Which Are The Most Socially Responsible eLearning Companies For 2021?
After the last few years, we can safely say that the days when social impact was reserved for volunteers and nonprofit organizations are long gone. We, as consumers, have become more and more concerned with social and environmental issues. Yet, when facing the world around us, we also notice that more and more for-profit socially responsible companies are responding! The fight to tackle social issues and develop systems of sustainable capitalism is evident. For all the above reasons, we decided to research and find out the most socially responsible companies in the eLearning space.
But first, what is a “socially responsible company”?
Socially responsible companies focus on more than just using their position and resources to please their shareholders or increase their bottom line. They operate on business models which bring social change. These leaders are not afraid to share their success with local or even global communities!
All the companies featured in this list have integrated corporate social responsibility programs (CSR programs) into their business. At the same time, they have aligned themselves with pressing social movements. From starting charitable fundraising, offering superb workplace conditions and social benefits like healthcare to volunteerism and initiating environmentalism, we can all make a difference.
Organizations that have a noble cause have to be celebrated. And this is exactly the aim of this very special list.
Our vendor selection criteria:
- Environmental responsibility
- Ethical responsibility
- Philanthropic responsibility
- Economic responsibility
Are you curious to see which companies have social responsibility in their DNA? Here we go!
Let’s Explore The Most Socially Responsible Companies In The eLearning Industry
SweetRush is deeply committed to social and environmental responsibility and taking action. They have dedicated programs to amplify the impact of nonprofits (35+ to date), support LGBTQ workplace equality, advance BIPOC diversity in L&D, and move toward carbon neutrality. The world needs a hug, and they are on it!
Learn more about SweetRush’s Good Things service.
Initiatives And Impact
- Supporting nonprofits
These passionate people strive to do good, and SweetRush’s greatest impact can be made by supporting them. They’ve collaborated with 35+ nonprofits to create effective learning programs to close the gender pay gap, improve safety for crisis first responders, prevent sexual abuse and opioid addiction in young people, and onboard volunteers working with LGBTQ youth in crisis.
La Maestra is SweetRush’s carbon-neutral initiative. They’re offsetting every project’s carbon footprint by planting trees in Costa Rica and inviting clients to join them.
- Combating COVID-19
In partnership with Project Hope, DisasterReady.org, and Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, SweetRush donated time and talent to create a COVID-19 vaccine training program, which has been taken by thousands of healthcare workers. And for two years, they’ve worked with NETEC to disseminate critical, fact-based training to frontline workers.
- LGBTQ awareness
SweetRush’s “Partners in Pride” ERG has created free educational resources, including a “Beyond the Binary” job aid, and crafted a new website for Casa Rara, a nonprofit providing refuge to homeless LGBTQ teens.
- Diversity initiative
Their new Instructional Design internship program has partnered with the University of DC to advance diversity in our field. They’re now offering paid ID work to people of color.
SweetRush’s BHAG is to positively affect the lives of a billion people. In 2022, their programs are moving forward:
- Providing nonprofits with life-changing learning and connections with corporate partners
- Continuing to meet the COVID-19 challenge
- Moving toward carbon neutrality: reforestation education
- Supporting LGBTQ and BIPOC in L&D and beyond
Learning Pool is passionate about its people and serious about its responsibility to make the world a better place. Higher participation rates for CSR programs come from having an inclusive focus on the employee first and creating comprehensive initiatives that drive employee activation and participation.
Learn more about Learning Pool’s CSR activities.
Initiatives And Impact
- Free learning modules
Raising awareness for important issues is a high priority for them. They’ve made some of their topical modules available for free not only to clients but individuals and organizations too. Hence, people now have access to vital information when they need it. The modules include climate change, modern slavery, stress awareness, mental health awareness, and suicide prevention awareness.
- Supporting employees globally during COVID-19
They supported not only their own employees but also employees in organizations around the world with their Coronanvirus Essentials module. Regularly updated according to Government advice and guidelines, the module contained correct and relevant information pertaining to the pandemic, resources aimed at helping people adjust to remote working and cope with the stresses of lockdown, and signs to look out for if you think a colleague is struggling.
- Three new charities to support throughout 2022
- Sports and social club available to all employees
- Plans to reduce their environmental impact
- Plans to drive employee engagement/well-being to deliver CSR improvements that will deliver £1 million in equivalent value to communities in the next five years
Epignosis is committed to a brighter, better, more sustainable future for all. A leader in workplace learning software, Epignosis supports initiatives that tackle core issues around access to education, and more. For Epignosis, social responsibility means using its expertise to create maximum environmental, social, and economic impact on its communities.
Initiatives And Impact
Epignosis informs its CSR policy using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly focusing on:
- Good health and well-being [Goal #3]
- Quality education [Goal #4]
- Industry innovation and infrastructure [Goal #9]
Every month Epignosis selects a nonprofit beneficiary with whom its goals align.
