IntroductionIn this report I will focus on the different methods used by organisations in order to become more responsible In practice, in 2015, Responsible enterprise is when companies live up to clear constructive visions and core values consistent with those of the broader societies within which they operate, respect the environment, and treat well the entire range of stakeholders.” (Waddock and Rasche, 2012: 4). This report will critically review organisations targeted in the technology market, this includes social enterprises and multinational corporations, and how businesses can improve their operations by implementing the sustainability goals, which were introduced by the united nations. Furthermore, this report will include the importance of responsible marketing, and how organisations can implement responsible marketing to develop an organisation as a whole, to conclude, one theatrical recommendation will be made to further suggest the actions an organisation can take to improvements towards a sustainable future. There are also strategic advantages through engaging with these global goals, which will benefit stake holders, both internal and external. By setting a strategic direction that integrates sustainability will ensure the improvement of operational performance which will then lead to the improvement of value chain performance (Caliyurt and Yüksel, 2018.)
Corporate Social pyramid
Responsibility (Carroll, 1991: 42)
Carrols pyramid which was originally introduced in 1991, following the four responsibilities displayed in the pyramid, this creates the foundation to characterise the nature of organisations, a business must retain these responsibilities if they wish to become more responsible as a whole. An issue raised with Carrols pyramid is that it implies that a business will need to prioritise the legal and economic responsibilities over the philanthropic and ethical responsibilities. Depending on the situation whilst implementation of these responsibilities of a business will impact the products and services produced.
The United nations set 17 universal goals to provide a road map for businesses, governments etc. The reason organisations choose to adopt these 17 goals, also known as the global goals is known as a stepping stone towards multiple environmental challenges, such as climate change, end of poverty, protection of the planet and the insurance of peace and prosperity. (United Nations, 2018) (see figure 1 for all USDGs).
An organisation may wish to address sustainability in order to create a positive impact internally and externally. Benefits in addressing sustainability options include, improving brand image, which means an increase in trust and reputation for that organisation which will impact sales, as consumers will be aware of the popularity of that brand, which may then influence consumers to purchase more which will then lead to an increase in sales. A popular example of this is Apple, ensuring a strong brand image Apple is known as the best in the mobile phones industry as a multibillion pound company, Apple is responsible for producing a large amount of products and services on a global scale. By producing products on a global scale, it is clear that Apple creates a tremendous amount of impact on the environment and the resources. Huge scale operations such as Apple can positively or negatively impact the sustainable development goals set out by the United nations which was created to reduce, improve and to prevent situations. In a report conducted by Greenpeace, a company which was founded by a group of activists, which promote the solutions for a green future. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are revolutionising the way they are designing their mobile phones, phones are now being developed with more advanced parts which makes it challenging or next to impossible for the user to fix in case something failed with their device. This decreases the lifespan of mobile phones which means an increasing amount of e-waste stockpiles. In regards to this, stakeholders are constantly applying pressure to Apple to change their ways of carrying out daily activities in such a way that maintains their contribution to manufacture efficiently and without affecting the resources for future generations. This clearly indicates that Apple have a noticeable impact on the united nations sustainability goals, specifically goals 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 15. As these affect the company’s environmental presence along with the economic presence.
However Apple states on their official website “Making the most of using the least” (Apple, 2018). This suggests that Apple are indeed working hard to achieve these challenges. By creating different beneficial opportunities for its stakeholders, which include the improvement of education, health and bridging diversity and gender gaps, apple therefore counteract inequalities within the company’s workplace. This resulted in Apple to make their records visible to the public, which includes how they source materials and resources, the zero waste initiative, to improve the standards of living for the employees Apple has invested in multiple schemes. This involves providing their latest technology within class rooms to aid teaching. Apple are even going as far as re using machine that goes by the name of Daisy which is solely used to extract rare materials from their old phones to create new phones, this form of recycling will result in a more positive impact toward becoming more environmentally friends. However, businesses such as Apple integrate these multiple practices solely to create a positive impact in regards to the brand reputation and not entirely to moral obligations.
