will feel authentic to their target consumers.
For example, the Glad® brand has partnered with Keep America Beautiful for almost 30 years, providing millions of bags for the Great American Clean-up and, more recently, supporting waste reduction and composting efforts on college campuses and sporting venues. The Hidden Valley® brand has created programs that encourage children to eat more vegetables, and our Clorox® brand donates disinfecting wipes to classrooms and has partnered with programs like Say Boo to the Flu and Stop MRSA Now, which supports our efforts to stop the spread of infection.
Similarly, Clorox employees lead the way when it comes to choosing the causes they – and the company – support. We have an annual GIFT (Giving for Tomorrow) campaign that enables employees to give to any nonprofit of their choice and have the company match their donation up to a certain amount. The tagline of this employee-driven campaign, “Follow your heart and Clorox will follow you,” illustrates that the company understands that we all have different passions and supports us in how we each choose to give. Employees have responded to this freedom, and last year we had a record-setting 60 percent of eligible employees participate, raising more than $4.5 million for our communities.
We also donate products, as well as K-12 educational and cultural cash grants, through The Clorox Company Foundation.
A few years ago, we audited our giving across the company and introduced Our “Be Well: Be Healthy, Be Smart, Be Safe” framework. We found this approach, which sums up the nature of most the programs in which we participate, helped us provide a cohesive view of our community involvement and philanthropic activities to internal and external audiences.
It might be neater and easier, in some ways, to limit the breadth of our programs, but we believe our choices, as diverse as they are, remain faithful to making everyday life better, every day for our consumers and our employees.