A selection of initiatives to date:
Together with Worldreader, Epignosis brought high-quality digital learning to children and young people in communities where books are scarce.
- Action for Education
Epignosis supported Action for Education’s computer lab in Chios. The lab acts as a venue for refugee women and children to gain digital literacy and as a much-needed collaborative space for NGOs.
- Christodouleio Foundation for Orphans
Alongside the Christodouleio Foundation, Epignosis provided foreign language and IT courses to orphan girls aged from 4 to 20 years.
- Blood donations to the General Oncological Hospital of Kifissia (GOHK)
Biannually, Epignosis held an office-based blood drive. Running from November 2016 until the advent of the pandemic in March 2020, each drive regularly raised 15-25 units for GOHK.
- COVID relief
Epignosis offered complimentary plans to NGOs dedicated to combating the effects of the pandemic in an effort to assist them in adapting to operational constraints. The company also donated a ventilator to the Ministry of Health.
The shortlist for upcoming partnerships and donations includes:
- The Access Project
Assists underprivileged students in accessing top higher education institutes.
Supports children in education across the UK, regardless of their background.
- Book Trust
Reaches disadvantaged children with books, aiming to get them reading regularly and by choice.
At Docebo, togetherness is in their DNA; it’s one of their core values and it is engrained in everything they do. They prove this by caring for their customers, partners, employees, and communities. Plus, their commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion is evident.
See how Docebo powers learning experiences.
Initiatives And Impact
Docebo is committed to making an impact on its community of employees, partners, and customers.
- Green Ambassadors
At Docebo, their Green Program spearheaded by their Green Ambassadors focuses on lessening their carbon footprint.
- Docebo Women’s Alliance
Docebo Women’s Alliance is an employee resource group with the goal of providing all women-identifying Docebians with opportunities for career growth, learning, and incremental support.
Docebo is also an advocate and sponsor of SheTech, an organization founded to create opportunities for women to approach the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
- Docebo Pride Group
Pride lives in the hearts and values of every Docebian. That’s why their Docebo Pride Group holds ongoing discussions, events, and sponsorships.
- Diversity, inclusion, and mental health
Diversity and inclusion and mental health awareness are two areas they place a strong emphasis on. Within their organization, they are proud of their ongoing webinar sessions, events, and discussions.
- Other causes
Docebo donates and supports other causes like the following: American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), Cancer Research, Blood Donation Clinics, Sick Kids Hospital, Canadian Heart and Stroke.
- Girls with Impact: Docebo will be sponsoring a local school and working together with Docebo Women’s Alliance to join forces in a mentorship program to grow tomorrow’s female leaders.
- Mental health awareness internal webinar series.
- Diversity and inclusion internal webinar and events series.
EI Design’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is to contribute to societal goals by focusing on specific programs. Their focus is multi-pronged: supporting professional education, skilling programs that enable employment for underprivileged individuals (women in particular), as well as transforming the lives of people with special needs.
Visit their website to learn more about EI Design’s CSR initiatives.
Initiatives And Impact
Here are the causes EI Design supports as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative:
- Association of People with Disability
APD, based in Bengaluru, Karnataka, is an NGO that transforms the lives of underprivileged people with disabilities. They run extensive programs to enable, equip, and empower children and adults with a range of disabilities like speech and hearing, locomotor, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, and to some extent, mental issues. Until now, they have impacted 500,000+ lives of people with disabilities.
- Makkala Jagriti (Awakening of Children)
This NGO seeks to create holistic learning platforms and empower socio-economically deprived children, youth, and their communities as a whole. They have impacted the lives of 50,000+ children, trained 500+ teachers, and transformed 50+ government schools and 200+ Anganwadis.
- Help a Child
They work toward this goal by providing scholarships to highly motivated underprivileged students who have scored well in their studies. They have sponsored 4,600+ students (55% of which are girls) in 200+ villages.
- Nursing scholarships
EI Design helps nursing students from weaker economic sections of the society to complete a diploma or degree course on nursing at the K.J. Somaiya College of Nursing in Mumbai by offering scholarships. The college has a 100% placement record.
Promoting education and employment-enhancing vocational skills among children, women, and the differently abled and livelihood enhancement projects with the objective of assisting students in their studies.
- Gender equality
Promoting gender equality, empowering women, and adopting measures to reduce the inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups.
Fuse was created to forever change the way people learn at work—a purpose they also apply to secondary school education. FuseSchool is a charitable organization that provides 10+ million children with free access to bite-sized learning every year. It’s their way of giving back.
Learn more about FuseSchool.
