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Ethics And Corporate Social Responsibility: Case Of Coca-Cola

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Question:

Write about the Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for Case of Coca-Cola.

 

Answer:

Introduction

The aim of this report is to understand the concepts of corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, ethical values and ethical business operations. The report will highlight the case of Coca-Cola and its unethical business practices which made the company highly criticized for its business operations. The report will also provide that which ethical theory is violated because of the unethical practices of Coca-Cola. There has been provided some significant initiatives of the company for rebuilding its image.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Coca-Cola Criticism

CSR and Sustainability Development

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the approach which intended at encouraging the organisations to be effectively aware of the influences of their respective businesses on the environment, stakeholders and the society. It explains that it is the moral responsibility of the business organisations to serve the society and participate in such activities which help in the development of the masses and the society (Lindgreen and Swaen, 2010). The sustainable development is another approach of the organisations by which they try to meet the needs of the present generation without having any sort of negative implication upon the future generations. By this practice, it is ensured that the there will be no scarcity of the resources for the upcoming generations (Dobson, 2007). There is a difference between both the aspects as CSR evaluates the past practices of the organisations, mostly of the last one year but sustainable development focuses upon the future that what all strategies will be use and planning will be done to have desired results such as reduced waste, building brand, safe environmental practices etc. But there is a connection both of them, if the organisation will adopt sustainable practices then it will surely help the society and environment and this will result in effective CSR practices (Moon, 2007).

Unethical Business Practice of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized and well-known organisations across the globe. But other than being recognised as a global MNC, the company usually remain in spotlight for its controversies. There are some of the business practices of the company because of which it has attained huge criticism as the business practices has negatively impacted the society, the individuals as well as the environment which was against the moral and ethical business practices. One of such unethical business practice of Coca-Cola was it business operations which results in intense water shortage in the villages and districts of India (Srikant, n.d.). In the year 1999, a plant of Coca-Cola was established in Plachimada, Palakkad district of Kerala (Righttowater, n.d.). Just after two years, there were complaints by the local communities related to water shortage and water pollution. In the year 2003, there were protest against Coca-Cola for extreme water shortage and drying up of wells because of over exploitation of the grout water by the company (Righttowater, n.d.). This was one of the most unethical practices of the company which deteriorate the lives and occupation of number of villagers who were completely dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood (Indiaresource, n.d.).

 

Violation of Ethical Theory of Utilitarianism

The company violates the ethical theory of utilitarianism. As per this theory, an individual undertakes tat activity which benefits the maximum number of the people rather than performing such actions which are self-directed which benefits only the individual or the organisation (Hursthouse, 2013). Opposing to this, the cheesiness practices of Coca-Cola were self-absorbed which only established for revenue generation irrespective of the fact that hundreds of people are getting negatively impacted from the same and are losing their livelihood and occupation as well as the basic right of access to safe and un-polluted water (Waronwant, 2007).

Reasons why the Companies are Increasingly Addressing their Social and Environmental Impacts

As per the various Government laws and regulations, it is essential that the companies pay high attention over the various environmental and social impacts led down because of the business operations. The Government and other organisations are imposing high charges and are restricting them to continue their operations (Kazmin, 2015). As well as by indulging in activities that led down negative impact on environment and the society are highly abolished by the societies and the brand image also gets ruined which directly impact the sales of the companies.

The Ways in Which Coca Cola and other MNCs address their Social and Environmental Impacts

There has been used numerous initiatives by the companies for addressing the social and environmental impacts of the business operations. To overcome the unethical image, Coca-Cola has initiated several major steps in the way of sustainable business practices such as the company piloted innovative water recovery system which highly works on the reuse and recovery approach (Csrwire, 2012). Other initiatives of Coca-Cola are establishing rain water harvesting systems in various areas of India to reduce the issues of water shortage.

Conclusion

From this report, it can be concluded that it is the high time when organisations emphasize and have a strict eye upon their business practices. It can b e analysed that big MNCs such as Coca-Cola also have indulged in several unethical business practices such as water shortage, exploitation of environmental resources, etc. and because of this it has violated the ethical theories too. But from the overall analysis, it can be concluded that the common ahs realized the consequences of unethical business practices and now it has taken several initiatives to recover they losses which can further help the organisation in rebuilding its brand image and customer base.

 

References

Csrwire, 2012. Coca-Cola Pilots Innovative Water Recovery System and Wins IWA Award. Accessed on: 4th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/34349-Coca-Cola-Pilots-Innovative-Water-Recovery-System-and-Wins-IWA-Award

Dobson, A., 2007. Environmental citizenship: towards sustainable development. Sustainable development, 15(5), pp.276-285.

Hursthouse, R., 2013. Normative virtue ethics. ETHICA, 645.

Indiaresource, n.d. Campaign to Hold Coca-Cola Accountable. Accessed on: 4th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.indiaresource.org/campaigns/coke/

Kazmin, A., 2015. Coca-Cola forced to abandon India bottling plant plans. Accessed on: 4th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.ft.com/content/9e7d36da-e8e5-11e4-87fe-00144feab7de

Lindgreen, A. and Swaen, V., 2010. Corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), pp.1-7.

Moon, J., 2007. The contribution of corporate social responsibility to sustainable development. Sustainable development, 15(5), pp.296-306.

Righttowater, n.d. Case against Coca-Cola Kerala State: India. Accessed on: 4th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.righttowater.info/rights-in-practice/legal-approach-case-studies/case-against-coca-cola-kerala-state-india/

Srikant, P., Struggle for ‘blue gold’in Plachimada, Kerala. SHARING BLUE GOLD, p.71.

Waronwant, 2007. COCA-COLA: DRINKING THE WORLD DRY. Accessed on: 4th May, 2017. Accessed from: https://www.waronwant.org/media/coca-cola-drinking-world-dry

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