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HI5013 Managing Across Borders, Holmes Institute, Australia

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Question: Discuss the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in today's world. Give practical examples for your arguments.

Answer: The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is associated with multiple activities that are undertaken by the companies to ensure that the business is able to negate the various factors that are associated with protecting the environment and bringing a positive effect on society. It is a self- regulatory model that keeps the business accountable to itself, society, stakeholders and the environment from where natural resources are taken (JAIN, 2013). CSR is one of the most growing fields in current time and in the wake of global warming and cut-throat competition there is more the need to establish excellent CSR practices in the business world of today.
The role of business is to ensure that multiple economic activities need to be undertaken in order to ensure that the harmful effects of the economic activities do not affect the natural environment and society and through CSR activities, it is important that livelihood and sustenance can also be generated. The CSR in the current world is associated with a triple bottom line concept that is associated with three aspects of corporate social responsibility of people, planet and profit.

Triple Bottom Line.jpg

Figure 1- Triple Bottom Line

Corporate social responsibility is a major part of every business as with growth in revenue there is the need to be more responsible towards the environment and the society. In the opinion of Lindgreen and Swaen (2010), it is important to understand that there are elements of accountability that every business is associated with and every business has to earn for its shareholders and ensure that there are other roles that it fulfils, as a part of the social fabric. There is always the issue associated with depleting natural resources and pollutants that are affecting the environment in an adverse manner. There is the need to ensure that the companies do not allow the misuse of nature and its abundance and reduce all forms of pollutants from causing irreparable harm. Environmental sustainability is one of the major areas that are associated with corporate social responsibility (Orlitzky et al ., 2011).

Corporate social responsibility is an evolving field and there is the need to ensure that in today's time CSR related activities should become the part of the corporate culture and the reason associated with this is that there is the need to have a sustainable focus towards plant and people and not only the profit aspect. In the factors associated with people and profit, there are areas of corporate governance that are also part of the company's responsibility. CSR ensures that ethical practices are in place that ensures that the business is able to have an accountable and transparent corporate governance strategy. In the opinion of Jo and Harjoto, (2011), it is essential that there is stress on governance. This will be associated with the fact that social duties can be performed most effectively. If the causal effect of CSR related ethics is to be considered then it will ensure that there is the fact that as there is a lot of earnings of common people associated with the business, then there is the fact that corporate governance has to become strong to ensure to protect the money of the common shareholders.

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Sustainability is the major focus of the various companies of today's time. In the case of Pepsico, there have been many changes that have been brought about by the management in order to ensure that the company is able to be responsible for the triple bottom line approach. The company has truly put its focus on sustainability through bringing in healthier products for the customers. They have incorporated baked snacks and they have also incorporated non-sugary drinks in their product range, as they want to be accountable for the health of their consumers.

Nutrition Oriented Products.jpg
Figures - 2 and 3- Nutrition oriented products

Along with no added sugar products, there is also the focus towards ensuring that the company revises its popular products like 7 UP and Mirinda. It has reintroduced these in the market with 30% to 50% fewer sugar variants and the reason for this is that the company wants to take the responsibility of the consumer's health and not allow them to succumb to the epidemic of obesity (pepsico.com, 2019).

Re Introduced Brands.jpg

Figure 3 - Re introduced brands

In current times, many organisations have started to understand the concept of trying to grow in a sustainable manner. There are cases associated with large multinationals like Coca Cola, which have started to value the concepts of corporate social responsibility in a major way. There is a concept associated with trying the fact that there is the effort associated with the fact that renewable sources of energy are being used. As the bottling plants of Coca Cola need a lot of water, there is the need to ensure that efforts are taken to try to recycle water and gain water sustainability. In Australia, also the company is known to have made major efforts to bring about positive changes. There was the launch of Coca Cola with no sugar and there was the fact associated with multiple areas where the company has started to use sustainability areas. The framework set up is associated with the following pillars:

Coca Cola’s CSR Pillars.jpg

Figure 4 - Coca Cola's CSR pillars

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Coca-cola has laid down its goals where there is focus to reduce carbon footprint by 25% and there is the decision to allocate 1% of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to community investment programmes (Ccamatil.com, 2019). There has also been al lot of issues associated with the fact that Coca Cola has been using a huge amount of plastic that is around 3 million tonnes of plastic every year in the form of packaging and in the form of the bottle every year and it has been one of the most plastic consuming companies.

Plastic Consumption.jpg

Figure 5 - Coca Cola's and some other company's plastic consumption

The companies led by Coca Cola have involved in a pact of global commitment where there is effort taken to ensure that they will reduce the use of plastic majorly. There is effort taken to ensure that there will be reusing of the plastic that is used and there will also be a gradual reduction in the use of plastic as it is extremely harmful to the marine life and it is causing major landfills (theguardian.com, 2019). 

Coca Cola the brand has gone one step forward to ensure that it has signed the "Oceans Plastic Charter", at the G7 meetings (coca-colacompany.com, 2019). There is a strong commitment to a world without much waste. The company is committed to ensuring that not every bit of plastic used finds its way to the ocean and that is the end-to-end effort that has been taken up by the company to ensure a sustainable future.

Corporate social activity and various factors associated with corporate social activity is associated with ensuring that the people (Shareholders, consumers, employees), the planet that is the environment and the profit (tax collecting authorities, governments and shareholders, suppliers and investors ) have an assurance of their rights being protected in a major way.

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