Responsible enterprise in practice
As there are a limited amount of resources available, throughout the years businesses have worked on innovating new ways to make maximum use of their resources, this allows increased efficiency in regards to the product life cycle, this results in maximum longevity of the products produced and the constant re use of rare minerals and materials. (Dufey, Grieg-Gran and Ward, 2008).
Over the years of production from major companies, the increase of waste is a major problem, “Environmental pollution is one the major problems that affects biodiversity, ecosystems, and human health worldwide” (Ahmad, 2018). with clear understanding that waste is a major problem to the planet, businesses use this knowledge to implement new ways to minimize waste production. Apple with a partnership with its suppliers formed a zero waste program to counter act landfill waste. Apple claim to have redirected over 600,000 tons of manufacturing waste since 2015 (Apple 2017).. Apple also claim that a maximum of 10 percent must be directed to the waste to energy facilities (Apple 2017). It is clear to understand that much of the manufacturing waste I either prepared for reused or recycled, and a small amount of the waste is being used to recover energy. Which results in 0 percent being disposed in landfill. In regards to re-use and recycling Apple have many methods to aid this, such services like Apple care aids its consumers when it comes to repairs, Apple replace or repair the consumers phone in house and re use the parts.
Apple also offer a scheme called the Giveback scheme were they offer the consumers a trade of their devices for gift cards, in which then the consumer can donate to charity. Apple have also aided recycling by invented a machine solely used to dissemble parts from old devices. Apple suggests that their dismantling machine can disassemble up to 200 devices every hour, This includes the extraction of rare materials such as gold, silver, rare earths etc(Apple 2017). This ensures the use of extracted materials being re used in house rather than it being sent to waste.
Fair phone, a social enterprise company, Fair phone manufactured a one of its kind device called the Modular phone, in an attempt to gain a place in the mobile phones industry. Fair phone designed the device so that the body of the phone remains the same but main features and specs such as camera etc., all these are interchangeable, this makes it possible for the user to upgrade their mobile device without the need to directly go and purchase a brand new phone but instead just upgrade with the ease of replacing detachable components. This device results in the user being more environmentally friendly towards the planet . Fair phone also take care to impact the environment and society positively by assessing the materials sourced, which may impact the wellbeing and environment during the manufacturing process (Fairphone, 2018).
A key aspect of corporate social responsibility is responsible marketing. “Responsible enterprise means that companies live up to clear constructive visions and core values with those of the broader societies” ( Waddock and Rasche, 2012). Depending on the marketing procedure a business implements will determine the relationship between the consumer and business. in the long term this also affects the environmental, social, economic factors of the business. This ensures that the products and serviced are marketed in an ethical manner. In relation, depending on the marketing, bad marketing procedures can in fact decrease brand image and recognition which will result in tarnishing relationships with the stakeholders.
Caveat emptor in latin means “let the buyer beware” (Investinganswers.com, 2018). This means the buyer assumes all risk in the transaction. In regards to the buyer having maximum responsibility in the transaction, the seller has no responsibility as long as the seller complies with the law. A great example of the use of Caveat emptor will be private sales such as garage sales or the sales of a car, where the buyer is responsible of examining the product and making sure it works with the risk of knowing there can be possible defects.
Additionally Caveat venditor, in latin “let the seller be aware” is a more modern legislation, a legal presumption requires the seller to advertise warranties unless the buyer and seller aggress otherwise in order to make a decision. An example of this would be if the buyer bought hand wash, then there is an implied warranty that it will in fact clean the buyers hands. depending on the decision made, this contributes to the impact on environmental, social and economic factors as a whole. Regardless with the advancement of UK organisations such as the European advertising authority agency it will need to be updated regularly in order to protect both party’s within the transaction.
