Social Corporate Responsibility Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Social Corporate Responsibility at Starbucks and Toms

Starbucks has based its CSR activities on three categories as it has invested on the local community services, ethical sourcing, and on environmental impact. The company considers it an obligation for performing the CSR activities as it believes that it serves the rights in benefitting the community and has a positive impact. Starbucks has reached to more than 20,000 stores worldwide in more than 60 countries, similarly it believes that its scale for community has also increased with the number of stores around the world (Starbucks, 2014). It is the vision of the company of not just performing the CSR activities, but also it motivates its suppliers, neighbors, customers, and other partners to bring a positive change in the community. Every Starbucks store is performing a good duty and a responsibility towards its neighbors. The products that are being purchased by Starbucks are ethically purchased and are responsibly produced considering the ethical and social standards. The company also aims to minimizing the environmental footprints and promotes others to carry out the same activities (Starbucks, 2014).

Toms aims to improve the lives of the people through business practices. The company integrates the sustainable and the responsible business practices and combine them to produce a consistent effort of CSR. Environmental and social impacts have been the source for the company as it believes that the products of a company, its operation methods, and even the behavior of its employees shall reflect a positive attitude towards a community (Toms, 2014). Toms develop shoes based on the sustainable business process and with vegan materials which does not create a significant impact of the environment as it is developed from organic cotton. A new product from Toms is produced by 80% of the recycled materials with the deployment of soy ink. The products of the company are mostly produced in labor intensive countries, where the company is responsible in managing it CSR activities due to the challenges these countries face (Toms, 2014).

Social Corporate Responsibility at Nike and Walmart

The darkest moments of Nike began when its supplier fall short of maintain the CSR activities and to follow the guidelines of Nike charter. Nike has developed its focus on providing CSR activities through helping communities. However, a small town in Pakistan called Sialkot employed children as their labors and often made them work 10 hours a day, and six days a week with a below average wage rate provided by the company. The negligence of Nike was a public backlash which allowed many companies stand against the particular corporate culture. Many critical reports were publicized in magazines and other medium which made their consumers dissatisfied with the brand. Nike is a market leader and achieves the highest level of global consumer awareness. Since then, the company manages to provide a stronghold on its suppliers’ activities and their business practices (O & Fraedrich, 2012).

Walmart has a history of bad business practices with respect to the CSR. A case of bribery in Mexico, low labor pay and incentives issue in the United States, and the Bangladesh garment factory case in Rana Plaza which killed 1100 people, was a supplier of Walmart. These cases caused an eruption of huge demonstrations and protests against the giant retailer which aroused a sense of dissatisfaction amongst consumers. Consumers protested that they would not purchase products from an unsafe factory which does not care about their employees and the society as a whole. Even the top executives of Walmart acknowledged that the company’s safety monitory system had flaws and many of its activities were not in accordance of the benefits of the company. However, certain measures were taken to rectify the problems in Bangladesh where Walmart and many other top retailers contributed towards the development of stronger building which is both safe and healthy (Greenhouse & Yardley, 2012).

Compare and Contrast

The business practices of Starbucks and Toms reflected that the company cares about its community and is socially responsible in maintaining its outside business practices as well in other countries. However, the business practices performed by Walmart and Nike reflects that these companies have limited amount of control and access to its suppliers which are hired outside their country. If the company fails to provide CSR activities or fails to comply with ethical and social norms, then the brand image of a company is reduced in the eyes of a consumer. The good business practices by Starbucks and Toms resulted in the increase of its sales, revenues, and the brand was recognized around ....................

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