Graphic via: Human Rights Campaign
When I buy something, I triangulate: I use more than two ways to research the purchase, from asking friends to visiting a store to reading reviews from experts online. The Human Rights Campaign’s 2009 Buying for Equality guide gives me another.
Tight times call for smart buying choices, perhaps even a newfound frugality. But no matter how much I watch my pennies, I still have to spend some of them. To help do that wisely, there’s now a buying guide that rates businesses on how inclusive they are. The guide is based on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. It’s an “annual report card on corporate America’s treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees, consumers and investors.”
Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to 100, based on whether or not they have policies that support LGBT people. On one end of the scale are companies with scores of 80+, which “consumers should make every effort to support.” On the other end are those who score 0-45 or, in some cases, a “?”: Those are the ones that haven’t responded to the Foundation’s survey despite repeated attempts.
Checking the guide, I felt good about some recent purchases. I have a Setu chair on order for my home office. I was proud to learn that Herman Miller scored 100 for the past three years in a row. There was a trip to Toronto booked through Orbitz (100). But what about an upcoming trip to Boston for which Expedia (50) has the best deals?
Other recent choices didn’t fare so well, such as renewing my cell phone contract with T-Mobile (?) when I could have gone with AT&T or Sprint, both rated at 100. And then there’s Thanksgiving. I can feel good about serving a pinot noir from Beaulieu Vineyard (100), but my past choice of a Butterball turkey (owned by Smithfield Foods, which rated a (?) has to be questioned.
Thanks to the buying guide, I’ll be questioning all my future purchases from a new perspective.