U.S. Companies More Mindful of Social Concerns

Activists, take heart: It seems that the relentless pressure of boycotts, lawsuits, bad PR, and slow but steady cultural change is having an effect on corporate America. Companies doing business in the 21st century are beginning to listen to the social, health, and environmental concerns of their customers, with the result that products and practices are gradually becoming more eco- and people-friendly. For example: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals dropped a lawsuit against KFC and its parent company after they agreed to provide more accurate information about the treatment of chicken served in the fast-food restaurants, and Boise Cascade earned major kudos from enviros when it agreed to stop using timber from endangered and old-growth forests. And those two successes both occurred just in the last month. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is introducing healthier menu items in response to concerns about U.S. obesity. What next — ExxonMobil protecting the Arctic? Maybe, if the activists keep up the good work.