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Environmental sustainability and impact on community

1. What environmental issues does the New Belgium Brewing Company work to address? How has NBB taken a strategic approach to addressing these issues? Why do you think the company has taken such a strong stance towards sustainability?

2. Do you agree that New Belgium’s focus on social responsibility provides a key competitive advantage for the company? Why or why not?

3. Some segments of society contend that companies that sell alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. Do you believe that New Belgium’s action and initiatives are indicative of a socially responsible corporation? Why or why not?

Environmental sustainability and impacting community have been slogans for many businesses in recent years (Arcenas 2009). Due to rising awareness regarding the effects of organization’s that they create, governmental as well as non-governmental agencies have attached immense importance to diagnosing the areas to study impacts of organizations. The current case analysis of New Belgium Brewing Company is an ideal case example of an organization that is creating significant positive impact on the environment as well as the community. Though the impacts of alcohol company has been criticized by many, but it has been continuously trying to benefit the society from its various actions. NBB has taken several steps in preservation of electricity, reducing pollution by providing bicycles to employees, recycling wastes for packaging and treating waste water, the company also gives out significant amount of its unutilized barley to local farmers and fish-feeds to local fishermen (Brannan 2012). The company endlessly is devising ways, means and methods to create a sustainable impact which will enable it to establish as an unique brand in the brewery industry. The employees of the company have total ownership over the company and the company provides them several benefits for performing well. Thus, the company has attended to every possible ways in creating sustainability by means of environment, employees, society and community. The company has always kept its advertisement campaigns aimed at middle income customers. Though creating sustenance for the environment and the society helps create an unique brand but the philosophy is embedded deep within the company culture (Bujdosó 2012).    New Belgium Brewing

Figure 1 : New Belgium Brewing

Source : (Pullman 2009)

1. New Belgium Brewing Company manufactures beer in a sustainable way by minimizing its impact on the environment. The company since its inception aims to adopt sustainable strategy in production by complying with the triple bottom line effect. The triple bottom line effect aims to generate a positive impact on the people, profit and planet. The concept is adopted in the company by its promoter’s vision which is to develop the triple bottom line in the corporate culture (Arnaud 2010). The company has grown strong affinity towards producing its product in an environmentally friendly manner. The New Belgium’s marketing strategy is linked to producing quality product that is environmentally sustainable. The Brewers Association that has a forum for creating sustainability, NBB has been seen to be heading processes and eco-friendly business conduct amongst others in the industry. The company has a strong orientation towards creating environmental gadgets which is discussed on a monthly basis by managers meet. All these factors are given responsibility to the employees, hence the company has a strong belief to give back to the community compared to what it takes. The company aims to impact the environment by reducing significant negative impacts on it (De Colle 2009). The company has taken serious steps in reducing electric consumption, save fossil fuel and other naturally occurring scarce resources. The company reduces wastes and disposal of wastes which creates a negative impact on the environment. The company has deployed all means to employ energy efficiently to the extent it can, it also aims to reduce pollution by reducing usage of fossil fuel run vehicles (Pandey 2013).

New Belgium's environmental sustainability strategy

Several brands of NBB

Figure 2 : Several brands of NBB

Source : (McCorry 137)

NBB has adopted several strategies in order to cater to the environmental issues by connecting a smart grid installation in order to communicate with electricity provide so as to conserve energy. The company has installed 20 kilowatt photovoltaic array on its packaging hall, this arrangement is seen to generate the company’s 3% of total electricity. It has also installed a brew kettle that heats up wort sheets compared to traditional kettle that heats up the entire kettle. This kettle saves significant amount of energy. The brew house makes use of Sun tubes that lights the brew house all day long (Hopkins 2011). The company extracts methane from waste water, which generates up to 15% of brewery’s power needs. It also reduces strain on the municipal water treatment facility thus contributing significantly to the environment. In the brewery the steam condenser’s heat is redirected to the floor tiles which de-ice loading docks in winter. The company also uses recyclable material wherever possible, especially in packaging and water cleansing.

 NBB has adopted a strong stance towards creating a greater impact on the environment so that it can create a separate brand identity. As a manufacturer and brewer of alcohol, the company aims to create sustainable impacts on the environment and community (Kidwell 2009). The promoter of the company aims to create sustainability and greater penchant for the brand hence in order to bring awareness, it adheres to sustainable issues. Further, since inception the promoter of the company had liking for creating sustainability hence has incorporated it within the corporate culture by having greater involvement and participation from employees.

