This past February, the large drugstore chain, CVS, announced that they will quit selling tobacco products. And with a chain of announcements by other forward thinking corporations, the 'CVS effect' came into power. The 'CVS Effect' has been translated into "it's wrong, we're not doing it". For CVS, that "it" was selling tobacco products that made people sick. But why now? Writers and analysts have written about many reasons that it's easier for CVS to do this ban than it was maybe a decade ago including access to large populations via social media, wider scope of healthcare programs, and after so many years of medical research on tobacco, CVS just decided it was time.
Other companies have followed suit, not necessarily because CVS got rid of something that was wrong, but because it's time for a shift. Disney among others including Lockheed Martin, Merck, Intel, AT&T, USPS and more have decided to pull indirect funding from the Boy Scouts of America based on their anti-gay policies. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, basically told any investors who deny climate change to shove it because Apple's going full-force ahead into sustainability over the next decade. Kroger & Safeway just recently announced that they will not sell genetically modified salmon in their stores despite the Food & Drug Administration's lackluster action on labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs). And our personal favorite, Chipotle, has included climate change as a material risk in it's disclosure to the SEC (you can't take our guacamole!). This action could potentially demand that Chipotle's competitors disclose why climate change is not a risk to them.
How do the big guys influence the little guys? Sustainable Brand's states, "Innovators take the risk and go way out on the limb. Early adopters see it and spread the news. Then others follow it and it becomes normal." Innovators like Apple, Disney, CVS, Kroger, Safeway, and many more are punching through the walls of conventional business to allow the early adopters and others to follow through. Someone needs to step up and do it, why not the big guys? They'll leave a bigger hole in the wall!
A big breath of relief - isn't it nice to hear some good news once in awhile? GO BUSINESS!
"CVS Effect" Credit: Claire Sommer, Kayak Media