StayClassy.org chooses Jordan Mellul as their Featured Philanthropist!
Nika Water is a for-profit, San Diego-based, bottled water company that donates 100% of their profits, through our charity partners, to clean water and education projects in developing countries around the world. Through their three-pronged eco-initiative, they are considered one of the most environmentally responsible bottled water choices on the market.
Here, General Manager Jordan Mellul speaks to the importance of corporate social responsibility and a new generation of conscious consumption.
Why did you choose to make “giving back” a part of your business plan?
While many companies are now choosing to make “giving back” part of their business model, Nika has actually built our entire company around the concept. The idea being to create something that has the give capacity of a non-profit, with the business sense and sustainability of a for-profit.
The concept was to create an inexpensive, mass appeal product that consumers are already using every day, and allow them to simply make a different choice in where the profits from purchasing that product go. In tough economic times (in general or for individuals), donating to charities can sometimes be tough, but with Nika, you are doing your part with each small purchase and receiving a tangible product return for your decision.
Why is it important for businesses, big and small, to take action within their communities to help give back?
We see more and more companies (large and small) adding a give back component to their plans now. People are realizing that capitalism is a strong force that can be directed in a positive direction this way. Whether it’s contributing back to your local or global community with 1% or 100% of the company’s income, we all know that something is better than nothing and people are taking action there. A company gains great satisfaction from being part of something for a better cause and the morale boost that comes from it adds new energy to the individuals within.
Where do you see, or where would you like to see, corporate social responsibility practices go in 2012?
At the CLASSY Awards, I said that I hope in the future, the term “social business or social entrepreneurialism” ceases to exist. The term will become redundant as all companies will incorporate a “give back” model and it is just a natural part of what companies do. We see the implementation of this already and it will surely grow in the next year and beyond that.
A recent article on HuffingtonPost stated that Millennials are purchasing more products that support philanthropic causes. What’s your opinion?
As I’ve said, conscious consumerism is a very real thing. Companies don’t need to re-invent the wheel, and in fact are sometimes better off not doing so. Just allowing consumers to have more choice with the types of products they already use makes this transition easier.
The products that these companies are creating and selling are just the vehicles for the causes we support. Whether selling shoes, beverages, services or something like tires, they can all support fantastic projects. Pairing a product that people need, with a cause that can help others is a win/win situation, regardless of the two variables in the equation.