Marre’s list of Giving is Winning companies stems from his extensive research, 21 Companies for the 21st Century, being conducted with Clemson University and the University of California San Diego on what successful companies are doing in today’s challenging environment that average companies are not. Drawing on data research, executive interviews and in-the-trenches client projects with many of today’s thriving companies, Marre makes the case that “when giving becomes an essential part of your culture, employees are inspired to create more value and consumers choose you.”
According to Marre, Whole Foods is a leader in the winning is giving philosophy. Their community giving well exceeds 5% of their total net profits each year. Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program (LPLP) provides up to $10 million in low-interest loans to small, local producers. Whole Planet Foundation, in partnership with Grameen Bank, creates economic partnerships through microcredit with the poor in communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products, with a focus on the developing world. As to date, these efforts have supported 33,000 clients, impacted 165,000 people, and loaned $9.8 million, 99% to women, 8.5 million in grants, with a 98.6 repayment rate.
Even more than their community efforts, Whole Foods entire business strategy is based on initiatives such as healthy eating, animal welfare and sustainable seafood. John Mackey, co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Whole Foods Market states, “These initiatives are aligned with our core customer base and reinforce our position as the authentic retailer of natural and organic foods, further differentiating the Whole Foods Market shopping experience and making us the preferred choice for customers aspiring to a healthier lifestyle.”
Marre encourages consumers to support giving companies. He states, “As you’re filling your Christmas fridge, fill it with healthy and sustainable products from Whole Foods that nourish more than just your appetite.”
# # #
About Will Marre:
Will Marre is CEO of Realeadership Alliance and founder of Thought Rocket, a new online leadership development platform providing up-to-the-minute leadership research on what successful organizations are doing to thrive in the 21st century. Will Marre is also the cofounder of the Covey Leadership Center where he brought the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to millions of executives and managers worldwide. He also heads the advisory board of the Human Performance Institute (a Johnson & Johnson company) and is an Emmy award-winning writer of a public television learning documentary. For more information please visit http://www.willmarre.com.