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CSR Seen As Profitable and Responsible

Companies are embracing CSR practices because they believe such strategies can be profitable and socially responsible, according to a story in USA Today (via Gil Friend).

Christine Arena, a San Francisco business consultant, Natural Logic associate, and author of The High-Purpose Company, says more corporations are using CSR not for feel-good philanthropy or to polish their public image, but as long-term corporate strategy.

Based on research by Arena and MBA students at McGill University, here are three companies that are staking their business growth and future on environmental and social goals:

GE hopes to double its revenue from its Ecomagination initiative and clean tech to $20 billion by 2010. Products include fuel-efficient jet and train engines, wind turbine power, energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs and water purification projects.

Toyota launched its Prius in Japan a decade ago and expects to sell millions of hybrid cars and SUVs worldwide by 2010 in the Prius, Highlander, Lexus and Camry models.

Wegmans Food Markets, which gets 130,000 job applications a year, boasts a worker-friendly culture, and cost savings from low turnover of employees.

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