Blake, Erik and Peter Nordstrom, Nordstrom – Heroes of Conscious Capitalism
The Nordstrom brothers, Blake, Pete and Erik, strive to be considered among one of the conscious capitalists in the fashion industry as they continue to try and raise their company to new heights – both for profit and for corporate responsibility. As they all wrote jointly in Nordstrom’s 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “When we think about corporate social responsibility at Nordstrom, we see it as one of the many ways we can better connect with and serve our customers and employees.” They each believe in serving their company’s many stakeholders: customers, the community, employees, vendors, investors, governmental organizations and NGOs.
It was the Nordstrom family’s focus on serving others that helped the company grow from a small shoe store in downtown Seattle in 1901 to a leading fashion retailer that now serves customers in 360 stores across North America as well as online. The company continues to build on its legacy of service, donating millions of dollars to local nonprofit organizations and taking steps to reduce its environmental impact.
Nordstrom donates 1% of all Gift Card sales to nonprofit organizations – amounting to more than $8 million to 635 charities in 2016. They also donate 2.5% of net sales from their Treasure & Bond brand to organizations that empower youth. Since launching the give-back brand in 2014, they’ve donated more than $1.4 million to organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs and Girls Inc. Nordstrom creates opportunities for its employees to join in its give back efforts, with an Employee Charitable Match and Volunteer program. Customers are also encouraged to participate, and together they’ve helped Nordstrom donate more than 110,000 pairs of shoes to children in need through the nonprofit Shoes That Fit.
In addition to its deep commitment to community, Nordstrom also works to ensure that its products are ethically sourced, using a third party to audit its vendors and facilities. The company’s environmental initiatives include reducing energy and water use, increasing fuel efficiencies, using less paper, and recycling or composting waste across the business. In 2016, Nordstrom announced it was working toward to sourcing at least 90 percent of energy in deregulated markets from renewable sources by 2020. As a result of these efforts, Nordstrom was ranked 35 on Newsweek’s Green Rankings List in 2016.
“We work hard to be a company that our employees and our customers can be proud of,” Nordstrom shared. “Corporate social responsibility supports our business objectives and has been integrated into the work our teams are doing across the company. While we still have work to do, we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made.”