Case Study Report: Corporate Social Responsibility Essay

Questions:

1. Using the example of the chosen company, assess the 3 Corporate Social Responsibility factors that influence corporate activities of your chosen company in the area of ecological sustainability. They are: economic, ethical and discretionary (week 3 reading)
2. Based on Readings (Weeks 1 to 10), design a sustainability plan for that company (for example you can focus on clean technology, sustainability vision, pollution prevention, product stewardship, etc). While creating the plan remember to include aims, objectives, strategies, tactics and evaluation. If the company already has a clear sustainability portfolio, analyse it according to the above criteria and suggest possible improvements for each.
3. Examine the possible advantages and difficulties in integrating your sustainability portfolio into the company’s strategy.

Answers:

PART 1

Pacific Brands Limited is an age old company which started its operations by manufacturing just Dunlop Bicycle tyres. Since then it has come a long way and today it is a big brand having its offices in Australia, New Zealand, China, United Kingdom and Indonesia. Its brand mark is enough to attract customers to buy their products. The company is listed in the Australian Stock Exchange and has discharged its corporate social responsibilities diligently and with utmost dedication and priority. The three Corporate Social Responsibility factors , economic, ethical and discretionary influence the corporate activities undertaken by Pacific Brands in the area of ecological sustainability (De Broeck, 2009).

Pacific Brands Limited is well applauded by the people for discharging their duties towards ethical , financial as well as sustainable business practices while keeping in mind the responsibility towards meeting higher standards of corporate social responsibilities. The company works on this belief only that success can be achieved only if the end users are highly satisfied after using their products and services and thus this is the most apt and acceptable method of conducting a business. The companies CSR policies basically focuses on reduction of negative impact on the environment and addressing the socio economic issues of the areas in which the company operates. The three CSR factors have affected the activities to be undertaken by the company. The same is enumerated as under:

  1. It is the company’s discretion to ensure that its employees are provided a good and a stable environment to work. The company aims at working as a team and for the same it is very important to work for the people also within the company. The company eyes upon the health and safety standards of its employees as a priority. It has an integrated system within the working area which helps to work in a more defined and strategic manner along with an aim to improvise upon its acts on a continuous basis. It has been conducting and participating into various health and safety related programs and also encouraged its employees to be a part of it as well. Pacific Brand has incorporated the employees benefit activities into its corporate social responsibility agenda very comprehensively. It has conducted annual influenza vaccination programs, employees insurances in private hospitals at discounted rates, free health check ups within the organization and accessibility to the internal SOS support for employees who are travelling so that they can get emergency medical help.
  2. Addressing environmental issues is a top priority for Pacific Brands Limited. It has an environmental management system which is certified within the ISO 14001. The company thrives upon one notion i.e. to reduce the impact on the environment due to its manufacturing, packaging , handling processes, reuse and recycle the waste and replacement of the existing processes with more environmental friendly process. It has taken steps to address its responsibility towards protection of the environment keeping in mind the corporate activities simultaneously. It has been continuously focussing upon working with the various environmental partners so as to reduce the waste and utilize it for the betterment of the environment it caters to. It has been committing to the Australian Packaging Covenant that the effects of the packaging work will be least on the environment. The company has been judiciously utilizing the natural resources and has also been in talks with the external suppliers for using rail transport over and above the road transport.
  3. The company is always on the wheels in meeting the social responsibilities and adhering to ethical ways and means and complying to various labour laws, safety rules and environmental protection strategies. The policy is simple that governing the complex supply chain is difficult hence focus is shifted towards inculcating the ethics within the internal processes which would allow the company to address its external factors as well. The company has ensured that the animals as a sourcing material is to be used by its suppliers only if it is a by product and does not lead to live plucking. So as to ensure its applicability the company has stopped using rabbit angora fibre in its products. Another very crucial step taken by the company is the ban on the usage of cotton supplied from Uzbekistan as it uses child labour. Even though the raw material is not used directly in the manufacturing process even then it has showed its strong resistance to the suppliers for the usage of Uzbekistan cotton (www.pacificbrands.com, 2016).

Thus Pacific Brands Limited is appreciated worldwide because it undertakes the corporate social responsibility not only as an embossed duty by the government but a self imposed responsibility. Thus it aims at performing its corporate activities keeping in mind the ecological sustainability.

