Ethics,CSR, and Marketing Strategy
Ethics,CSR, and Marketing Strategy
Corporatesocial responsibility entails organizations going beyond theirinterests and legal obligations to address the implications of theiractivities on the environment and the society (Vallasteret al., 2012). On the other hand, ethics refer to the study of morality in regardto organizational behaviors and everyday life(Mayer et al., 2012). This paper will assess how Whole Foods Inc engages in corporatesocial responsibility.
Thevideo titledcorporate social responsibility: Starbucks (2012) attributesthe success of Starbucks to its initiatives to protect theenvironment, open communication, and the mutually beneficialrelationship between the company and all its stakeholders. The samecase applies to Honest Tea that despite being a relatively youngcompany has demonstrated its desire to work alongside its suppliersfor the benefit of the two entities. According to the CEO of HonestTea, the company managed to donate more than fifteen thousand dollarsto their different stakeholders in their first year of operation(Honest Tea Marketing Video, 2008).
Justlike Starbucks, Whole Foods invests heavily in practices aimed atprotecting the environment. For instance, the majority of its storesuse rooftop solar systems. Additionally,the company had targeted that by 2015, it would have decreased itsenergy consumption by 25% per square foot. As a result of its efforts in adopting environment-friendlyinitiatives, several of its stores have received certification fromthe Green Building Initiative and the United States Green BuildingCouncil (Mackay, 2015).
Apartfrom adopting environment-friendly initiatives, WholeFoods gives back to the community by offering low-interest loans totheir small scale suppliers. The aim of these loans is to aid thebeneficiaries to increase the amount of goods they supply to thecompany(Mackay, 2015). On the other hand, Starbucks has built schools andhospitals in communities that supply their coffee to the company.More so, Starbucks only does business with farmers who operate in asocially conscious environment (CorporateSocial Responsibility: Starbucks, 2012).
WholeFoods also engages in corporate social responsibility through itsinitiatives aimed at promoting healthier eating habits. Forinstance, it is part of the program dubbed Let`s Move Salad Bars toSchools (Mackay, 2015). In addition to promoting healthier eating habits, the company has arobust community relations department. Forinstance, “it donates a minimum of 5% of its profit to charitableorganizations.” The other way the company gives back to thecommunity is through team member volunteer projects(Mackay, 2015). On the other hand, Honest Tea gives a portion of itsprofit to its stakeholders and the disadvantaged communities thatinhabit areas where the company sources its raw materials. Forinstance, the company gives 1% loyalties to farmers in South Africawho in return use the money they get to empower themselveseconomically through buying computers and fax machines(Honest Tea Marketing Video, 2008).
Overthe past few years, Whole Foods has been implementing a program namedWhole Trade Flower Program.Heustis (2012) reports about the encounter between a market team fromthe company and farmers from South America who grow roses. Between2008 and 2012, the initiative saw the company put over $2.3 billioninto community projects through its 10% premium program.”In return, the farms that have benefited from the Whole Trade FloralProgram have invested heavily in community empowerment initiatives.These initiatives include education scholarships, dental services,music education, school improvements, laundry services, home loans,and community computer centers (Heustis, 2012). WholeFoods is also the major financier to the “Animal CompassionFoundation that facilitates both research as well as the conversionof conventional animal farms to more compassionate livestockoperations.” For instance, “the company has donated more than$1.3 million to the foundation”(Mackay, 2013).
Oneof the benefits Whole Foods derives from its initiative to givelow-interest loans to its small scale suppliers is sustainability.Additionally, the company’s corporate social responsibilitypromotes customer loyalty. Besides, according to Vallasteret al., (2012),CSR is one of the most effective methods of publicity. On its part,Starbucks offers good benefits to its workers and this cultivatesemployee loyalty. Additionally, the act of Starbuck to safeguard theenvironment reduces wastage and this translates to more revenue(Corporate Social Responsibility: Starbucks, 2012).Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Honest Tea operate their businessethically by conserving the environment and ensuring that theirsuppliers do not go against the society’s sense of morality. Onthis note, according to Mayeret al., (2012), inthe long run, organizations that pay attention to ethics and law dobetter because they are viewed more favorably by customers. Mayeret al., (2012) add that corporatesocial responsibility helps build a company’s reputation. This isbecause the goodwill of a company is greatly influenced by whether ornot the stakeholders have a favorable view of its actions (Mayeret al., 2012). Lastly, conservationof the environment results in the better usage of resources which inreturn increase profits(Corporate Social Responsibility: Starbucks, 2012).
Inconclusion, Whole Foods engages in corporate social responsibilitythrough giving loans to their small scale suppliers, promotinghealthier eating habits, protecting the environment, and fundingcharitable organizations. Additionally, it offers incentives to theirsuppliers who in return use this money to fund community empowermentprojects that aim at the provision of home loans, educationscholarship, and music lessons. Other global companies such asStarbucks and Honest Tea have taken the same approach when it comesto corporate social responsibility. For instance, Starbucks has builthospitals and schools to be used by communities that sell theircoffee to the company. In return, the various CSR programs adoptedby Whole Foods help the company to achieve sustainability as well ascustomer loyalty. Additionally, the initiatives aid the company inits publicity endeavors.
CorporateSocial Responsibility: Starbucks. (2012). Accessed on January 19,2017.http://bevideos.mhhe.com/business/video_library/0073529931/swf/Clip_04.html
Heustis,N. (2012). Social responsibility at 10,000 feet: A whole trade story.Accessed on January 19, 2017.http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/social-responsibility-10000-feet-whole-trade-story.
HonestTea Marketing Video. (2013). Accessed on January 19, 2017.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIRKq-AHZXU
Mackay,J. (2015). Rethinking the social responsibility. Accessed on January19, 2017.http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/john-mackeys-blog/rethinking-social-responsibility-of%C2%A0business
Mackay,J. (2013). An open letter to Michael Pollan. Accessed on January 19,2017.http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/john-mackeys-blog/open-letter-michael%C2%A0pollan
Mayer,D., Warner, D., Siedel, G., & Lieberman, J. (2012). CorporateSocial Responsibility and Business Ethics. In Thelegalenvironment and government regulation of business.Retrieved on January 19, 2017.http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/the-legal-environment-and-government-regulation-of-business/s05-corporate-social-responsibilit.html
Vallaster,C., Lindgreen, A., Maon, F. (2012). Strategically leveragingcorporate social responsibility: A corporate branding perspective.California Management Review, 54(3), 34-60. Accessed on January 19,2017.http://ezproxy.umuc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.10.1525.cmr.2012.54.3.34&site=eds-live&scope=site