Crane and Matten developed a structure in which informs us on the multiple stages an organisation may use when considering marketing, including the rights of the consumer and the ethical. Product policy, in relation to the guidelines of the development and production process of the product. Additionally Caveat emptor is considered present, but responsibility must still be retained by the seller in the even that something happens with the product, in this case, if the product is dangerous or does not match its purpose. The importance of market communication must be taken seriously as it will define the product to the buyer, the product must have an accurate purpose in order to not mislead the consumers. A perfect example of misleading marketing is the Apple TV, the advert, originally created for the Apple tv, it boasted images of the weather forecast for Cape town etc. The Advertising standards authority were informed that these features “was misleading because the iPhone did not support flash or java” (Sweney, 2018). This resulted in the advert getting banned in the UK. It is crucial a business is honest and delivers the correct information on the products in order to keep consumers happy. Additionally this also indicates the awareness of the government and its goals to preserve the interests of the consumers. Interests of both seller and buyers is impacted by price of the product and the seller as it can become competitive. Additionally the distribution process affects the relationships of both the buyer and the seller in regards to the supply chain issues (Laasch and Conaway, 2014).
Implementing a marketing strategy will allow the inspection of all aspects. It helps aiming the product towards that all important target audience, this ensures a competitive advantage over other competitors only if research is carried out successfully and then implemented. Concerns develop about the ethical issues produced around market strategy when business specifically exploits vulnerable consumers just to increase their sales, or mislead consumers as a whole by not informing them of the important information which may impact the decision of whether the consumer may purchase the product or not. A perfect example of this according to the independent, “Iphones were being secretly slowed down by Apple to make people buy new ones” (Griffin, 2018). In addition to this controversy, this resulted in Apple having to offer their consumers products at a discounted price, damage to the brand reputation and image, decline in customers and many lawsuits due to forcefully impacting the decision of the consumers. The use of market research is extremely important when referred to the guidance of the consumers. This is carried out by collecting various data from online platforms such as social media, this data is then examined and used to manipulate product preferences in which results in the product being tailored to the target audience, other benefits include minimising risk assessment and it is useful to measure the reputation of a business. a perfect example of data mining are supermarkets. Supermarkets such as Morrison’s use loyalty cards to gather information on what products were purchased, this process is carried out after the consumer finished shopping and swipes the loyalty card, by examining this data the consumer shopping content, the consumer may expect promotions on similar items they have purchased such as nappies etc. (Thellwell, 2018).
It is important for businesses to become aware of the impact of implications produced within the current generations and the generations to come. Additionally even though it is the responsibility of the government to implement rules and regulations to safeguard the interests of society, however it should not discourage the responsibility of businesses and individuals in becoming more sustainable especially when it is a contribution towards an area which would need improvement. Business ethics, a necessity for all organisations, as it ensures all activities are carried out without affecting the environment and society. The advantages of maintaining moral obligations in a business include, employee growth, stronger relationships between the stakeholders, increase of productivity, increase in innovative ideas, and the increase of monetary value. These advantages are more significant than the disadvantages, which include, trade restrictions, slower rate in growth, etc.
During its rain over the technology industry Apple have shown their dedication towards becoming a more environmentally friendly by innovating new ideas in order to become more responsible. Room for improvement is still available even for such companies as Apple. A report in 2017 states that “Large companies prevent fair competition by abusing their position controlling a platform to restrict competitors in other areas” (iLounge, 2018). Companies such as Spotify submitted a letter of complaint to the European union claiming companies, Google and Apple taken advantage of their position as operating system creators by manipulating competition. Spotify also claim that Apple blocked its app update on the IOS platform to not hinder its own interests of Apple music. This affects goals number 8 and 9 in regards to the USDG’s. conflict between small competitors and large companies affect the growth and brand reputation. This resulted in Apple increasing its monetary gain whilst tarnishing relationships with their competitors. Apple must be fair and allow the freedom of other companies such as Spotify to operate fairly in the hopes to avoid situations similar to this, furthermore a personal recommendation would involve analysing different organisations ethical behaviour, in this case if irresponsible behaviour is detected then boycotting would be a good idea as it will make society aware of the negative impact caused against the USDG’s, this will result in the reduction of wasting resources which will be beneficial for the future as a whole.