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ARMONK, NY - 05 Nov 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) is providing consulting services to help Bronx-based restaurant company 4Food integrate corporate social responsibility values and practices into its business strategy.
4Food will open its first restaurant at the site of the historic Concourse Plaza Hotel near the new Yankee Stadium next year, offering fast, healthy, reasonably priced versions of foods people like, such as burgers, nuggets, fries, salads, and teas, with as much as 60 percent of the food items and ingredients sourced from local farms and producers.
The restaurant will be designed to encourage people to congregate and socialize, and 4Food's in-store technology and extensive menu of ingredients will allow customers to customize their orders based on their tastes and nutritional needs, even naming and storing their creations so they can request them again and others can order them. 4Food also will focus on job skills development and employment for local residents and neighborhood nutrition outreach.
Under the agreement signed in September, IBM will help 4Food link CSR to the company's business strategy, ranging across issues like environmental practices in its restaurants and through its suppliers, labor policies, community involvement, and nutrition. IBM also will help the restaurant chain determine how to use its CSR activities and initiatives to attract and retain customers.
"The combination of good nutrition, good social conduct, neighborhood economic development, and creating local awareness of the connection between a balanced food consumption and wellness is good not only for society but also for our business," said Adam Kidron, managing partner of 4Food. "Consumers today want not just value but also values in their dining choices -- our guests want to know that we adhere to the highest standards for the quality, safety and nutrition in the food we offer, our employment practices, the environment, and the way we contribute to the economic progress and health of the community."
Through this engagement, IBM is helping 4Food:
"4Food joins a growing number of businesses that understand that building social responsibility into their strategies is becoming a business necessity," said Eric Riddleberger, global leader for IBM's business strategy consulting practice. "Customers are increasingly deciding who to give their business to not just on the quality and price of what's being offered, but on the overall societal impact of a business."
Business leaders acknowledge the advantages that come from proactively addressing corporate social responsibility issues. An IBM global CSR survey of more than 250 C-suite executives showed that 68 percent of them already are focusing on CSR activities to create new revenue streams and 54 percent believe CSR gives them a competitive advantage. Additionally, IBM's biennial global survey of more than 1,100 CEOs showed that the majority of them plan to increase their investments in CSR by 25 percent over the next three years.
In addition, independent research verifies that CSR is important to consumers. According to UK consumer research firm Fraser Consultancy, a quarter of all consumers say they would switch brands for a given product or service if provided with a more ethical alternative. Alloy Media and Marketing reports that 37 percent of people age 18 to 30 prefer to use brands that are socially conscious, with more than three-quarters of that group citing fair labor practices and two-thirds listing environmental factors as chief concerns.
To assist clients in incorporating CSR into their business strategies, IBM Global Business services has developed a set of consulting offerings, including its CSR Assessment and Benchmarking Utility, the Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, IBM Green Sigma™, and Environmental Product Lifecycle Management.
For more information about IBM's global survey on CSR, go to: http://www.ibm.com/gbs/csrstudy
To learn more about IBM's strategy and change offerings click here.
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