Why do we do this?

Jan 20, 2011

I’m often asked about the value of corporate citizenship. Why does Amway invest so much in these efforts?

The easy answer is that our company’s founders established community support as a priority from the beginning, and we are just carrying out this legacy.

But in the past decade, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become much more intertwined with our business goals. And the role of business in addressing major social issues has become elevated over the past decade.

A recent study by Weber Shandwick asked Fortune 200 executives why they invest in corporate social responsibility. In the five primary findings, we find echoes of the Amway approach:


1. The primary reason companies invest in CSR is to make an impact on critical issues.

Our One by One program focuses on solving major issues, specific to the local countries we operate in. We have tackled child nutrition in the US, education for migrant children in China, support for orphaned teens in the Ukraine, and many others.

2. Nonprofit partners are vital to the success of CSR.

We have engaged with hundreds of partners. Many are local like Boys & Girls Clubs in our hometown. Many are multinationals like SOS Children’s Villages. We even work with government agencies in some countries.

3. Senior leadership support drives CSR success.

We are very fortunate that our President and Chairman champion our programs, as do the leaders in each country office. They can often be found visiting our One by One programs and jumping into volunteer efforts.

4. Most companies tackle multiple issues through CSR programs.

While we have focused on children’s issues to enhance our global impact, we focus on four categories: basic needs, education, special needs and recreation (Live, Learn, Achieve and Play). We also lead efforts to establish free and fair trade through direct selling worldwide.

5. CSR programs have multiple internal and external stakeholders.

We tap the resources of 3 million Amway distributors worldwide, but also rely on the volunteer efforts of our 14,000 employees.

So how do we differ? Well, we’ve been doing this much longer than others. But in many ways we simply reflect the trend and the willingness of businesses and many others to work together to make the world a better place.

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