Value of Corporate Stewardship

August 16, 2016

By Gabriel McLarnan

EcoCenter, Palo Alto– Throughout this Corporate Stewardship blog series we covered a diverse range of topics and programs from many of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies and nonprofits on the forefront of stewardship. A couple recurring topics emerged between the blog posts such as the importance of corporate projects that preserve the natural environment and cultivation of stewardship through interactive school programs in low-income communities.

Employees from HP Enterprise remove Black Mustard from the grounds around the EcoCenter

As seen in the post on the LinkedIn employees who removed Black Mustard from the EcoCenter and our post on corporate groups who removed other invasive weeds through Midpen’s Preserve Partner Program, a commitment to protect the natural preserves in Silicon Valley is one of the most important ways corporations can tangibly act out stewardship principles. The physical act of restoring habitat  coupled with the visible sense of gratification that comes after completing a project creates a real impact on the employees from these companies.

Not only did we highlight the volunteer work of these corporate employees in the natural environment, but also on how they had a tangible impact on cultivating the next generation of stewards as well. For example, in our Xilinx post, we covered their Educational Ecosystem partnership with Youth Science Institute, a nonprofit that inspires children’s enthusiasm for science. Through YSI, Xilinx is able to implement programs that drive student achievement and promote long-term success. Similarly, we showcased that through Cisco’s partnership with Citizen Schools employees are able to lead 10 week apprenticeship programs in low-income school districts and have a long-term return on not only the students, but themselves and their workplace. Cisco employees are able to inspire and motivate these students to work-hard in school and find something they are passionate about.

Both the Xilinx Education Ecosystem and Cisco’s partnership with Citizen Schools exposes students to engaging and interactive material, whether it be taking them on their first ever field trip to the beach or teaching them about skills in computer programming. The volunteer work of tech companies involved in these types of programs reflects stewardship values by planting the seeds of future sustainability caretakers. Hopefully, the children they touch with their skills and volunteer work will be the new generation of environmental stewards taking over the reigns of habitat restoration and weed removal.

The future looks bright for corporate stewardship as more companies employ millennials who overwhelmingly support socially responsible business practices and giving back the community in which the company operates. Our hope is that stewardship and responsibility for our shared environmental will be common values ingrained in all corporate employees who share in the mission of their company to provide social and environmental return.

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Corporate stewardship should be a cross-functional initiative that all departments in an organization play a part in, because in truth, people, planet and profits are more interconnected than what we may like to admit. At the EV, we will continue to build relationships with companies who want to partner with our organization to deliver long-term value to the community and to the environment.