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MNG81001 - Management Communication Assignment - Southern Cross University, Australia

Assessment - Define and clarify the task: Report on Colgate Palmolive.

Answer - REPORT ON COLGATE PALMOLIVE

Abstract

CSR or corporate social responsibility is the, most vital strategy to achieve competitive advantages. It helps to improve the business further achieve global success. Colgate is practising CSR ad developed its global business since past years. Hence, the present report evaluates the CSR management of Colgate. The CSR report of Colgate evaluated the stakeholders including the suppliers and consumers to provide an insight of company's financial performance and consumer's expectations. The assessment is essential to make a profitable marketplace globally and meet the expectations of sustainability from the globalised market. Efficient CSR management helped Colgate meeting the expectations of its stakeholders and make the communities a better place, while lessening environmental footprints.

Q1. Using the company's social media platform and current CSR report: Evaluate the company's corporate website. How 'green' is it? Analyse the attributes of the CSR report and identify two sustainability initiatives for 2018.

1. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is one of the corporate initiatives to evaluate the social and environmental responsibilities of a company to measure its effect on the environment and social wellness. It helps to evaluate the performance and the expectations of the stakeholders, which are crucial to develop a sustainable and profitable global marketplace. It also helps to create a loyal brand value and understand the consumers that are required to achieve competitive advantages. The blueprint of the CSR management of Colgate is its strategy to "Building a future to smile about," which highlights the health and wellness of people, performance of the company and betterment of the environment or the planet.

Therefore, the CSR of the Colgate-Palmolive Company will be analysed and discussed in the current report, to evaluate its success and the negative effects if CSR is not managed properly.

2. Evaluation and analysis of the company's CSR activities

Table 2.1: How 'green' is my company

1. Company name: Colgate-Palmolive Company

2. Industry type: Consumer goods company

3. Is there a CSR department? Yes

4. What is it called? Sustainability

5. Is there a CSR Report for 2018? Yes

6. Is it available on the website? Yes

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7. Corporate Social Responsibility in Action. Which social change activities does the company engage in? Identify activities from each relevant category.

CSR activity

Yes or No

Activity

a. Environment

Yes

Reduced water waste by 47% per ton production

Reduced energy use by 31% and GHG emission by 28%

b. Consumer responsibility

Yes

More than 1 billion children reached with oral health education.

c. Community

Yes

Creates opportunities for education, and improves health and well-being.

d. Employee relations

Yes

Maintaining employee health and wellness strategy, creating global teamwork and making it best workplace.

e. Indigenous

No


f. Diversity

Yes

Manages diversity and inclusion strategy,

As it has been presented in the above tables, Colgate-Palmolive Company maintains its Corporate Social Responsibilities to improve its sustainability profile and reduce environmental footprints. Colgate has progressively achieved its sustainability goals and other social responsibilities reducing water waste, and emissions. It invests for the improvement of education, environment and health for the people around the world.

8. How 'green' is the website? The website is "green" as it promotes responsibilities for sustainable environment

9. How 'green' is the company? Colgate can be considered very "green" as it is listening in Barron's 100 most sustainable companies.

10. CSR indices/rankings 96%

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Table 2.2: Attributes of the CSR report

The 2018 Annual Report contains financial, sales, employee, and other sustainability reports

2. Report is designed for COLGATE PALMOLIVE

Constituency

Yes OR  No

Key message

a. Investors

Yes

$3.1 billion operating cash flow

b. Employee present

Yes

Organisational support, health and well-being and financial well being

c. Employees future

Yes

Promote physical, emotional and financial wellness.

d. Academics

Yes

Promoting educational activities.

e. Community activities

Yes

Engaging people in educational and environmental activities.

f. Public officials

No


g. Corporate managers

Yes

Creating sustainability and a successful global business.

h. Other

No


3. Credibility report

Report elements

Yes OR  No

a. Is this a CRS report?

Yes

b. Does the report provide details on CSR practices as well as policies?

Yes

c. Does the CSR report provide systematic data?

No

d. Does the company report data in a comparable form?

No

e. Does the report present future goals as well as past practices?

Yes

f. Does the report include bad news as well as good news?

Yes

g. Does the report address the company's greatest CSR challenges?

Yes

h. Does the company integrate CSR reporting with its traditional business strategy and its financial reporting?

Yes

4. Elements of report

The key elements in the report presents the followings:

  • Annual growth report.
  • Net Sales and Cash flow report.
  • Sustainability report, commitment and future strategies. (Colgatepalmolive.com.au. (2019).

