True Social Responsibility

March 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

As we put our spring break to a close, tragedy struck many parts of the world late last weekend with Japan’s biggest recorded earthquake on Friday, March 11 (MSNBC, 2011). As we wait to examine the total amount of damage and devastation we have encountered from this nightmare, I came across a great story about a company who did their best to help the community during this disaster.

In a time of utter chaos, Apple kept their stores open in Japan to help the community. When the earthquake hit, Apple employees quickly brought everyone to safety by leading people under the strong wooden tables used for displays. With central communications and transportation systems down, Apple was able to provide Internet connectivity and allowed people to contact their families. Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords to help provide electricity for customer’s mobile devices so they could continue to contact their loved ones. Although the stores eventually did close in the evening, they still welcomed outsiders to use their Wi-Fi to communicate with the outside world (“Apple’s Role in Japan during the Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011).

© Tom Raftery, 2009

Apple also offered their staff a place to sleep within the store and use of their facilities with the food and drinks they had available. Since the city was chaotic after the quake, it was impossible to find a hotel, food, or any accommodations. Apple also allowed the families of staff to stay at the store, as they were homeless or walked hours to get to their loved ones. The company also kept their stores opened to help repair customers phones, providing batteries and electricity, or to help others receive news on their phones until late hours of the morning (“Apple’s Role in Japan during the Tohoku Earthquake,” 2011).

In a time of tragedy and uncertainty, Apple provided services to the Japanese community as they try to get their lives back together. Instead of closing and protecting the company’s assets, Apple extended their resources to the community and provided a central hub of communication. This is a great example of social responsibility. True social responsibility exists when companies use their own resources to provide help for the community, not just donating shares of their profits for causes. I am pleased to see that Apple not only has a strong business, but also has a strong heart.

In what ways can your business provide social responsibility?



Apple’s Role in Japan during the Tohoku Earthquake [Web log post]. (2011, March 14). Retrieved March 14, 2011, from

MSNBC. (2011, March). Disaster in Japan. Breaking News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology, Local, US & World News – Retrieved March 14, 2011, from

Raftery, T. (2009, January 27). Corporate Social Responsibility [Photograph].


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