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Discuss about the Corporate Social Responsibility. Logistics, and real estate ATCO has featured on the radar of companies with exemplary performance in social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

When ATCO started their Sustainability Journey

This report focuses on ATCO Company and its implementation of corporate sustainability responsibility. With business interests in energy, logistics, and real estate ATCO has featured on the radar of companies with exemplary performance in social responsibility and environmental sustainability. The company was established in 1947 and has its headquarters in Calgary. Its operations in Canada stretch from Alberta to Yukon and large swathes of Northern territory where it has an elaborate pipeline network. It also operates in Australia and as of 2017, expanded into Mexico where it is developing safe and reliable underground gas storage. Overall, ATCO has 7000 employees and has a market capitalization in excess of 7.2 CAD (ATCO, 2017).

So why was ATCO chosen? Quite simply, the company is a good example of how to implement sustainability in the environment and social spheres in the industry. Ever since the Brundtland report was revealed in 1987 focusing on sustainable development that is mindful of both current and future generations, ATCO has been on the forefront in innovating creative technologies that reduce carbon emissions (Jameson, 2013). The company is also very active in creating shared value to benefit the aboriginal population, scaling its innovative ideas in its operations and reducing waste for a sustainable environment (Porter & Kramer, 2009).

In the year 2014, ATCO appeared in the top 2000 companies on Forbes best employers. In 2008, the company won multiple awards in health and safety having reduced incidences by over 44 percent and was voted the best company in the industry for commitment to zero injuries. By 2017, ATCO had reduced carbon emissions to the environment by a 37 percent (ATCO, 2017). What's more, the company was able to prevent 100 tonnes of greenhouse emissions through creative innovations in their Jandakot base in Australia just 8 years after venturing in the country (Turkes, 2018).

ATCO began its sustainability journey in the early 1990s at just about the time the Rio summit on the World Commission on Environment and Development was convened. At the time, the dangers of unsustainable business operations that were harming the environment were being unearthed (Howat, 2018).  Regardless, ATCO had been conscious of their operations long before the 90s especially after Rachel Carson's exposé on the silent spring that revealed how chemicals were harming biodiversity way back in the 1960s (Jameson, 2013).

The company realized that its business in natural gas, as well as logistics, was releasing ozone-depleting hydrocarbons to the atmosphere (Fehrenbacher, 2018). Moreover, the company had hitherto overlooked the gender and minority composition of its workforce as well as the plight of the aboriginal communities where it operated. It also had lackluster adherence to safety among its employees (Fortuna, 2018).

From this realization, ATCO management not only realized that they could implement sustainability as a duty of care to the community and environment, but also increase profitability. The company would also reduce the cost of operations by eliminating wastage (Johnson, 2018). For this reason, ATCO implemented the green energy initiative in 1995 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The company did this by evaluating alternative sources of energy like hydro-power generation in Alberta to replace coal-powered operations (Morgan, 2017).

How far ATCO is at reaching their goals

To begin with, the company had planned to phase out all coal-plants by 2030. However, the company is already ahead of its schedule to transition to green energy and natural gas operations by 2020. The company has innovated gasification processes to produce clean energy from coal ahead of its competitors such as TransAlta. In addition, ATCO has a clean energy innovation center that is charged with creativity and research into future disruption in green energy. Currently, the center is partnering with Australia Renewable Energy Agency in research on hydrogen gas production (Turkes, 2018).

In terms of social responsibility, ATCOS is already rated high by Forbes in terms of employee satisfaction. The company has an effective equal opportunity employment culture with affirmative action on gender equity and minority representation. This has endeared them to their customers and other stakeholders. The company also has zero tolerance for the safety of its employees. It has so far managed to reduce work-related incidences by over 45 percent (ATCO, 2017).

ATCO is the first company in Canada within the energy sector to innovate the gasification process efficiently with plans to move to green natural gas electricity generation by 2020 ahead of their competitors in Canada. This will result in over 75 percent in savings and carbon taxation besides contributing to achieving their strategic goal of reducing carbon emissions. The company is also involved in hydrogen gas production research which will is by all accounts is going to be the energy of the future (Turkes, 2018).

In terms of creating shared value, the company has achieved CSR 2 by identifying the needs of the community innovating ways of fulfilling the community needs while at the same time leveraging on productivity (Schaltegger, 2011). In Mexico for instance, ATCO will solve gas shortages, high prices of gas and safety of the community by building an underground gas reservoir utilizing their construction skills. This will benefit the company, the people and the environment (Visser, 2010).

