Corporations that Change the World

March 30th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I have a love-hate relationship with corporations.  Some of them out there, such as Wal-Mart, ExxonMobile, and United Healthcare are just evil and have really done some great harm to their workers and customers and to the world; however, there are corporations that have done phenomenal things for the world.  Here are a few that deserve to be recognized:

Costco offers so much for their customers.  In these large box stores, customers can purchase everything they need with unbeatable prices to meet their end needs and that includes wide variety of food, wine, clothing, toilet paper, pens, paper towels, and books.  While Costco offers incredible bargains, they treat their employees very well.  As of 2008, the workers there were being paid $17 per hour, higher than the average wage.1 Costco also offers “better-than-average benefits, including health care coverage to more than 90 percent of its work force.”2  Jim Sinegal, the CEO of Costco, does truly ensure the well-being of his workers, as he ensures that they have good health coverage:

“We try to provide a very comprehensive health-care plan for our employees. Costs keep escalating, but we think that’s an obligation on our part.”

Sinegal really recognizes that his employees are not “machines,” and that they have their own personal life just like him.  Sinegal obviously does not look down on his workers:

“You have to recognize — and I don’t mean this in an acrimonious sense — that the people in that business are trying to make money between now and next Thursday. We’re trying to build a company that’s going to be here 50 and 60 years from now. We owe that to the communities where we do business. We owe that to our employees, that they can count on us for security. We have 140,000 employees and their families; that’s a significant number of people who count on us. We owe it to our suppliers. Think about the people who produce products for us — you could probably multiply our family of employees by three or four times. And we owe it to our customers to continue to offer good prices. Our presence in a community makes pricing better throughout that community because when you have a tough competitor in the marketplace, prices come down.”

Cochlear gives the gift of hearing to over 200,000 people around the world by producing and selling hearing devices including cochlear implants, surgically-implanted device that allows profoundly deaf people to hear.  This company, based in Sydney, Australia works so thoroughly to ensure that their products have the highest reliability rating.  They test every single one of the internal cochlear implants before they export them and will throw out the ones that failed the testing.  All of their cochlear implant products are manufactured at Cochlear’s headquarters in Sydney.  From what I’ve heard, many employees who work in the manufacturing department have been producing the devices for at least a decade!  Cochlear also invests money in research and development to ensure their customers continue to have the highest quality hearing.  I had to give a shout-out to Cochlear because I am proud to be able to hear thanks to their product!

Google redefined the way we do our research.  With an instant click of the mouse, we can find tens and hundreds of sources within seconds.  The Google headquarters is one of the coolest places on the planet.  The employees have so much fun!  They have pool tables, volleyball courts,video games, pianos, ping pong tables, and gyms along with yoga classes!  They also offer healthy lunches and dinners in their cafeterias.  There are even dogs, lava lamps, massage chairs, and inflatable balls in the workplace.  Moreover, there is a slide for the workers!3  YES!  It is a place where adults can have lots of fun while doing productive work.

Merck and Co. helps keep the world a healthy place.  They heal and save the lives of millions of people around the world by manufacturing medicine and vaccines.  They help prevent measles, mumps, and rubella from spreading by producing the MMR vaccine.  They also produce the Hepatitis A vaccine and the Varicella vaccine.  In spite of mishaps and lawsuits they’ve had from Vioxx which caused cardiovascular problems and a few other products, the world still cannot live without a large company that manufactures products that are strongly essential for humans and animals.

Patagonia keeps us warm and toasty as if we have fur everyday, including during extensive outings, thanks to their gears.  They use environmentally sensitive materials, which includes organic cotton and recycled and recyclable polyester.4  The company donates a percentage of its profit to various grassroots environmental movements.  Patagonia is the first company in California to buy all its electricity from newly constructed renewable energy plants.  The company has a manager of social responsibility to oversee social compliance throughout their supply chain and to work with Fair Labor Association to help improve working conditions.5

FedEx keeps the world well-connected by getting our packages to us and our families and friends in the speediest amount of time.  The company gives us a peace of mind knowing that our package will be safe in the shipping process, as we can log onto their website and track our packages.  FedEx is there for us in a heartbeat when there is a natural disaster – the company airlifted $2 million worth of medical aid to Haiti this past January.

Qantas Airlines opens up the world to everyone by transporting people thousands of miles across the land and ocean from one country to another.  The airline brings people to some of the most beautiful places in the world, which includes Australia and New Zealand, where they can experience unique cultures.  Qantas Airlines has been regularly recognized as one of the best airlines in the world.  Without an airline company, Australia and New Zealand would have been completely disconnected from the rest of the world.

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1 Comment

March 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Krystal D'Costa, Rachel Chaikof. Rachel Chaikof said: NEW BLOG: Corporations that Change the World http://blog.rachelchaikof.com/?p=312 #anthropology material culture #corporation […]

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