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Ways To Improve Business Practices To Prevent Reaccurances

Describe about the Business Organisation and Policy?

A $20billion garment industry, Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh on April 24th. Investigation found that the building of Rana Plaza violated the building codes and also was illegally constructed. It was also reported that the 28brands housed by Rana Plaza including the Bonmache, Matalan, Mango, Bennetton and Primark that relied on the workers of Rana Plaza for achieving cheap labour failed to give attention on the health and safety regulations of the workers. This incident has pointed fingers on the consumerism ethics in the western societies. This clearly demonstrated the absence of effective organizational values, culture, unclear vision, poor working conditions and poor compliance.

In this context, the present report aims at highlighting the importance of ethical consumerism and ways that these companies use to reduce or prevent re-occurrences of such events. The report also discusses the values, consumerism and environmental friendliness of Co-Op one of the ethical supermarkets of UK.

As per theory of Kantian Business ethics, the rational decisions taken should always be motivating and ethical. Being ethical mainly includes relating to the guidelines or norms for a right lead or practice. A business is never absolved from these tenets and standards. The business ought to dependably be fair and faithful to their labourers and customers. Rana Plaza, a Bangladesh processing plant, was dishonest. They didn't take after the construction regulations and also did not take after the security warnings. In the event that they acted ethically 1,132 lives could have been spared and 2,500 individuals would have kept their arms, legs, and would have the capacity to walk and continue with their lives (Arnold and Harris, 2012). Also, as indicated by Utilitarianism Theory, the activity is regarded moral in the event that it elevates bliss to the most extreme measure of people. On the other hand, the labourers of the Bangladesh Rana Plaza plant were not content with their wages, hours, and working conditions. Indeed the piece of clothing organizations like Bonmache, Matalan, Mango, Bennetton and Primark housed by Rana Plaza were not upbeat that their organization's name is connected with this disaster. Subsequently, this activity is esteemed deceptive. This proves that the organizations working with Rana Plaza failed to recognize the issues that the workers are facing. They lacked in ethical consumerism (DesJardins and McCall, 2005).

Ethical consumerism is termed as individual utilization where decision has been educated by a specific moral issue – be it human rights, social equity, the earth or creature welfare (Bell, n.d.). Consumers are demonstrating an expanding enthusiasm for moral parts of distinctive items, counting reasonable exchange, safe working conditions for makers and representatives, and maintainable and environmentally-friendly natural assets administration. Organizations, in the same way as the ones said in the concentrate above, can look to reaffirm the good measurement of buyer decision by accentuating the connections in the middle of generation and consumption, locally and international (Lewis and Potter, 2011).

The necessary requirements that the companies need to focus for maintaining the ethics are quality and cost that remain the most significant factor to majority of the consumers, trustworthy information and also caring and strong brands (Worcester, n.d.). This disaster has harmed the reputation of around 28 brands that sourced from Rana Plaza. These companies can create public awareness related to the ethical issues and can also increment the disposable income. This would give the consumers different opportunities to employ a moral conscience.  Recent survey report of Mintel’s found that 76% of UK consumers are ready to pay regard for the ethically footprint items, including assembling and appropriation forms, and additionally increases the brand reputation overall. The ethical treatment of labourers was additionally found to impact 44% of buyers when making a buy. This demonstrates that Ethical apparel has added to an altogether different notoriety as of late (Mintel.com, 2015). Once saved for just the most genuine eco-warriors, ethical fashion is presently unmistakable vicinity on the UK high road. Generally, ethically made articles of clothing were accessible just through premium brands; however a various mid-size business brands have now entered the business, making it much more reasonable for the normal customer.

Importance of Ethical Consumerism

Ethical Consumer Markets Report, 2013

Source: (Ethical Consumer Markets Report, 2013)

This above statistic clearly demonstrates that there has been overall 3% increase in the consumption of ethical personal products that included clothing also. However, there is just 1% decrease in the ethical clothing consumption. Further, the average ethical spends per house hold for clothing is £48 in 2012, compared to £23 in 2000 (Ethical Consumer Markets Report, 2013). Additionally, these changing fashion trends of the consumers have also exerted pressure on the supply chain process of the garment companies. Purchasers pressure industrial facilities to convey quality items with ever-shorter lead times. Most processing plants simply don't have the devices and skill to deal with this successfully, so they put the press on the labourers (Irwin, 2015). The increment in the measure of garments individuals consume additionally has outcomes for nature. Statistics recommend that, UK purchasers send 30kg of garments and materials every capita to landfill every year and that 1.2 million tons of apparel went to landfill in 2005 in the UK alone. Some organizations have begun to address issues connected with quick fashion through training their purchasers in to make purchasing practices. Other fashion organizations have decided to incorporate reused materials and attire in their accumulations, or to raise buyer awareness about the benefits of ethically sourced, great quality design things instead of ease, quick form (Ethicalfashionforum.com, 2006).