PART 2

Pacific Brands Limited has been suffering huge losses from the past four years now. This 120 year old company soon needs to design a sustainability plan else it will lead to the dissolution of the same. The new CEO John Pollaers’ strategies are simple. It believes in creating a company which thinks out of the box and aims that becoming known amongst the masses for its innovative techniques and designs. The company has mainly eyed upon costs reduction more than being a profit oriented entity. Although news and the other agencies state that the new CEO’s strategies and vision will definitely enable to drive the company back to its older state of affairs and profits yet it needs to design a sustainability plan setting out its aims and objectives clearly and communicating the same internally as for any company to succeed it needs to motivate and regain the lost confidence of its employees to work as a team. The company’s sustainability plan should dig into areas such as the cleaner technologies, pollution free environment and product stewardship (Maltzman, & Shirley, 2010).

Clean technology aim at using such a technology in the production, manufacturing and packaging process which calls for minimal usage of the non renewable sources of energy as well as produces lesser waste products. For any entity to fall under the cadre of a sustainable business approach and practice it is very much required to shift its views from the native processes to a more developed process which addresses some of the urgent issues such as pollution control, reduction in emission of wastes into the environment, optimum utilization of the resources as well as earn profits. The said technology will enable to produce environment friendly products at lesser costs and thus help to build a greater brand in the eyes of the public(www.McKinsey.com, 2015). The communities have spelt out clearly that they are interested in products which are not produced as a result of any harm caused to any community in the society. Pacific Brands Limited has been able to address this issue to some extent. Its environmental policy which includes four basic ideas of reduce, reuse, recycle and replace has gone a long way in addressing the clean technology issue. Also it redresses the environmental impact across all stages of a product life cycle by supporting the Australian Packaging Covenant. It has stated clearly in its policies that all the wastes generated in the organization should be reused as far as possible. The possibilities of using the waste products again is explored across its varied business lines on a continuous basis (Hart, 1995).

The present plan that it has in vogue is accredited to ISO 14001. The company on a regular basis collects data related to the energy consumption and the waste that is let out, measures and monitors its performance from the previous results and strives to improve further. The employees and the management are trained on a regular basis and issues regarding the environment and ways to resolve the same is discussed in an open forum within the organization. It has a National Environment Sustainability Committee that meets six times in a year to address these issues. The company’s vision is to excavate deeper and greater chances of recycling within the organization , hence it has various programs and training sessions for the employees (Walter, 2013).

Pacific Brand as always known to adhere to the directives of the countries with which it works. Such as the company exports in Europe wherein it adheres to its directives of recycling of packaging products and produce minimum of wastage (Siegel, 2013). The company has changed its suppliers or have asked its suppliers to provide raw materials which are more environmental friendly and in way harm any part of the living being or the niche. Thus it has clearly imbibed the formula that competitive advantage can be attained only by bridging the gap between the internal capabilities of the firm and the changing external circumstances (Mitchell, 2015).

However even though Pacific Brands Limited is adhering to various stances of using a cleaner technology, pollution preventive methods and has a long vision of sustaining in this environment focussed scenario yet it is suffering losses simply because its products are being manufactured off shore. This even though would give the company an edge towards cost reduction yet the brand loyalty as per the consumers is taking a hit. Also the company has always concentrated on one geographical area of the globe, Australia. Further the company should enlarge its sustainability vision and try to explore other areas by managing the dollar fluctuations (Gareis et al. 2013).

Thus the company should try to improve on the various areas so as to ensure that its sustainability plan is a success. It should concentrate on using a cleaner technology and continue with its policy of reduce, reuse, recycle and replace, yet following the policy blind-folded will not achieve anything. The cost involved cannot be ignored and the same is required to be inculcated in the prices of the products produced . This in turn would lead to decreasing profits if the consumers are not made aware of the technology used and how the same is benefitting the entire civilization on the whole. A brand loyalty is increased if the products are more and more manufactured indigenously. Pacific Brands Limited has expanded its manufacturing units across the globe which has led to a negativity amongst the Australians with regards loyalty towards the brand. Although a more developed process is being used yet the cost factors are not being addressed carefully which is posing a threat to the sustenance of the company (Belaluddin et al. 2008). Thus it should ensure to take into consideration the various foreign factors which is affecting the company’s bottom line. The awareness about the consumer and environmental friendly products as well as the cost involved should be marketed in a better manner so as to drive the sentiments of the consumers. The company’s vision and mission towards the society is clear but the formula to cover the gap between the increased cost yet maintaining the brand value in the eyes of the end users needs to be formed in a stronger manner. The medium used for conveying the message is not strong enough to shake the masses towards buying the products offered by Pacific Brands Limited. Thus its marketing strategies needs to undergo a revolution (www.pacificbrands.com, 2013).

