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Another of the stars on HandsOn Network's list for socially conscious companies to watch this year is Nike, whose corporate social responsibility (CSR) program applies the cricial elements of sports - teamwork, energy and passion - to helping their local communities. They just do it right.
Nike believes in the power of sports as a tool for social change. Nike has partnered with HandsOn Network to encourage Americans to serve, beginning on MLK and lasting throughout the year. The company’s 170 retail locations are connected with HandsOn Network Action Centers and promote volunteer opportunities. Nike has been recognized with numerous awards for its efforts to maintain sustainable and ethical operations.
We interviewed Kari Mitchell, Senior Manager for Community Relations to learn more about their commitment to CSR.
Sokunthea: In the current economic climate, what opportunities do you see for using time and talent of Nike’s employees to make a difference in the community?
Kari: Nike’s community investments are targeted toward community programs in which many of our employees and consumers can participate. This includes supporting local organizations in our backyards of Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; Hilversum, Holland; Laakdal, Belgium and other corporate offices around the world. In addition, we make local grants through our retail organization. We reach across the country with our employees and consumers to leverage their time and talent to show how the power of sport can change young people’s lives by partnering with organizations such as HandsOn Network, local YMCAs and local schools.
Sokunthea: How is your Nike’s commitment to corporate social responsibility not only good for the community but also good for business?
Kari: Nike sees corporate responsibility as an integral part of how we can use the power of our brand, the energy and passion of our people, and the scale of our business to create meaningful change. The opportunity is greater than ever for corporate responsibility principles and practices to deliver business returns and become a driver of growth, to build deeper consumer and community connections, and to create positive social and environmental impact in the world.
Sokunthea: Can you share with us a favorite example or project you've undertaken in the past year?
Kari: We partnered with HandsOn Greater Portland for our annual Back Your Block Community Grants Celebration to organize a significant volunteer experience for our nearly 200 employees and consumers here in Portland. Working side by side we were able to improve our community.