Oct 13

Parallax Social Responsibility

We spend a lot of time helping companies tell the story of the good they’re doing.

For our larger clients, activities like corporate philanthropy, investing in employee benefits and safety, and adopting environmentally friendly business practices are often grouped under the category of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

With the help of clients like Sempra Energy, Hunter Industries, and NextEra Energy, we’ve learned a lot about best practices in CSR, and along the way, we’ve become a more socially responsible business ourselves.

We thought it would be fun to document (via photo-essay) the best practices we’ve adopted over the years.  We call it “PSR” – the Parallax Social Responsibility program.

Enjoy! And, feel free to adopt these responsible practices at your place of business!

Parallax PSR Water

Parallax PSR Chalkboard

We use our chalk-wall instead of paper.

Parallax PSR Projector

Parallax PSR Paper

Parallax PSR Guusje

Guusje, our Creative Director, gives back to the community by volunteering as an art teacher at a local school twice a week.

Parallax PSR Bike

When we can, we leave our cars at home, and walk or bike to work.


Parallax encourages and supports public transportation, and offers reimbursement for employees (like Allen) who take the train to work. Luckily the train station is only a few blocks from our office.

Parallax PSR Clothing Exchange

Parallax hosts a quarterly clothing exchange where 15+ bags of clothes are donated each time to a local woman’s shelter.

Parallax PSR Lighting

We installed energy-efficient lighting in our office to go along with our natural sky-lights.

Parallax PSR Halloween

We try to keep a healthy work-life balance and get together for team outings every other month.

Parallax Giving for 2013

May 13

CSR: How does your company increase its social responsibility efforts?

Part 2 of our CSR series

First, it’s important to look at what you’re presently doing. Chances are, your business may already have incorporated responsible practices, such as installing more efficient lights, promoting recycling, or encouraging a healthy lifestyle for employees. You’ll want to document what you are already doing and, if possible, your return on investment so far.

Next, determine what the most important social responsibility issues are to the people you’re connected to; your company may have particular assets that are well suited to address those needs. From there, devise and implement a concrete plan based on your company’s unique priorities: who is responsible for what, what resources and help will they need in order to accomplish goals, and what is the timeframe? The final, and perhaps most integral part of any CSR effort is setting concrete targets and measuring progress against those goals.  This is critical to ensure others within the company. as well as customers and investors, can see strides being made, and will also help ensure that over time, money will be dedicated to these efforts so that they are sustainable.  While CSR programs can usually save money in the long run, they often need up front investments to start.  Measuring a plan’s success against initial concrete goals will reveal how valuable efforts have been, or indicate that the plan should be altered.

Making CSR a priority clearly takes time, effort, and resources, but the return can be significant to the community, the environment and your business. There is more and more evidence that companies that have CSR as a core strategy are outperforming those that do not. A recent cause marketing study by Cone Communications revealed that 85 percent of consumers have a more positive view of companies that support a cause they care about. In addition, a CSR-minded business will become a more attractive employer; people want to work somewhere they’ll feel valued, healthy, and happy. Providing such an environment will help attract talented individuals. Finally, making environmentally conscious changes, like reducing electricity use or removing disposable plates and utensils in an office kitchen will also save money in the long run. Embracing CSR will allow your business to not only survive in the changing times, but also thrive. Doing good isn’t just the right thing to do, but it also leads to doing better as a company.

To learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility, read Part 1 of our series or check out the CSR work we’ve done.


May 13

Corporate Social Responsibility – Doing good to do well

What is CSR? Part 1 of a series

You may have heard “corporate social responsibility” – or CSR – mentioned lately in the business world, but what does it mean? The definition is still evolving, but typically CSR is understood as a company’s commitment to manage its economic, social and environmental practices responsibly and efficiently. Businesses are facing increased pressure from consumers, investors, employees and other stakeholders to consider the Three P’s—People, Profit, Planet—in their corporate strategies. In other words, how is your company handling issues like human rights, employee health and safety, labor standards, environmental waste, and ethical practices? Creating a successful CSR strategy can provide several benefits to your company including decreased operating costs, improved employee engagement and productivity, enhanced company brand/image, and strengthened customer loyalty.

In particular, many businesses are seeing substantial benefits from focusing on their environmental impact. If you were to look at the websites of the 30 companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, you’d notice they all have one thing in common: an entire page dedicated to their environmental sustainability efforts. These companies realize that green business practices can save money and ensure the company’s long-term survival, while also improving the health of the environment. Companies are reducing their carbon footprints by reinvesting money in clean energy, using solar, wind, and other renewable sources, and finding other creative ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, businesses are minimizing waste by reducing product packaging, reusing or recycling more waste, reducing pollution, and minimizing health and safety risks.

Sounds like a lot to consider, right? Developing your company’s unique CSR strategy may not be the easiest task, but in order to stay competitive and relevant in today’s business world, it’s a critical piece to consider. Consumers are seeking companies that positively impact their communities, large corporations are demanding suppliers with ethical business practices, and prospective employees are drawn to employers who value and prioritize their well being.

So how does your company take steps to increase social responsibility? Check out part 2 of our CSR series or see the CSR work we’ve done.

Feb 13

Non-profit branding, it’s personal.

At first, the words “non-profit” and “branding” don’t seem to fit together, or at least they didn’t used to. A difficult conundrum for nonprofits is the juxtaposition of wanting to create a unique identity, but not wanting to look ‘branded’ – or polished. That fear stems from the idea that “if it looks good, it’s expensive.” Or in the case of a non-profit, “if it looks good, it looks like we don’t need any money.“ Continue reading →

Feb 13

How’s your quality of life?

On January 17th, San Diegans mingled along turtle reef at Sea World to celebrate our environment, economy and regional community. With a drink in one hand and the 2013 San Diego Regional Quality of Life dashboard in the other, members of industry, government and community came together to talk about the issues, improvements and room for growth in our region that Equinox Center is working to shed light on. In the last year, there has been a slow but steady improvement in job growth, a slight improvement in housing affordability, and renewable energy and air quality is continuing to move in the right direction. But there is still room for progress when it comes to water quality and transportation.

The Equinox Center shows off their 2013 dashboard.

Continue reading →

Jan 13

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy? We’ve got the answer: having such a great turnout at our “I’m so happy hour.” Last Thursday, the Parallax team got together with clients and friends to kick off the New Year and to thank everyone for their support.

Despite the rain, many people showed up to say hi, enjoy a cosmo and snack on the delicious food provided by Gourmet Tamales. We were touched by your support. Continue reading →

Dec 12

Here’s how we came to our resolutions…

Each year, Parallax assigns our intern the task of coming up with a creative idea for our holiday card before wrapping up the internship. This year, Julia who joins us from The Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, took the lead on the project and helped create our first ever, interactive holiday card. We worked as a team to come up with New Year’s resolutions and develop a card to thank you, our clients, partners, family and friends, for your support this year. But we had the most fun experimenting with photography that showed off our individual Parallax quirks and humor.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of the making of our Parallax holiday card…

The Parallax team “looking back” on 2012.

Continue reading →

Aug 12

Web Redesign: 5 Steps for Success

Successfully redesigning a website requires more than superior knowledge of coding and great user experience – behind the scenes, the ideal project involves mutual respect and understanding on both the part of an agency and its clients.

For last 12 months we’ve been working with Phoenix College defining the user experience, site architecture, technical specifications, design, development, training and now support for their new website. Phoenix College wanted to present their rich heritage and comprehensive educational resources in the best possible way to support their community, while providing new opportunities for interactivity and multimedia integration. This month the completed site launched on time and in budget. Continue reading →