According to Visser (2010), companies that are assured of success in CSR have to be innovative. Innovation is a shift in the way the company operates. With this regard, ATCO has innovated the gasification process to produces natural gas from coal efficiently, without emissions and cheaply. Rough estimates place the company saving from this innovation at over 75 percent. Moreover, the company has a research unit in Australia that is on the cusp of extracting hydrogen from the atmosphere cheaply. These two creative disruptions will undoubtedly give ATCO a sustainable competitive advantage in the industry while solving energy shortages in the community.

The industry is replete with ideas that are beneficial to both communities and businesses but are hardly implemented (Visser, 2010). However, ATCO has realized that its construction skills can be applied to ensure the safety of the community as well as provide cost benefits in Mexico. With this regard, ATCO found that Mexico was incurring high losses of gas during transportation from the USA and lacked efficient storage not to mention the danger of explosion. With this in mind, ATCO utilized their skill in underground construction to build an underground gas storage in Mexico that will ensure cheap, efficient and safe energy for the people all in line with CSR 2 (ATCO, 2017).

Why their efforts are unique in the industry

ATCO realized from the very onset that carbon emission by its logistics and energy businesses were contributing to greenhouse gases. The company was very transparent in its reporting of the magnitude of the problem and even at some point abandoned the energy business for a while until they could come up with mechanisms to address the emission problems. Currently, ATCO is at the forefront of towing to a future without coal-powered electricity stations. Similarly, the company is sharing its research with ARENA in Australia on efficient hydrogen extraction. It is expected that the company will share its skills in the industry to curb carbon emissions by all companies (Turkes, 2018).

One aspect that makes ATCO unique is that it is a leader in the green gas revolution in Canada. It is anticipated to transit to natural gas and hydroelectric power generation by 2020 ahead of other companies in Canada. What's more, ATCO is very innovative and apt at utilizing its strategic business unit operations to solve unique problems, for instance, using it's real estate acumen to build a safe and reliable underground gas storage for Mexico. The company has achieved a 37 percent reduction in carbon emission and 100 tonnes avoidance of carbon waste in Australia. It has also catered for the aboriginal population by empowering through education and infrastructure. The Aboriginals, in turn, become great customers (ATCO, 2017).

Conclusion

This paper examines ATCO, a company that deals with energy solutions, logistics and real estate in Canada, Australia, and Mexico. The paper investigates the CSR 2 ideas implemented by the company and how far it has gone to achieve its sustainability goals. The paper delves into three principles of CSR 2 advanced by Visser and gauges these principles against ATCO. Finally, the paper examines the unique attributes that make ATCO excel in its quest for sustainability.

References

ATCO. (2017). Our commitment to Environmental Stewardship. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.atco.com/Our-Commitment/Sustainability/Environmental-Stewardship

Fehrenbacher, K. (2018). 10 questions for Lime’s head of sustainability, Andrew Savage. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.greenbiz.com/article/10-questions-limes-head-sustainability-andrew-savage

Fortuna, C. (2018). World’s Largest Oil Trader Invests in Renewable Energy. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.energyseek.co.uk/2018/07/22/worlds-largest-oil-trader-invests-in-renewable-energy/

Howat, A. (2018). The Contamination of Waste Plastic Clogging our Nation’s Waterways & Green Spaces. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://businessofgreen.ca/the-contamination-of-waste-plastic/

Jameson, C. M. (2013). Silent Spring Revisited. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Johnson, C. (2018, November 19). Top 3 Clean Energy Trends to Watch in 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://www.triplepundit.com/2018/11/bnef-clean-energy-trends-2019/

Morgan, G. (2017). Alberta could be coal-free years ahead of deadline as ATCO plans a transition to natural gas by 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/alberta-could-be-coal-free-years-ahead-of-deadline-as-atco-plans-transition-to-natural-gas-by-2020

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2009). Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 78–92.

Schaltegger, S. (2011). Sustainability as a Driver for Corporate Economic Success: Consequences for the Development of Sustainability Management Control. Society and Economy, 33(1), 15–28.

Turkes, H. (2018). ATCO gets $1.5M for Australian hydrogen research project. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.aa.com.tr/en/energy/news-from-companies/atco-gets-15m-for-australian-hydrogen-research-project-/20732

Visser, W. (2010). The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business. Journal of Business Systems, Governance & Ethics, 5(3), 7–16.

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My Assignment Help (2021) ATCO: Exemplary Performance In Corporate Social Responsibility, Logistics, And Real Estate [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt1102-corporate-social-responsibility/energy-solutions.html
[Accessed 01 March 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'ATCO: Exemplary Performance In Corporate Social Responsibility, Logistics, And Real Estate' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt1102-corporate-social-responsibility/energy-solutions.html> accessed 01 March 2024.

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