Not too long ago, when a major company partnered with an environmental organization, many of us took notice. It wasn’t completely out of the blue, but it probably meant the company was seeking reputational gain.
In 1990, responding to public outcry about its packaging materials and waste, McDonald’s partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund on a recycling and composting program. In 2005, after years of criticism, Walmart started working with NGOs (WWF among them) on three broad sustainability goals. Around this time executives from The Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund sat down across the table for the first time. The result was a complete transformation of corporate-NGO collaboration.