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Greenwashing, Essay Example

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According to the European Union, CSR is the concept in which the companies are expected to integrate the environmental and social concerns that are facing the population around the production area. The CSR mechanism should therefore be integrated in the normal business processes and in the interactions with stakeholders on a very voluntary basis.  Another school of thought considers a socially responsible corporation as the one that runs very profitable business venture while at the same time taking into account the negative and positive impact that their operations have on the environment. It also involves the looking at the social and economic impact corporate social responsibility has is taken differently depending with companies having different intentions of having CSR blue prints. The CSR concept in some jurisdictions and markets is seen in terms following the philanthropic model. This means that the companies are free to amass unlimited profits with donation of just a little percentage on of the profits to the non governmental organizations. The philanthropic model of corporate social responsibility is very important for corporations in increasing their publicity and increasing the capacity of the stakeholders but it is not very effective in making positive contribution to the society (Jacobson, 2004).

In the world of business, organizations look at corporate social responsibility in three different ways. While some will look and use it as marketing opportunity,  the second type of company is not really concerned about doing its business in a responsible way while the companies in the third category have proper mechanism for ensuring that all the activities of the company are according to the requires social and ethical standards.

Wal-Mart is one example of a company that has completely changed its image and started walking he talk in establishing sustainable structures. The company has moved from being unethical to one that is currently very keen about accomplishing the CSR activities on its calendar. Since 2006, the world biggest retailer has improved its use of the energy efficient trucks and stores.  The company has also reduced wastes in all sections of its operation.  The company Wal-Mart affected its intention of working with the suppliers that developed greener electrical products and it also started selling only the Energy star Air conditioners that uses very little energy in 2010. The retailer is also very much engaged in evaluating products from the suppliers sold by the chain. This is hoped to come up with innovative materials that reduce the amount of hazardous substances such as lead and cadmium in the environment. One the recent CSR of Wal-Mart revolves around the Chain sourcing food locally by supporting the small and medium scale farmers. They hope to sell over one billion dollars worth food from the small scale farmers by 2016 (Manning,2010).

The second group of companies is like the International sports Wear Nike that has very nice blue prints of CSR intentions and actions but does not have much impact on the society. To such companies, CSR is only a marketing opportunity to and therefore are used to ensure that the company remains in the public eye.  The company does not have any commitment to the communities. Nike has been reported of exploiting its workers in the in the factories located abroad. These factories known as Sweatshop factories are located in China, Vietnam and Indonesia. The Nike workforce, most of who are women are not only paid very low wages of two dollars a day but are made to work under very hazardous conditions. It is reported that the workers are constantly subjected to abuse by the management. The best CSR for Nike would be to improve the working condition of the workers so that they will not suffer from respiratory illness and threat of amputation du to safety issues. The company CSR on the other is the donation of sports Kits and money to universities in the united state. In this case, the CSR is vied by  the company has a form of philanthropic activities that is done to ensure the flow of profit while forgetting the issues that affects the stakeholders  like recognition and enhancement of the workers rights (Mark-Herbert, & von Schantz,2007).

Exxon Mobil is seen by many observers as the company with the poorest reputation when it come environmental concern. This is due to the indifference of the company to the problem of global climate change because the company continues to concentrate on fossil fuels. Yet the company has is still one of the most profitable business organizations. The corporation is indifferent to corporate social responsibility and although it has been very successful in preventing accidents and oil spillage.  The problem with this strategy is that it does not raise any bar for the corporation to operate in ethical Worldwide Initiatives for (Grantmakers Support (WINGS) 2007). This has the effect of affecting the industry for example the other firm in the industry BP has even changed its brand to one that says  beyond petroleum to emphasize on its responsibility  and commitment in reducing the dependence on  fuel in the world but does not earn as big profit as Exxon Mobil.

References:

Jacobson, S., (2004). Nike’s Power Game. New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2010 athttp://www.nytimes.com.

Manning, J., (2010). Universities pressure Nike to assist Honduran laborers . Oregon Business News OregonLive.com.

Mark-Herbert, C., & von Schantz, C. (2007). Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility – Brand management, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies.

Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support (WINGS). (2007). The Current Landscape of   Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved 17 April 2010 athttp://www.wingsweb.org.

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