What is Compassion Inc?

Compassion Inc. is the corporate co-opting of charities in the service of selling products and driving incremental profits.

Pulling on our heartstrings, product companies show us sick children or desperate animals and ask us to donate to charities that come to their aid–but only if we first buy a car or some high-end technology or a can of soda.

Let’s take soda.

Many of you have likely seen the recent Coca-Cola cans with the polar bears on the cans. Here’s one of the commercials from that campaign:

Sounds good, right? And, truly, it is.

What isn’t quite so good is the fact that the Grand Canyon recently wanted to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles in the park. They couldn’t do that because Dasani Water is a major sponsor of the national park service and the company wanted their product to remain within consumers’ reach according to the New York Times. The distributor of Dasani Water is…the Coca-Cola Company.

It is corporate hypocrisy such as this that I wish to bring to light on these page. More important, I want to showcase companies that are doing innovative work to make serious advances in sustainability and social justice. If you know some, please contact me.

Looking forward to a long and fruitful conversation.

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