Younger generations are more keenly aware than ever that society’s problems are business problems. Launching a career with a positive social impact is now at the top of the agenda for many young professionals.
In fact, according to an EY survey, 63% of GenZ say it’s important to work for a company which shares their values, compared to only 32% who say it’s more important to earn large salaries.
So, if you want to make a difference in your career, here are 10 companies that are leading the way in integrating social impact initiatives into their business models.
One of the biggest sportswear brands in the world—worth $23.5 billion—Adidas’ corporate responsibility structure builds on three pillars: community involvement, employee engagement, and corporate giving.
Some of the company’s social impact initiatives include projects such as Women Empowerment, which aims to improve the skills and education of women in countries such as Pakistan, Turkey, and Bangladesh as well as protecting children against child labor.
Adidas’ growth strategy leading up to 2025 includes plans to invest in digital transformation, double e-commerce sales, and innovate their business model. This makes it a great time for grads to score a role with the brand, and you can find various internship opportunities in Germany, Amsterdam or the US.
Global Fortune 500 Information Technology (IT) and consulting company, Accenture, has a global network of innovation hubs that use technology to create business transformation. Key partners include companies like Google and Microsoft.
Responsible leadership is at the top of the business agenda at Accenture. It embeds sustainability throughout all business practices and helps its clients and suppliers do the same. Accenture also shines the spotlight of social impact inward by committing to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, taking a stand against racism, and advancing disability inclusion.
Applying to Accenture after graduation could launch your career in many different directions. The company offers a host of graduate programs across consulting, technology architecture, or finance. You could even land a master’s degree apprenticeship.
European energy and automation multinational, Schneider Electric, is pioneering ways to protect the planet from overheating by reducing CO2 emissions.
The company’s digital and renewable energy solutions have saved 400 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2018, over half of the savings its committed to achieve by 2025.
Schneider Electric has a Graduate Development Program based in the UK and Ireland. It also offers the Schneider Global Student Experience to attract new talent to support it’s mission. This involves business master’s students undergoing 6 weeks of online skills building and a project simulation through a chosen track such as Supply Chain, Digital Careers, or Sustainability as a Business.
READ: Neoma Business School Launches Master In Sustainability Transformation
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Bain & Company
One of the Big Three consulting firms, Bain & Company is committed to embedding sustainability into everything it does—from internal operations to client consultations.
Bain also boasts 10 years of carbon neutrality and is continuing to improve it’s sustainable impact by dedicating to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2022, Bain announced an ESG training program alongside top business schools including HEC Paris and MIT Sloan in order to upskill all its worldwide consultants and integrate ESG into 100% of client work.
What’s more, Bain is ranked as the best consulting firm to work for and regularly hires business master’s grads for entry-level associate consultant positions.
American outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia offers a blueprint for a sustainable, social impact fashion brand.
Since day one, Patagonia’s mission has been to produce quality, durable clothing for all ages, sizes, and genders; use business to protect the planet and not contribute to its damage; and to not be bound by convention.
Extremely transparent in everything it does, it’s easy to track Patagonia’s social impact footprint over the years.
Some of the company’s policies include repurposing old Patagonia clothing through the Take-Back program, offering protection for migrant workers, and founding the Regenerative Organic Alliance—a non-profit supporting the growth of organic cotton and food.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2022 Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, donated his 50-year ownership of the company worth $3 billion to support the fight against climate change stating that “Earth is now our only shareholder.”
If you want to apply for opportunities at Patagonia, you’ll have to show your business skills are paired with a strong passion for the environment and the outdoors.
One of the most recognized tech companies in the world, it’s no surprise that Google is consistently one of the most attractive employers for b-school grads.
But did you also know that Google has a dedicated sustainability division with a mission of “accelerating climate action at Google and beyond”?
As part of its social impact initiative, Google supports sustainable startups by providing advisors, funding and technology. In 2021, the company also achieved 24/7 carbon-free energy for 66% of the year across all its data centers.
Google offers internship opportunities for tech-savvy business master’s grads, you could land a spot as a product analyst intern or user experience research intern.
Kering is the parent company of luxury fashion brands Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta.
By measuring its environmental impact along the entire supply chain, from carbon emissions to waste production, Kering has set out a sustainability roadmap to reach a net positive impact on biodiversity by 2025.
In 2021, the company also launched a Regenerative Fund for Nature, aiming to transform one million hectares of farms to produce raw materials in the fashion supply chain and create regenerative agriculture.
Despite economic challenges, the luxury market has exhibited huge growth in 2022, and is expected to climb 60% further by 2030. This means more opportunities for grads.
If you want be part of luxury fashion’s transition towards a more sustainable future, Kering offers exciting graduate programs in international management and marketing, or supply chain and logistics.
American multinational financial services company, Wells Fargo, has a clear mission statement: “to help customers succeed financially.” However, it also has initiatives that are invested in helping the planet.
Wells Fargo has committed to investing $500 billion in sustainable finance between 2021 and 2023. It aims to support clients who promote environmental sustainability including renewable energy, green buildings, and clean transport.
For grads looking to launch a high-flying career in finance with an impactful company, Wells Fargo hires a number of master’s grads every year in its Quantitative Analysis Program and Corporate Risk Development Program.
READ: 7 Exciting Master’s Degree Job Opportunities
Finnish company Neste is combating climate change and driving a shift towards a circular economy by turning raw materials into renewable fuel for the transport and aviation industries.
The company defines its purpose as “creating a healthier planet for our children,” it’s innovating ways to help customers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030.
For sustainability-driven young professionals, Neste offers a range of entry-level roles and summer job opportunities across its economic affairs, strategy, and technology divisions.
One of the Big Four accountancy firms, Deloitte has so far invested $1 billion into its Sustainability & Climate division. The firm works closely with clients to help them redefine their climate strategies, embed sustainability into their operations, and meet ESG reporting requirements.
In 2022, it also launched a global program aiming to increase the climate knowledge and skills of its employees and push sustainable changes further across the business landscape.
Deloitte’s dedication to sustainability is driven by a report which uncovered that inaction on climate change by businesses could cost the global economy a massive $178 trillion by 2070. A career at Deloitte could put you in the driving seat of making effective change, and you can start by applying for its graduate program.
If you want your business master’s degree to help you leave your mark on the world, finding a company that aligns with your values is crucial.
These companies have shown their dedication to positive social change and foster an environment to develop your skills and positive social even further. Launching your career with one of them could help the potential gains from your degree reach new heights.
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