Thus, the above mentioned companies that sourced from Rana Plaza can emphasize on maintaining effective CSR process. CSR is perceived as the most essential instrument for the association to build their execution and manage in this aggressive world. Yet, this exchange brings up an issue concerning how this CSR helps the UK business in enhancing their execution and how they find themselves able to fulfil their clients through this instrument. Bangladesh is a crucial production centre for these organizations and full starting assessments of all partner manufacturing plants in the nation are required with subsequent checks (Rheannon, 2013). CSR department staffs ought to visit destinations that oblige change and give practical direction to procuring construction and fire anticipation security accreditation, approving finance computations, and enrolling worker work hours in light of the particular conditions at every site. They ought to work with its partner industrial facilities to decrease the ecological effect of its business exercises with an essential concentrate on the generation forms that have the best effects, remember its obligation to guarantee fitting acquisition and creation works on, beginning with the obtainment of crude materials and tries to be a positive impact and effectively advances exercises and dialog on nature with all significant partners (Fast Retailing CSR Report, 2014).

Buyer exploration demonstrates that a noteworthy extent of UK customers effectively relates numerous ethically sourced items as premium items, and that they are ready to pay a premium for ethic characteristics (IGD Consumer Research 2008). Sales of organic items grew by 13.4 % in the previous year crosswise over Europe, up compared to 9.3% in 2007. The purchaser is foremost and understanding his/her needs and needs, activities and thought processes is an aggregate obligation. Producers regularly neglect to put resources into comprehension what customers need, what they do, and why (Fearne 2008). This will inexorably bring about their business fate lying in the hands of others.  Therefore, various supermarkets have already started focusing on fresh foods, pieces and bits. According to the Ethical Consumer report Co-Op is the leading brand that is mainly focusing on ethical consumerism in UK supermarkets as shown below:

Changing Fashion Trends and Effect on Supply Chain

Consumerism, Values And Environmental Friendliness Of Chosen Organization

Source: https://moralfibres.co.uk/most-ethical-uk-supermarkets/

The Co-Op Group is the prime mover of all retail preservationists. It spearheaded Fairtrade, won the Business Commitment to the Environment award in the wake of diminishing its carbon outflows by 86%, and the Environment Leadership Award from Business in the Community (Retailresearch.org, 2012).

Ethical Consumerism: A ethical exchanging pioneer and the first general store to dispatch a Fairtrade affirmed own-brands, Co-Op group have an expressed plan to "standard" Fairtrade. Their expansive range of items incorporates seasonal products like Easter Eggs and Fairtrade wines. All the eggs sold are complimentary variety, and those utilized as a part of items will be by 2010. All chicken is complimentary variety or high welfare indoor-raised, and pigs will be the equivalent by autumn 09. Co-Op group scores 95% in the Business in the Community corporate social obligation record. All the parts of Co-Op group, which has moral strategies all through and is obviously co-operatively claimed (Waterman, 2007). The Co-Op purchased Somerfield in 2008, and the Somerfield brand will be re-marked and ideally acquired line on the morals front (Make Wealth History, 2009). According to the Ethical Consumer Survey, the most essential advancements for moral shopping in Co-Op throughout the following 25 years will be: better ethical marking; more Fairtrade items; more noteworthy straightforwardness from organizations; clasping down on assessment evasion; and more prominent utilization of online networking to impart moral shopping decisions (Murray, 2014).

Values: The Co-Operative group aim beyond just the corporate social responsibility and profit. They always followed their 150 years core values of solidarity, equality, equity, democracy, self-help and self-responsibility. They are quite aware that there is only limited resources within which they have to operate, thus their value also emphasizes on protecting the environment. They aim to deliver their stakeholders in environmental and social way (Co-operative.coop, 2015). The ethical values that the brand focuses on are: “caring, social responsibility, honesty and openness” (Co-operative.coop, 2015).

Environmental Friendliness: The main aim of the Co-Op Group is to develop a “zero waste society” (Co-operativefood.co.uk, 2015). Co-Op is the sustainability Leader among the stores, as well as in business full stop. About 100% of power is renewable, and runs its own wind farms and uses micro era. The organization is mainly focused on lessening packaging. The association predominantly concentrates on 3R's of Environment System: Reducing, Recycling and Reuse (Co-operative.coop, 2015).

The organization have already decreased the packaging weight by 15%. The other reductions include weight of Californian wine bottles to 530 tonnes glass, modification to pre-printed film on soft fruits from plastic lids etc. They are further looking to reduce more by seeking after more weight diminishment, expanding reused substance and enhancing client reusing offices. Further, the organization has also expanded their work with Fareshare. It is a national charity that mainly works for drink and food industry for redistributing surplus food to the needy people to decrease waste in their stores.

The organization recycle around 60% of their waste. They mostly use the “mobile phone recycling scheme” for the UK consumers. Through this process they have raised around £350,000 for Oxfam.

Corporate Social Responsibility

By reusing their plastic food transportation crates, the Co-Op has saved around 12,500 tonnes of cardboard in 2011. They have also launched the Fairtrade cotton carrier bag.

For improving the issues so that repeated occurrences do not happen are:

Quarterly Audit can help these organizations that source from the clothing manufacturers to review their operations and processes. This would help them to monitor their environmental conditions and also help them to be accountable for environmental and labour audit. This auditing process would help them to identify the missing information and also pay attention on the health and safety needs of the labourers they are working with.