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5. Two sustainability initiatives for 2018

1. Evaluating the impact of its facility and packaging on environment and human health.

2. Joined the Plastic Economy initiative of the Ellen Macarthur foundation to reflect its 100% recyclable packaging.

According to Table 2.2, the sustainability report presents the key initiatives of Colgate, in which the CSR report has been evaluated. The key elements discuss annual growth and sustainable operations. According to the report, Coalgate has shown $15.5 billion global sales in 2018. The report states that at least seven manufacturing facilities obtained GBCI True Zero Waste certification in 2008.

Conclusion

Evaluation of the CSR report of Colgate-Palmolive states that it successfully contributes in its CSR and manages social and environmental responsibilities very well. Hence, in the next section, the expectations of the stakeholders from Colgate's CSR will be evaluated to assess its impact, feasibility and successiveness.

Q2. Why is it important for a company to develop an ongoing and active dialogue with consumers, shareholders, and the general public about the social and environmental role companies should play?

3. Communicating about CSR

The previous section discussed and evaluated the features of the Corporate Social Responsibility of Colgate-Palmolive Company. Therefore, in this section it will be discussed that how successfully Colgate communicates its CSR.

3.1 Expectation of Stakeholder's

It is important to respond to the expectations of the stakeholders positively to manage the CSR activities and improve growth and performance. The company, Colgate needs to understand the consumers and their expectations to improve the products and services it offers. All the key stakeholders, such as suppliers, dealers and consumers expect that Colgate will respect their privacy, while they are interacting with the company. One of the major expectations is quality product and product safety. Therefore, the company must ensure the consumers, as well as the investors, that the products are safe, high quality and profitable.(Colgatepalmolive.com.au. 2019).

3.1.1 CSR communication and respecting the environment

The business and key stakeholders, which are the consumers and the investors looks for a profitable product, as well as a brand. Success of the company depends on its sustainability strategies and its successful communication to the stakeholders.

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According to the reports of Colgate, it can be seen that it improved its energy efficiency and reduced water used by more than 47%. Additionally, Colgate is promoting child education and health which helped to strengthen the brand value around the globe. As the company is listed in the Barron's 100 most sustainable companies in the world, it can be stated that there is no empty boasting in the report(Investor.colgatepalmolive.com (2019)

Successful CSR management helped Colgate to create a better brand value to create a loyal consumer base. As a requirement of modern business strategy, Colgate practises appropriate sustainability activities in order to attract more people, customer and investors as well. People want more value from the products and an environmentally friendly strategy from the company. Therefore, a greater management of diversity and inclusive strategy helped to develop its multicultural marketplace world-wide(Colgatepalmolive.com.au. (2019).

Conclusion

The present section discussed the communication process and activities, which confirms that Colgate has successfully conducted its CSR activities to make a sustainable environment for its business. The section also discussed the expectations of the key stakeholders, which needs to be assessed to develop future strategies. Therefore, the negative effects of not managing CSR properly will be discussed in the next section.

Q3. What can happen when there is a lack of dialogue?

4. The lack of dialogue

Any business organisation needs to communicate with its consumers whose satisfaction appears to be the ultimate goal of the organisation for running their business in an effective and successful manner. Therefore, this interactive dialogue between the company and its customers seems to be very much necessary for collecting feedback of the customers regarding the services of the company so that it can ultimately gain customer satisfaction.

4.1 Lack of dialogue

The lack of dialogue between a company and its respective customers has the potentiality to affect the reputation of that particular company negatively. Therefore, the company needs to maintain a thorough communication process with its customers so that the customers can provide feedback regarding the services offered to them by the company (Beldad et.al 2019). The company requires to be interactive with their customers and provide them the scope to give feedback about their problems with the products of that company (Lostakova and Stejskalova 2014). The advancement of IT (Information Technology) and the increasing social media accessibility it has become quite easier for the consumers to interact with an organisation. On the other hand, the reputation of the company could be damaged by social media if it fails build a better communication and show its promises over social media. (Lostakova and Stejskalova, 2014).