PART 3

The possible advantages and difficulties in integrating the sustainability portfolio into the strategies of Pacific Brand Limited is manifolds. No path is a smooth one hence it offers both advantages as well as disadvantages of integrations. The advantages are enumerated as under:

  1. Integration of sustainability portfolio would enable to bring universality in the ideas, experiences, expertise and goals. Uniformity can be achieved which would in turn enable us to achieve economies of production, thus reducing the costs and increasing the margins. Further the company also fails to address the growing competition which would then be addresses maturely.
  2. The said integration will enable the entities to maintain a growing pace with the changing needs of the consumers. The company operates in a mature environment hence this would enable it to come out of isolation and adapt new methods of production and distribution thus cutting out the competitive edge easily (Mohr. Et. al. 2001).
  3. The employees become highly motivated and dedicated towards their work. The company provides adequate training so as to update the employees with the changing circumstances. Also it incorporates in its corporate social responsibility the health and safety standards for the benefit of the employees which also give adequate advantage to the company (Rogers, 2016).
  4. Proper integration will always help in adequate implementation of theories and policies designed by any entity. Thus once the sustainability portfolio is well integrated within the system of the company, implementing changes and action plans will give fruitful results. The efficiency and the efficacy of the workers and managers at all the levels of Pacific Brands Limited will increase more than the standards set out. It will help the company to gain economically also (Bonini, & Swartz, 2014).

The difficulties in integrating the sustainability portfolio into the strategies of Pacific Brands Limited howsoever cannot be ignored in total. The same is enlisted below:

  1. The outcome is felt at a very latter stage by the companies which may give an upper edge to its competitors in the short term and affect their own bottom line.
  2. Implementing integration in all sectors can be a costly affair for the company. If it poses restrictions on its supply chain and tries to dominate as to what kind of products they should supply, the composition of the product supplied should be changed as per standards , then this may end up putting the company in a disadvantageous position (Bonini, & Gorner, 2011).
  3. There is still an unclear vision with regards the value addition that such an integration does to the shareholder’s value. Quantification of benefits derived via such a process is still at a developing stage. Thus until and unless the same is addressed their is always a resistance from the promoters and owners of the company who ultimately are concerned about the return on their respective investments in the company.
  4. The inculcation of this concept has made a forced shift of the vision and mission of entities while trying to inculcate the same within their organizational process. Lack of any set practice and theory in place has led to struggle amongst the entities in imbibing the same in its supply chain and relevant budgets. Thus this is one of the main difficulties that Pacific Brands Limited has been facing. It has addressed to the issues of environment and safety standards but while concentrating on these areas, there has been a significant shift in the actual vision and mission of the entity. It has left behind the fact that it is a profit oriented entity and its main goal should be maximization of shareholder’s wealth (Carroll, 1991).

Thus in a nut shell it can be concluded by stating that the integration of sustainability portfolio in Pacific Brands Limited strategy will give it an upper edge across its competitors but at the same time integration should be done at such a level so as not to divulge it from its main goals and mission.

References:

Belaluddin, M., Hassan, M.R., & Tarique, K.M., 2008, Three dimensional aspects of Corporate Social responsibility, Daffodil International University, Journal of Business and Economics, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 199-211

Bonini, S., & Gorner, S., 2011, The Business of Sustainability : McKinsey Global Survey Results, viewed on 08th June 2016.survey-results

Bonini, S., & Swartz, S., 2014, Profits with Purpose: How Organizing for sustainability can benefit the bottom line, viewed on 08th June 2016.

Carroll, A.B., 1991, The pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility : Toward the Moral management or Organizational Stakeholders.

Gareis, R., Huemann, M., & Martinuzzi, A., 2013, Project Management & Sustainable Development Principles , Project management institute : New Town Square.

Hart, S.L., 1995, A Natural – Resource Based View of the Firm, Academy of Management Review, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 996-1014.

Maltzman, R., & Shirley, D., 2010, Green Project Management, CRC Press: USA.

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