Sustainability reporting can also help the organization to publically converse about their social, economic and environmental performance. This would also help them to address the needs of the real market and initiate and promote their corporate responsibility and align their strategic business goals with their corporate practices.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ethical consumerism is a developing phenomenon. The report highlights that it is a noteworthy driver of an assorted scope of ethical ways to exchange. Alternative methodologies such as reasonable exchange, protection driven exchange and the exchange natural produce started as business sector corners yet are making their vicinity felt in the business standard. Social, animal and ecological welfare issues are likewise being tended to by the standard itself with the selection of a plenty of standards by the retailers and makers of fresh and organic products. The report initially highlights the ethical consumerism ways that the companies like Bonmache, Matalan, Mango, Bennetton and Primark should follow to prevent reoccurrences of events that happened with Rana Plaza. The section mainly discussed the Kantian and Utilitarian theory of business ethics to relate the issue of Rana Plaza, then focused on the demands of consumers with respect to ethics and then the roles and responsibilities of CSR departments. The next section discussed the ethical consumerism, values and environment friendliness of Co-Op.

References

Arnold, D. and Harris, J. (2012). Kantian business ethics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Bell, P. (n.d.). Presentation: Ethical Consumerism: what is it and how can you make it work for you?. [online] sfdf.org.uk. Available at: https://www.sfdf.org.uk/publicgeneral/PaulineBell_SFDF_symposium_presentation.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Co-operative.coop, (2015). Ethics and Sustainability. [online] Available at: https://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/ethics-and-sustainability/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Co-operative.coop, (2015). The Co-operative Group Values and Principles. [online] Available at: https://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/aboutus/The-Co-operative-Group-Values-and-Principles/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Co-operative.coop, (2015). Waste Management | Food Packaging Waste | The Co-operative | Recycling. [online] Available at: https://www.co-operative.coop/our-ethics/our-plan/protecting-the-environment/waste-and-packaging/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Co-operativefood.co.uk, (2015). Carrier bag policy, bags for life  | Co-operative Food. [online] Available at: https://www.co-operativefood.co.uk/carrier-bags [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

DesJardins, J. and McCall, J. (2005). Contemporary issues in business ethics. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Ethical Consumer Markets Report. (2013). [online] Ethical Consumer, pp.3-5. Available at: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/portals/0/downloads/ethical_consumer_markets_report_2013.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Ethicalfashionforum.com, (2006). Fast fashion, "value" fashion. [online] Available at: https://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/fast-fashion-cheap-fashion [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Fast Retailing CSR Report. (2014). [online] FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. Available at: https://www.fastretailing.com/eng/csr/report/pdf/csr2014_e.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Fearne, A. (2008). Organic fruit and vegetables – who buys what and why… and do we have a clue?. [online] Canterbury: dunnhumby Academy of Consumer Research. Available at: https://www.refresh.eu/downloads/conference_08_presentations/Refresh_08_Organics_report.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Gomes, W. (2013). Reason and responsibility: the Rana Plaza collapse. [online] openDemocracy. Available at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/william-gomes/reason-and-responsibility-rana-plaza-collapse [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

IGD Consumer Research, (2008). Are UK Shoppers Turning Green?. [online] igd.com. Available at: https://www.igd.com/CIR.asp?menuid=38&cirid=2548 [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Irwin, J. (2015). Ethical Consumerism Isn’t Dead, It Just Needs Better Marketing. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2015/01/ethical-consumerism-isnt-dead-it-just-needs-better-marketing [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Lewis, T. and Potter, E. (2011). Ethical consumption. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Make Wealth History, (2009). Which is the most ethical supermarket?. [online] Available at: https://makewealthhistory.org/2009/03/10/which-is-the-most-ethical-supermarket/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Mintel.com, (2015). Mintel identifies four key UK consumer trends for 2015 | Mintel.com. [online] Available at: https://www.mintel.com/press-centre/social-and-lifestyle/mintel-identifies-four-key-uk-consumer-trends-for-2015 [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Murray, A. (2014). Co-operatives rank among the most ethical companies. [online] Thenews.coop. Available at: https://www.thenews.coop/88479/news/consumer/co-operatives-rank-among-the-most-ethical-companies/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Retailresearch.org, (2012). Centre for Retail Research, Nottingham UK. [online] Available at: https://www.retailresearch.org/retailethics.php [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Rheannon, F. (2013). The Lesson of Rana Plaza For CSR: Worker Empowerment The Key To Safety?. [online] Csrwire.com. Available at: https://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/854-the-lesson-of-rana-plaza-for-csr-worker-empowerment-the-key-to-safety [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Waterman, H. (2007). UK Supermarket CSR Reports: A Comparison Using Environmental and Social Reporting Guidelines. [online] Manchester: University of Manchester. Available at: https://www.fcrn.org.uk/sites/default/files/supermarket%20CSR%2007%20Holly%20Waterman.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

Worcester, R. (n.d.). Ethical Consumerism Research Ethical Consumerism. [online] ipsos-mori.com. Available at: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Archive/Polls/coop-csr.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2015].

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