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Saving the world, turning a profit

Today’s corporate leaders believe businesses are better equipped to create social change than charities.  So, ask Rachel Linn and Jake Hayman in Co.Exist, can businesses improve the world while making money?

When we think of businesses acting in the community, several images may come to mind: fundraising in the office for a charity, colleagues getting active with a day out volunteering or pro-bono services, or maybe a product line that ties sales to giving something to those in need.

Increasingly, however, today’s corporate leaders think their social action should become less about "giving" and more about "acting" – moving corporate activity into what was previously firmly charity or government turf.

A delivery service can use its infrastructure to transport goods for purchase, as well as to link up with charities and rural delivery systems to create a new network for delivering supplies for medical relief. A freight management firm can use its expertise in risk avoidance to minimize costs, as well as to consult with local government and NGOs and build a mutually beneficial partnership for improving road safety.

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