6 Questions About Corporate Social Responsibility with John Kim

1. What is CSR and why does it matter?

CSR stands for corporate social responsibility and stems from the idea that corporations and businesses have a responsibility to be good corporate citizens, and not just maximize profits for shareholders.  CSR includes environmental stewardship, community investment, employee engagement, and other areas. In general, my brand of CSR revolves around the idea that the private sector/businesses and the non-profit sector can have mutually beneficial relationships to address societal/community problems.

2. Who are you and how did you get interested in this?

I’m John Kim, a mix of do-gooder, brand strategist, bicyclist, and soccer fan.  I first got interested in the idea of businesses and non-profits partnering to do some good in the world when I worked at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, DC.  Foodbanks are a really wonderful (and successful) illustration of how businesses and non profits can have a mutually beneficial relationship in service of a cause; hunger alleviation in this case.  Foodbanks depend on the donations of the the food industry (manufacturers, grocers, etc.) to distribute to organizations in need.  And foodbanks provide food manufacturers 2 things: 1. an outlet for perfectly edible food that they would’ve had to pay to get destroyed  and 2. a feedback loop that tells the business where areas of inefficiency were; what product lines didn’t sell well, etc. It’s beautiful.  And while foodbanks won’t solve the problem of food insecurity it certainly fills a crucial niche. Read more