2. Sustainability is regarded as the key parameter which decides upon the success of business. As awareness regarding environmental pollution and its ill-effects is on the continuous rise, customers are preferring products from companies that have sustainable objectives. Activities from businesses creates pollution that goes in the air, soil and water, hence if an organization is able to manage its wastes efficiently then it will be able to overcome these issues (Ali 2010). Positive impact on the community is another major issue, which can be evaluated in terms of what business does for its community. Businesses reaps several benefits and advantages from the society and community in which they perform hence they have a liability and responsibility to give back something to it. Wastes from business activities not only pollute environment and cause diseases but also increases the incidence of its ill-effect on the local community in which it does business. Thus, businesses need to take active participation in various social activities and ensure that it gives back equal amounts what it takes from the society. Several international organizations around the world have been set up that provides parameters to study the impacts that business activities generates on various areas (Aguinis 2013). New Belgium Brewery Company is an ideal example that has incorporated the several parameters to create positive impacts on the environment and society. The primary motivation of the company is to do greater good than take back from the society. It has covered various aspects of waste management, reducing pollution, conservation of energy, empowering its employees, helping various professionals as farmers and fisherman of local community, saved energy of Municipal Corporation and so on and so forth (Thorne 2010). The company is still focused in generating much greater impact in every way possible, which is why it has involved the employees of the organization in designing of strategies. The company is also headed in its eco-drive within the industry. These various endeavors have helped the company gain immense amount of recognition amongst customers. Customers do enjoy the taste of the crafted beer that it produces but apart from that the company’s social responsibility has been influential in earning a huge brand name for the company (Rupp 2006). The company’s sustainable approach has earned it huge success hence it has provided a number of tours in its facility due to demand. It has also received numerous rewards one of which include the Business Ethics Magazine’s Business Ethics Award and it was included in The Wall Street Journal’s 15 best workplaces. NBB has included a number of ways and methods o increase its corporate citizenship (McKinney 2012).

New Belgium's efforts to reduce negative environmental impact

3. The primary product of New Belgium Brewing Company is crafted beer that caters to a large part of Colorado, U.S. The company has achieved several landmarks in creating sustainability for the environment and for the community it serves (Crittenden 2011). However, some critics of the company believe that companies that sell alcoholic beverages cannot be socially responsible. This argument has significant amount of importance, as alcohol consumption is greatly condemned in many parts of the world. Alcohol is known to make severe damages some of the most critical organs of the human body like kidney, liver and so on. Usage of alcohol also creates negative impacts on youth, who easily can get addicted. The ill-effects from alcohol are multifold and cannot be described within the purview and scope of this study. Hence, manufacturers, producers or marketers of alcohol create a negative impact on the society by its promotion. There are several laws and bans on usage of alcohol or in limiting the use of alcohol, but very few adhere to such norms or regulations. Thus, it becomes imperative to label the product overall as immoral as it causes ill-effects to human quality of life (Gallagher 2010).

There are innumerous manufacturers and suppliers of alcohol around the world. But amongst them very few have business ethics such that they can give back to the society or the environment. In this regards NBB creates a major positive drive. The company is totally focused through its corporate culture and initiatives that it creates to make a difference to the community and environment. There is no ban on production or manufacturing of alcohol, hence companies obtain the license to do so (Nelson 2010). But amongst them the most important factor is an alcohol company that follows corporate social responsibility norms and caters to environmental or societal impacts. The company’s main objectives revolves around creating a beer culture of responsible drinking, hence the company strongly condemns unethical drinking. The role model for the company is aimed at environmental, social and cultural change (Kleban 2012). The company is bent on environmental stewardship which focuses on minimizing use of resources, especially scarce natural ones. Maximizing energy efficiency and recycling of materials if possible. NBB has attached immense importance in its corporate culture to make difference in the lives of local farmers, fishermen, employee who work for the company and so on. The company also has initiated a drive for processing waste water thereby reducing the burden of local Municipal Corporation. Its major plant functions are run by using renewable and sustainable energy source of wind energy or solar energy. The light it uses within its factory is also made from solar tubes. Majority of employees of the company commute by bicycles, which reduces environmental pollution greatly (Sekerka 2011). The company promotes participative management by refining of potential through opportunities. The company has always been focused on its staff by handling their myriad needs of their families. The company allowed employees to bring along their children and pets to the organization. It has focus on relationship by building on trusts, communications and promises. The company has also made several donation to the local community for their developmental initiatives. The company is committed to continuous improvement of quality and efficiency in various processes such that it can maintain its competitive advantage. Thus, it can be argued that NBB’s action are socially responsible against other similar corporations that engages in similar business. 