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4.2 Maintaining relationship with the consumers

The other significant issue on the part of the business organisation is the reputation of the company. It is closely associated with its identity and the brand image, as the organisation can only gain reputation in a solid form when its identity and image are aligned (Foroudi, 2019). Therefore, maintaining a thorough relationship with its customers appears to be the prime condition on the part of the company to acquire reputation along with customer satisfaction (Sirajova and Surkova, 2014). Once the reputation of the organisation is brought down anyhow, it becomes hard to regain it in that same extent as customers are one of the chief stakeholders of the organisation. Hence, their feedback and opinion needs to be considered by the company for its improvement (Attaran, 2004). Therefore, the company is expected to maintain dialogue or communication with its customers so that it can serve the purpose of social responsibility, such as consumer satisfaction (Golob, et.al. 2017).

Conclusion

The company thus necessarily maintain a strong bond with its customers whose satisfaction is the ultimate objective on the part of the company, and this will gradually lead the company to perform its CSR in an effective manner.

Q4. What are the dangers of 'empty boasting' when a company trumpets actions not necessarily backed by substance. Identify any two corporate examples and evaluate what the false and hollow claims were and what impact they had on the company's constituents as well as their image, reputation and credibility.

5. The dangers of empty boasting and CSR

Any organisational entity is endowed with the corporate social responsibility from the very time of its establishment, which needs to perform its purpose of serving the society. The organisation requires providing its service to the society without any false promise which can also be termed as empty boasting. This type of false promise which actually does not contain any substance may cause harm to the well-maintained reputation of the organisation.

5.1 Empty boasting and reputation

Empty boasting can be defined as the false promise by the company. It can be further explained that the organisation is seen to advertise in such a manner that it is bringing a product in the market which will prove to be really something extraordinary, but sometimes it appears to be false. Furthermore, it appears to be quite dissatisfactory on the part of the consumers who fail to receive the expected amount of service from the company (Holsøe Rasmussen, 2010). Therefore, the company needs to be cautious in the part of advertising through which the company promotes its product to its customers (Lostakova and Stejskalova 2014). Naturally, it negatively impacts the satisfaction of the customers and the reputation of the company.

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5.1.1 related to empty boasting

The company requires providing the promised quality of the product in the advertisement, and thus, it will be able to gain customer satisfaction and will be able to perform its CSR in an effective manner (Türkel, et.al., 2016).

5.2 Corporate Scandal 1

The scandalous incidence by Volkswagen as this company has failed to provide eco-friendly engine of cars which was promised by them previously can be taken into consideration as a suitable example of greenwash. It is an emission-cheating scandal (truthinadvertising.org, 2019). This case is also a case of green wash as the company has failed to produce their products to be eco-friendly which was their intention and promise. Green wash is a type of empty boasting where the company fails to provide eco-friendly products as its products do not appear to be so. As Volkswagen failed to keep its promise, this case can be considered as a case of empty boasting.

5.3 Corporate Scandal 2

The company requires maintaining transparency in the service provided by it so that the customers can become aware of the standard of the products and amenity provided by the company (Beck, et.al 2015). In this context, the case of Nestle can be noted where Nestle has failed to make their customers satisfied food products made out of sustainable cocoa beans (truthinadvertising.org, 2019). Therefore, it can also be considered as a case of empty boasting where the company has failed to serve products to its consumers as it had previously promised. Nestle products were being made out of deforesting African vegetation which is not expected.

Conclusion

CSR can thus be considered as a major responsibly on the part of the company with which it gets the ability to outlive in the competitive world of business where the competition is going to be tougher with each passing day.

6. Conclusion

The current report has discussed and evaluated the CSR practices of the Colgate Company. It can be concluded that CSR is one of the most vital strategy to develop a sustainable business world-wide. The growth of Colgate and its profitability have largely improved with its effective CSR management, which tries to make the community and environment better for the future. The expectations of the stakeholders are the most important factors to consider while managing and developing CSR strategies. It has been found that lack of effective communication creates uncertainty among the consumers, which reduces customer satisfaction. Hence, the feedback process maintains good interaction with the company and creates the opportunity to fulfil expectations of the stakeholders, which is crucial in CSR management. Another issue weakening the opportunities of building consumer loyalty and a greater CSR management is empty boasting or greenwashing. This affects the company very negatively and reduces can reduce the reputation of Colgate in a global marketplace. Hence, it can be concluded that a better CSR management, avoiding empty-boasting and lack of dialog, Colgate successfully offers quality products, creates customer satisfaction and making a sustainable future.

7. Recommendation

  • Use the relevant and trustworthy method of advertising
  • Maintain communication with customers in the interval of a certain time period in a friendly manner
  • Assess and consider consumer's expectations to crate loyal brand value and maintain CSR.

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