With a legacy of more than 175 years, John Deere & Company is a manufacturing giant committed to “those who are linked to the land – farmers and ranchers, landowners and builders” (“Our Company”, n. d.). In addition to its core business of manufacturing and distributing agricultural and construction equipment, Deere makes efforts to be a good corporate citizen, striving to be a steward in charitable giving, technology use, environmental responsibility, and customer service. In this paper, the company’s efforts and results in each of these four areas are analyzed.
Deere’s charitable giving is concentrated in three key streams, in the communities where it manufactures and distributes: world hunger solutions, education, and community development. Deere partners with organizations such as the World Food Programme, Food Resource Bank, Junior Achievement, JAG, and the American Red Cross to make strategic investments in vocational training, water management projects, community colleges, economic development corporations, and disaster relief initiatives (“Philanthropy,” n.d.). In 2014, Deere funded STEM education worth more than $1 million; it also provided grants for long-term farmer training projects in developing economies like Brazil, Ghana and Kenya (John Deere, 2015). According to its 2015 Global Citizenship Report, Deere helped over 9.5 million people globally in 2014 alone, by donating to projects that support nutrition, education and economic development in its home communities.
The second area of CSR Deere focuses on is the use of new technology to manage its environmental impact. In 2011, John Deere facilities around the world decreased annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,500 metric tons of CO2 equivalents, by introducing a LED lighting design that had a longer life, lower energy usage, and heat load, and inbuilt turn-off mechanism after a period of inactivity (John Deere, 2012). In the same vein, 2014 saw a team at one of Deere’s facilities design a treatment process for water-scarce communities; through this process, a Torreon facility is now using recycled waste water instead of drinkable city water, to reduce water availability issues in Mexico (John Deere, 2015). Deere’s application of new technologies reflects its commitment to operating in a manner that does not harm the planet or its peoples.
The third area of CSR Deere focuses on is an environmental impact, with the company employees working to reduce the organization’s global environmental footprint. One example of Deere’s efforts to make the business environmentally responsible is its adherence to the environmental indicators in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a comprehensive sustainability framework (“GRI Sustainability Index,” n. d.). Since 2013, the company’s efforts are also guided by the 2018 Eco-Efficiency Goals that ensure product development and operations target greenhouse-gas reduction, waste elimination, water conservation, and recycling (John Deere, 2015). Over the past five years, Deere has reduced the company’s total waste, water consumption, and gas emissions each year (John Deere, 2012; 2013; 2015).
Deere’s approach to customer service also reflects its belief in CSR stewardship. The organization aligns its processes, infrastructure and communications to provide a client experience that is highly socially responsible. The process also aims to demonstrate “integrity, quality, commitment and innovation” to deliver unsurpassed customer treatment (“Our Company,” n. d.). This is exemplified in the 2014 case of its North American Parts Distribution System, where Deere employees constructed 100% recyclable material for use in the packaging process. The new material and process not just eliminated the hard-to-recycle traditional polyurethane packaging, but also improved the safety, quality, and consistency of packaging for customers, significantly lowering damages and defects in the parts supplied to intermediaries and end-users (John Deere, 2015.
The above analysis of four key CSR areas shows that John Deere & Company is leading by example in the CSR space. Deere has consistently been setting- and meeting high standards in charitable giving, technology use, environmental responsibility and customer service. The company is not solely focused on profit-making but cares about the planet as well as her employees. Deere’s stellar CSR record is an excellent example for all corporations looking to become better corporate citizens.
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John Deere. (2015). 2015 Global Citizenship Report. Retrieved 15 September,
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Philanthropy. (n. d.) John Deere. Retrieved 14 September,