Michael Porter’s Creating Shared Value attempts to fix the problem of the vicious cycle relationship between business and society. Business has evolved and narrowed the scope of how we create economic value. Companies are perceived as creating profit at expense of the community versus benefiting the community. The government sees business as a problem, and therefore, believes they must regulate, control, and tax businesses. Milton Friedman expressed that what is good for company is good for society, but this is an old way of thinking. What’s good for society is good for business. Many businesses miss the opportunity to realize profit that comes from meeting fundamental human societal needs.
Whole Foods is an example of the shared value perspective. As a company, Whole Foods cares about the environment and communities and continues to be the most economically successful food retailer. Revolution Foods, a company providing fresh and nutritional lunches for school cafeterias and healthy prepackaged lunch meals for sale in supermarkets, had partnered with Whole Foods in a pilot program to deliver Whole Foods-prepared fresh meals to local schools in the Bay Area. Revolution Foods and Whole Foods both believe that nutrition is crucial for youth to grow, learn and maintain their health. However, many schools serve nutritionally subpar food, which contributes to the obesity levels in the United States. The pilot program served about 1,000 meals per day in the first year. Revolution Foods’ menu consists of locally sourced, fresh food inspired by the men ideas from students. Revolution Foods is also committed to educating students about nutrition by providing classroom education and advertisement posters throughout schools. Through their partnership with Whole Foods and other supermarkets, Revolution Foods has been successful in creating both business and social impact. Their business results include generating $70 million in revenue and over 1,000 jobs. They continue to reinvest in developing new locations to increase volume and meet their social mission. Social results include serving one million healthy meals in almost 1,000 schools. Most notably, the number of students accepting free meals in one Harlem school has increased from less than 50% to over 85% with the introduction of Revolution Foods.