Corporate Social Responsibility | The Impact of Haagen-Dazs

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the idea that a company or corporation has a moral obligation to give back to their community.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs can help build bonds, strengthen communication skills and boost morale while making a positive difference in the lives of people who need it most.
Employees giving a wheelchair to PWD

Charitable options are endless.
• Build bikes for charity.
• Make care kits for homeless shelters.
• Assemble wheelchairs for Veterans.
• Paint shoes to donate.
• Collect and donate food.

The list goes on! CSR programs do more than team build, they connect your team with a meaningful purpose.

One of the BEST CSR examples is by Haagen-Dazs.

Some companies are more aware than others when it comes to the importance of corporate social responsibility. An example of one of the most notable CSR initiatives is through Haagen-Dazs, an ice cream company that prides itself on using all-natural ingredients.

They saw a need, developed a purpose, and decided to do their absolute best in creating a solution.
Originally, they felt their brand had lost its relevance with its consumers. While doing research into this, the more they realized honey bees are an endangered species. Their predicament: one of the unique qualities of Haagen-Dazs ice cream was that it uses all-natural flavors, and their most important ingredient is honey. So in 2008, they sought to change the future and launched a program called “HD loves HB”  aimed at engaging consumers with the brand, and bringing awareness to the real danger honey bees are in.

By the end of 2008, the new program would establish several new CSR initiatives, as well as generating media impressions, and increasing sales by one percent. Haagen-Dazs decided to donate $ 250,000 to Pennsylvania State University and to the University of California-Davis, to research sustainable pollination and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder).

Save the honey beesIn addition to the donations, HD set up a “Bee-Advisory” board, known as the National Honey Bee Advisory Board (NASS) to ensure that information communicated to the public was accurate and factual. NASS comprised of PSU and UCD scientists, as well as two beekeepers. They served as the primary media contact for the entire campaign. They also released a new flavor of ice cream called Vanilla Honey Bee. They pledged that a percentage of the sales would go towards CCD research. NASS and HD set out to give consumers a challenge to plant one million seeds to create bee-friendly environments.  Enthusiasts of the program received seeds from HD (266-267).

The result:
HD reported a 5.2% increase in sales in April 2008, the largest they ever had seen. Additionally, they got more than 277 million media impressions. The team surpassed its goal of planting 1,000,000 seeds with more than 1,200,000 seeds planted. HD also received 950 contacts from various organizations and consumers that offered to collaborate. They gave suggestions and complimented the program. Most notably, however, HD says it experienced a 13% increase in its brand advocacy rating between Q1 and Q2 to 69%, which exceeded Ben and Jerry’s rating (268).

Haagen-Dazs has come a long way since.

By 2016, they created:
• The largest honey bee pollinator habitat in the U.S.
• Donate, and encourage donations to the Pollinator Conservation Program
• Developed a Xerces Bee Better Seal, which let consumers know that their ice cream was grown and harvested in a “bee-friendly” manner.
• NASS now works with the United States Department of Agriculture, keeping honey bee data current including honey bee health, pollination costs, and mortality rates.

Educating the public about honey bees.

In 2017, Haagen-Dazs took its corporate social responsibility program one step further. They brought a virtual reality interactive experience to educate the public on the importance of bees, and the threats facing them.

To read more about their initiative, visit their website here


Compiled with a series of PRSA Silver Anvil Award-winning case studies, the Haagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees program was a featured highlight in the book “Public Relations Case Studies,” by Darrell C. Hayes, Jerry Hendrix, and Pallavi D. Kumar 


Motivated to make an impact on the community?

Start locally with our Charitable CSR Team Building Programs. We’ll handle the rest. 


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