While my blog post might be a little late this week, I decided to focus on the Canadian Company of Roots. The company was founded in 1973, by Michael Budman and Don Green, in an attempt to bring “their affinity for the Canadian wilderness and sports into a distinctive line of genuine leather products and authentic athletic wear.” Roots has always been focused on the overall health and happiness of all of stakeholders, even as they have expanded with time.
One of the main elements of Roots is that it is a Canadian born and bread company, and so they try to keep as much of their production in Canada as they possibly can. Everything is designed in the head office in Toronto, and they employ nearly 2,000 people in Canada, and Roots partners with many other Canadian companies to better support the corporate climate.
There are two main reasons I find Roots to be a good example of stakeholder behaviour. First, is that Roots follows a strict policy in regards to their employees. They have established a Code of Conduct for all immediate employees and suppliers of Roots in order to make sure their entire supply chain follows the same core values. In order to make sure these standards are being followed, Roots hires third-party organizations to conduct audits through announce and unannounced visits and inspections. In addition, they try to stay informed on supplier issues around the world by working with representatives of Oxfam and the Maquilia Solidary Network to gain more insight on how they can improve their practices on a regular basis. All employees, both nationally and internationally receive the same basic training, and adhere to the same base set of Protection Rights.
Second, Roots is also very involved in supporting the community around them. They support over fifty Canadian based non-profit organizations, charities, and schools including Scouts Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Mamapalooza Music Festival. Roots also encourages their employees to get involved in supporting the local community through the creation of the Roots Cares Employee Committee, who annually select an organization to get involved with and support. Currently, they are working with the Jane Goodall Institute to create healthier ecosystems, and promote sustainable livelihoods. They encourage employees to get involves through optional payroll deductions, volunteer opportunities and in-store promotions.
I think that Roots serves as an excellent example of stakeholder driven company because of their commitment to both their internal and external stakeholders. In addition, they are an example of a company that doesn’t need to sacrifice profits in order to remain ethical. In 2010, Interbrand, and group of International brand specialists, awarded Roots as being on of Canada’s Most Valuable Brands, showing that their stakeholder driven company is actually a benefit to their brand image.