This particular study is discussing about the collapsing of Rana Plaza in Savar Upazila, in the area of Greater Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and how to improve business practices to prevent recurrence of events of this nature. The study also discussed how Starbucks, a coffee shop in the Western countries running their business ethically and how Starbucks approaching to consumerism, values and environmental friendliness.
On 24 April 2013, at 08:45 in the morning Rana Plaza an eight- story commercial building collapsed in Savar Upazila, a sub district in the area of Greater Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. This cause 1129 people (factory workers) dead and more than 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed (Blanchard, 2010). Rana Plaza, the commercial building is better known for this worst accident in the garment industry over the worldwide. This terrible incident occurs only five months after the horrific fire in one of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
This incident shows that the Bangladeshi Government has failed to take valuable steps to prevent such devastating incidents. After the horrific fire incident in the garment industry at the Tarzeen Fashion factory and Smart Fabrics in Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi Government has claimed that they have made some progress towards preventing similar tragedies. But the Rana Plaza incident showed the world that more progress towards preventing similar tragedies is still needed ( Carmody, C. n.d.). So many workers are dead and injured in that collapsed due to the absence of basic workplace health and safety standard place to live. This makes the workers victim in the collapse of the eight storied commercial building.
After the devastating incident of Rana Plaza, the injured workers report to media that the workers saw huge cracks in the structure of the eight storied commercial building but the authorities of the building did not take any serious steps against the huge cracks visible in the building. The workers of the Rana Plaza boycott to work after they saw the huge cracks in the building structure but the authorities forced the worker to work and threatened the workers with a one month salary cut.
One of the main reasons of collapsing the commercial building is illegal building extensions. The chief Engineer and the owner of the building had received the permission to make a five storied building. But the owner illegally extended the commercial building to an eight storied building. The commercial building, Rana Plaza was built with weak building codes, not maintained the actual laws of the Bangladeshi Government, used poor materials. The main problem in Bangladesh is any kind of permission for the high rise of the building can be obtained by the owner of the building through bribes.
Bangladesh is one of the well known countries for its import and export of the readymade garments industry. This causes the rapid expansion of the high rise building in Bangladesh. The owner first gets the permission for the ordinary buildings then the owner convert the building factory without taking any permission from the Bangladeshi Government. Rana Plaza is one of the proofs of neglecting the laws of Bangladeshi Government. The cracks in the building structure are shown in the local media of Bangladesh but the Bangladeshi Government has failed to act on the cracks that are visible in the building. After the Rana Plaza incident the western media focused and exposed on Bangladeshi political corruption to the global audience.
The western companies make a huge profit from Bangladeshi cheap labor. They invest money for the building the structure but the corruption in Bangladesh did not use good quality material and did not take proper permissions from the Bangladeshi Government. This lack of respect towards the poor workers, paying them a very low wages, unsafe working conditions and restrictions towards the poor workers causes 1129 poor people dead and over 2500 people injured (Blanchard, 2010). The Government should have some responsibilities towards their citizens against human rights abuses the third parties. The Bangladeshi Government should take some major and valuable steps against these issues and should respect the poor people living in Bangladesh.
First of all, the Bangladeshi Government has to be strict with their rules and regulations of their country. The corruption in the higher political level should be immediately stopped; else this incident will occur again and again. The poor workers should be respected by the Bangladeshi Government; else the worker will be treated badly by the western companies. The Bangladeshi Government should respect their citizens (workers) so that the western companies cannot give low wages to the workers.
And the most important thing is buildings are designed to support limited loads without deforming excessively. The loads are not only the weights of the objects but the buildings are also carrying the weights of thousands of people and the workers. So, if the company has to improve the business practice to prevent this devastating then they has to give good material while building the apartments. The buildings which are made for factory purposes, no other services can be done in that particular building. In this case of Rana Plaza, the building made for the people to stay but used as factory purpose.
The local authority of each and every country should be strict who is in charge to give the permission to build the apartment ( Harrington, J. 2010). In this case we know that the owner of the builder got the permission to build a five storied building but later the owner gave bribes to the local authority and made the permission granted and build an eight storied building.
The Government of all the countries should be careful, whenever the workers will face some problem, the Government should look after it. In this case when the local media reported globally the local authority did not look into the matter seriously. If the local authority had took some decisions that day then this thousands of people were not killed and 2500 people were not be injured that day (Blanchard, 2010).
These steps should be taken by the Government for the improvement of business practices to prevent this devastating incident.
It is difficult to find out the reasons of collapsing the Rana Plaza building because behind the collapsing of the building lies many reasons. Every person associated with the Rana Plaza building is to be blamed. This is because no one taken any responsibility for the collapsing of the building. Some reasons that cause the collapsing of Rana Plaza are:-
Extraordinary loads mean the building Rana Plaza is not permitted for a commercial building. The building was mainly made for the people to live not for the factory purpose (Meyer, B. and Apfelbaum, B. 2010).
Bad design does not mean error of computation. The Engineers should be blamed for the bad design. The material used in building this Rana Plaza was not good (Wright, S. 2011).