New Belgium's social responsibility

Conclusion

Corporations around the world are devising strategies and methods in order to create sustainability for their organizations. Most companies are going out of their way to help community and society, in accomplishing their corporate societal objectives. The goal of these companies is to gain substantial brand image in the market that will inflict on its sales and revenue earnings. Therefore, customers who are aware of the environmental and societal standards are more bend to purchase products from a brand that creates larger positive impacts. In case of NBB the major focus of the business has been driven by its passion to create difference in community and to the environment. Hence, the company has adopted various norms and process that can render efficiency to its business and also create an impact on the environment or society. In its drive to create such impacts it has involved its internal stakeholders. Though the company has created positive impact in several instances of its processes, the main criticism it has been facing is in regards to its business which is alcohol. There are various alcohol business around the world but only a few has been able to make a difference similar to that of NBB, who uses sustainable practices extensive. The adoption of the triple bottom line of the business will help it create and maintain an unique brand identity as well as image of its own. Thus, through its embodied vision it can strive and attain higher goals and earn higher revenues in order to establish as a market leader in the crafted beer segment. Though the company has immense demand of its beer, it has not been able to expand its facility adequately to meet the growing demands. The supply chain of the company also needs to be re-oriented such that it is able to cater to different parts of the country where its demand is present. Thus, sustainability for the business can let it establish as a leader in the market in the minds of customers.  

References

Aguinis, H. and Glavas, A., 2013. What corporate environmental sustainability can do for industrial-organizational psychology. Green organizations: Driving change with IO psychology, pp.379-392.

Ali, S., Caum, A., Hall, N., Haney, A., Lepre, J. and Zimmerman, Z., 2010. Sustainability report: A comparison between New Belgium and Budweiser Beer.

Arcenas, A., 2009. The development of a standard tool to predict the environmental impact of footwear (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara).

Arnaud, A. and Sekerka, L.E., 2010. Positively ethical: The establishment of innovation in support of sustainability. International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 2(2), pp.121-137.

Brannan, D.B., Heeter, J. and Bird, L., 2012. Made with renewable energy: how and why companies are labeling consumer products. Contract, 303, pp.275-3000.

Bujdosó, Z. and Szûcs, C., 2012. Beer tourism–from theory to practice.Academica Turistica-Tourism and Innovation Journal, 5(1), pp.103-111.

Crittenden, V.L., Crittenden, W.F., Ferrell, L.K., Ferrell, O.C. and Pinney, C.C., 2011. Market-oriented sustainability: a conceptual framework and propositions. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(1), pp.71-85.

De Colle, S. and York, J.G., 2009. Why wine is not glue? The unresolved problem of negative screening in socially responsible investing. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(1), pp.83-95. 

Gallagher, N.T. and Sharvelle, S.E., 2010. Decentralized anaerobic blackwater management: a sustainable development technology concept for urban water management. In World Environ. Water Resour. Congress 2010: Challenges of Change (pp. 16-20).

Hopkins, M.S., Haanaes, K., Balagopal, B., Velken, I., Kruschwitz, N. and Arthur, D., 2011. New sustainability study: The embracers seize advantage.MIT Sloan Management Review, 52(3), p.23.

Kidwell, R.E. and Peek, A.N., 2009. New Belgium Brewery: Sustaining Earnings, Employees, Environment and Beer Culture. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 14(2), p.126.

Kleban, J. and Nickerson, I., 2012. To brew, or not to brew—that is the question: An analysis of competitive forces in the craft brew industry.Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 18(3), p.59.

McCorry, K.J., 2011. New Belgium Brewery. A Simple Path to Sustainability: Green Business Strategies for Small and Medium-sized Businesses: Green Business Strategies for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, p.137.

McKinney, J. and Huskins, B.R., 2012. North Carolina Tomorrow. NC Med J,73(4), pp.301-303.

Nelson, R., 2010. Soy, Barley & Beer Show Promise in Fish Feed.Aquaponics Journal Q, 1, pp.20-21.

Pandey, N., Rupp, D.E. and Thornton, M.A., 2013. The morality of corporate environmental sustainability: A psychological and philosophical perspective.Green organizations: Driving change with IO psychology, pp.69-92.

Pullman, M.E., 2009. Green Brewing: Part One.

Rupp, D.E., Ganapathi, J., Aguilera, R.V. and Williams, C.A., 2006. Employee reactions to corporate social responsibility: An organizational justice framework. Journal of organizational Behavior, 27(4), pp.537-543.

Sekerka, L.E. and Stimel, D., 2011. How durable is sustainable enterprise? Ecological sustainability meets the reality of tough economic times.Business Horizons, 54(2), pp.115-124.

Thorne, D.M., Ferrell, O.C. and Ferrell, L., 2010. Business and society: A strategic approach to social responsibility and ethics. South-Western Cengage Learning.

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