Initiatives And Impact
At Fuse, they believe that education is a human right and should be available for all, no matter who you are or where you live. Because of this, they created FuseSchool to empower millions of high school students with access to world-class digital education for free. FuseSchool takes science and mathematics curricula and breaks them down into bite-sized chunks, helping 13 to 16-year-old students acquire the knowledge they need to succeed. With nearly 1000 high-quality videos, FuseSchool is now benefiting 10+ million children every year.
- Hello World
In addition to FuseSchool, they also provide pro bono digital learning content to Hello World, a charity that provides educational resources and internet connectivity to isolated communities in the developing world. Since February 2020, Fuse’s dedicated content team has been creating videos that educate community volunteers on how to install internet kiosks in remote villages and provide children with access to online learning.
As a company, they will continue to build awareness of FuseSchool and its engaging, easy, trusted, and “free to all” learning content. As part of this, they have an ambitious goal to grow from 10 million users to 100 million by 2023.
Part of City & Guilds Group, Kineo is shaped by the same values. Whether that’s giving back to their communities, committing to quality, being innovative, or serving their clients to the best of their ability, they’re driven by their purpose: making a positive impact on people, society, and the environment.
Read more about Kineo’s work with Together Co.
Initiatives And Impact
- Charity Work (pro bono)
Together Co, a befriending charity, saw a surge in demand for their services as a result of COVID. Delivering training via Zoom was unsuccessful, so Kineo used StoryTagger to self-film a set of videos with an interactive quiz and learning platform, halving training time and tripling the number of volunteers who completed the training.
- Work experience
Through the Youth Engagement program, they have two groups of paid interns who work at Kineo during the summer months, giving young people an insight into the world of work. They have also partnered with the charity SPEAR to run a company visit to help with CV workshops, career stories, and interviews, helping disadvantaged young people find work.
Over the last three years, Kineo has held four apprenticeship places for people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to join an organization like Kineo. Three of the apprentices are now employed by Kineo in project management, business administration, and digital marketing, and the other is nearing completion.
Support of SPEAR’s Youth Engagement program:
- Mock interviews
Giving job-seekers a chance to practice their skills.
- Career panels
Trainees interview a panel from Kineo on their career journeys, who share their stories to inspire and reassure trainees that career planning isn’t always a straight line!
Growth Engineering has always done things differently. Instead of simply maximizing profits, they focus on something much bigger. They want to ensure every member of Growth Engineering is environmentally, ethically, philanthropically, and economically responsible. This outlook has shaped their organizational values: be bold, be kind, be responsible.
Learn more about how Growth Engineering takes CSR action to make the world a better place!
Initiatives And impact
- Sustainable future
Sustainability is very close to their hearts. As such, they have partnered with amazing organizations like Ecologi and Tech Zero. With their help, Growth Engineering’s workforce is completely climate positive; they have planted 7000+ trees and offset 301.04 tonnes of CO2e. This team is committed to a sustainable future and considers all its processes with the well-being of our environment in mind.
- Inclusion and diversity
They have also partnered with Inclusion Crowd, which helps them be the driving force in changing the narrative around inclusion and diversity. Thus, they embrace diversity in all of its forms and foster an inclusive environment for everyone.
- Educating the community about learner engagement
To ensure they give back to the wider community, they regularly share their knowledge on a subject they know a great deal about: learner engagement. Growth Engineering continues to share useful free information, including articles, case studies, and white papers, to ensure learning professionals have a chance to improve their knowledge.
- Complimentary eLearning units
The last year has been challenging for organizations and individuals alike. As such, they wanted to provide all businesses with access to information that is vital to adapting to these changes in the world. Growth Engineering’s complementary eLearning units help them take care of the people around them.
- B Corp Certification
They are working toward their B Corp Certification to put a seal on their social responsibility efforts. This certification will help them showcase their commitment to their workers, customers, partners, environment, and society at large. In 2022, they will continue their innovation while ensuring it’s the best for the world.
Being a positive force in society matters. eLearning businesses that take social responsibility seriously have won the hearts of the eLearning community—and ours. It is everyone’s responsibility to solve some of the pressing social and environmental issues we face today. Hence, eLearning businesses that embrace their responsibility and positively impact the well-being of various communities show us the way forward.
The projects each of these companies has taken on help in raising awareness for so many important causes. And, that’s what the world needs: to shift focus and do good! We applaud all of them for giving back to society.
Is your organization one of those who stepped up to lead in 2021 and beyond?
Acting as a problem-solver while being authentic and transparent is key. We encourage you to reach out to them if you have an interesting CSR initiative in mind. Millennials and Gen Zers have become the driving force of the economy, and they have immense respect for companies that do CSR. So, like-minded L&D professionals might also find it a great opportunity to join forces!
An appreciation for socially responsible business practices is certainly on the rise. Thus, we hope that CSR initiatives will continue to increase and help make the world a better place.