Starbucks Corporation is a global coffee company. They are doing a business of coffee house chain. The company is mainly based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is one of the largest coffeehouse companies in the world. Starbucks rival company is Costa Coffee (Schultz and Gordon, 2011). Starbucks mainly serves hot and cold beverages, whole – bean coffee, micro ground instant coffee, full leaf teas, pastries and snacks.
Starbucks first opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971 (Schultz and Gordon, 2011). Three students of University of San Francisco were inspired to sell high quality coffee beans.
Starbucks always focuses on the quality of products selling to their customers. This is because Starbucks Company always thinks about the customer’s health and safety, which are one of the significant for Starbucks Company success in their business. Starbuck Company always ensures that the company is very much clean and hygienic including good service and facilities in the coffee shop. Starbucks Company ensures that they will never sacrifice with their quality of the product. Their product price is little more comparing with the other brands selling coffee in the western company but Starbucks Company always thinks about their customer’s health and safety.
In the year 1999 Starbucks started making their business environmental friendly. Starbucks started reducing the paper napkin size and store garbage bags. Starbucks also reduces their daily water consumption for rinsing utensils in a sink which wastes lot of water in rinsing the daily utensils in each store of Starbucks. Once the newspaper reported globally about the wastes of 23.4 million liters of water daily in the stores of Starbucks, Starbucks took the initiative to minimize the daily consumption of water for rinsing utensils (Schultz and Gordon, 2011). Starbucks replaced dipper well with push button system for rinsing their daily utensils. This strategy of Starbuck of minimizing water consumption saves almost 570 liters of water per day for rinsing their utensils.
After minimizing the daily water consumption, Starbucks started serving the coffee in a plastic cups. This plastic cups is one time use. And the material used in manufacturing the cup can be recycled. Suddenly, Starbucks announced that the material of the cup is not very much environment friendly that is why the company will give 15% discount on their product if the customer carries their own cups (Schultz and Yang, 1997). Once the coffee shop announced the news, the customers of the Starbucks appreciate the decision and started carrying their own cups.
Starbucks decided to open many coffee stores in United Kingdom. When Starbucks are planning to do so, the local authority of the United Kingdom cancelled the permission for opening the coffee shop in the streets of United Kingdom. Then the coffee shop argued with the local authority about the opening of the coffee shop. Starbucks reported to the local authority that they will not sell coffee from their shop, rather they will sell sandwiches, coffee bags, mugs from their retail shop (Schultz and Yang, 1997). Then the local authority has ordered Starbucks to remove all the chair and tables from their shop premises. After some days the local authority made an inquiry in the Starbucks shop premises and ordered them to remain open as Starbucks was obeying their rules.
Corporate Social Responsibilities also known as CSR is used by the Starbucks Company as a tool. CSR helps Starbucks to build competitive advantage over the rival companies of Starbuck Company. By taking CSR in the Company’s account, Starbucks Company belongs with the law to run the business smoothly. And secondly, CSR increased the sales volume of the company and improve financial conditions of the Starbucks Company as well.
Starbucks provides premium coffee to their customers which cause high prices of the coffee comparing with the other brands in the western countries. Starbucks Company showed a good environmental concern but other brands provides their coffee to their customers at a very cheap price. So, Starbuck should think about their price strategy to attract more customers. They should provide a good quality product to their customers with cheaper price. Starbucks may provide some price promotions to motivate the customers. Not only the Starbucks customer but it will also motivate the customers of the rival companies of Starbucks Company. This is an aspect that Starbuck can improve upon.
The local authority should be strict and the Bangladeshi Government should also take some responsibilities about this incidents. The local authority should not grant this type of permission by taking bribes from the owner of the building. The Engineers should use better quality materials like good quality iron rods and good quality cement. When the workers of the Rana Plaza identified the crack on the wall of the building, the local authority does not take any initiative against the cracks on walls of the building. The building does not have the potential to carry such vigorous loads but still for the high demand of cheap clothes in the world forced them to suppress extra loads in the building.
The object of this thesis was to investigate how Starbucks Company succeeds in running their business ethically and keeping in mind about the values and environmental friendliness. It is very interesting to see the mission statement of Starbucks Company runs their business by using several components to create a good relationship with their customers, a good relationship with their employees. Starbucks Company also takes care of their stakeholders, communities and most importantly how they care about the environment.
Starbucks Company is really thinks about affecting the environment. Starbuck found an innovative technology to reduce the daily water consumption and at the same time they are thinking about the environment. Starbucks also thinks about the communities and build a long term relationships with them which reflects on their brand name. . Starbucks Company also follows all the rules and regulations of the country where Starbucks tried to open their branches.
The ground where the Rana Plaza has built was not suitable for the eight storied building. The permission was not granted for the eight storied building. The local authority has granted to make a five storied building but the owner of the building has made granted for the eight storied building, by giving bribes to the local authority.
If the infrastructure of Rana Plaza and Starbucks Coffee Shop are compared, it can be found that Starbucks smoothly running their business. Starbucks tried to take care of the environment make an environmental friendly company. Whereas, Rana Plaza can’t even take care of their workers, which causes over 1500 workers dead and more than 2500 workers injured. This shows how ethically both the company running their business.
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