For many years Ben & Jerry's has donated 7.5 percent of its annual pretax profits to charitable causes -- the highest percentage of any publicly-held company. Yet the company has become an even more powerful agent for social change by embracing a "values-led" business philosophy. Values-led business is based on the idea that business, which has become the most powerful force in society, has to accept responsibility for the welfare of that society and the people in it. Values-led business is more encompassing and therefore more effective than philosophy alone. It also seeks to maximize its impact by integrating socially beneficial actions into as many of its day-to-day activities as possible from raw materials to retailing. In order to do that, values must guide a company's mission statement, strategy and operating plan.
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