1. Explain the principles and practices within Sustainability and Social Responsibility.
2. Apply the principles and practices to real life business scenarios
3. Analyse sustainable practices and levels of social responsibility.
4. Critique sustainable practices and levels of social responsibility within an existing business or entrepreneurial venture.
What is Sustainable Enterprise and Corporate Social Responsibility?
A sustainable enterprise can be understood as the business which functions with a motive of giving minimal negative impact on the society, environment and planet. It always engages in the well-designed sustainable programs which helps it to increase the profits and drive growth (Legna, 2013). Corporate social responsibility, on the other hand, is an approach according to which the business operates for creating a positive impact on the society and community. It aims at giving back to the community and environment whatever is taken from it (Wright and Bennett, 2011.).
The assignment will be completed in parts where the concepts will be discussed and then the case study of Nokia and its CSR attempts will be discussed. Nokia is a Finnish company of networks and telecommunications which provides a medium to the people to communicate with each other. Being among the leaders in this industry, Nokia has a responsibility to take care of people and environment in order to popularise its business to cater to its responsibilities. The company engages in its CSR activities by providing education to children, protecting environment, strengthening supply chain and more. This assignment discusses how Nokia has grown into an organisation which does not think only about making ultimate profits but also thinks for society and works for it. The growing popularity of the concept of CSR has made organisations more responsible in the industry which has minimised the negative impacts in the environment.
The companies nowadays are born with a commitment of high sustainability. According to Eccles, Perkins and Serafeim (2012), corporate sustainability has become popular in the last few years across the world. People are no longer attracted to the corporations who just focus on the short terms profit making but they are more attracted to the businesses who consider the human needs and tries to fulfil the basic needs of people. There are lot of companies who are understanding the concept of sustainability and corporate social responsibility so that they can fulfil their one of the main objective of being competitive in the corporate world. It is even found from various studies that the sustainable organizations are very effective in engaging their external stakeholders and internal stakeholders. These organizations are also able to implement large scale changes in the company which makes it able to innovate and settle in the highly competitive market (Lin, Chang and Dang, 2015).
Sustainable enterprise is the one which aims at providing minimal harmful effects on the environment and society. The main objective of these enterprises is to meet the triple bottom line. It is a concept where the company/ business focus on the three P’s which are People, Planet and Profit. This concept ensures the effective and sustainable distribution of the effect on the stakeholders of the business (Wang, Tong, Takeuchi and George, 2016). The author further adds that corporate social responsibility is a term which is often confused with sustainability. Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is the process which assesses the impact of the organization on the society and community. It contributes to the sustainable development of the companies along with the development of society. It is about integrating the social and environmental concerns in the business operations. The company becomes responsible for its actions towards society and community which ultimately increases its reputation in the market and also enhances its positive image in the mind of the consumers (Danubianu and Teodorescu, 2017).
Nokia Case Study
As per Naucler (2018), there is a common understanding that everything we are getting to survive is from the planet and with the increase in population and business operations, the consumption rate of the resources is increasing. Also, what the businesses are taking from the society and planet is becoming the obligation for the businesses to repay it back to the environment and society. Sustainability in business can be maintained by catering to the principles of sustainable development which means that the needs of present should be met without compromising the ability of meeting the needs of future generations. For this, the businesses should be able to address the important issues like economic efficiency, social equity and environmental accountability. This is also referred as Triple Bottom Line. For maintaining business sustainability, certain issues needs to be covered like generation of economic value, waste of water and energy, employee development, greenhouse gas emissions and more (Kad?ubek, 2015).
In the view of Crane and Matten (2016), the creation of sustainable enterprise involves the transformation of the complete value chain i.e. from the material supply to the designing of product and to the sales. The companies need to identify their opportunities to promote their growth through new and improved products and markets in order to become a sustainable enterprise. The companies need to develop some strategies which helps them in seeking profits without harming the environment and society. For a business enterprise, sustainable business is meeting the needs of the business, its stakeholders today and in future (Adams and Frost, 2008).
The companies need to follow some of the steps as per the sustainable development principles. These steps initiates with the stakeholder’s analysis, then the sustainable development policies and objectives are set by the business, after this the design and execution of the implementation of the plan is done to support the corporate culture. The development of the measures and standards is done after that to measure performance. The reports are prepared and performance is monitored in the last step (McElroy and Engelen., 2012).
The principles of the sustainable development involves Respect and care for the society, improvement in the life quality of the stakeholders, Protection of the planet diversity and vitality, minimization of the depletion of natural resources, respect of the limit of the resources, change is the personal attitudes, enabling the practices for the environmental care, creating a framework for the development of business and society. These principles ensures the protection of the environment and businesses both. The companies nowadays need to be committed for sustainable development. They need to be open, transparent and responsibility for this concern. The sustainability should be integrated into the business in order to have broader sustainable influence on the business and society (Tang, Hull and Rothenberg, 2012).
Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept which attracted the attention of people worldwide and it is the attempt by the businesses to focus on their businesses along with the taking care of the society and environment. It is an ethical responsibility of every organization to give what is taken from the society and environment (Visser, 2010). The Principles of CSR ensures good management of activities within the community. It ensures good corporate governance within the company so that all the rules and regulations are followed with proper commitment. It aims at developing an environment which promotes diverse cultures and innovations within the business environment. IT believes in rewarding high performance and recognizing the opportunities which empowers the community and engages it for wellbeing. CSR is not just about wellbeing but it is based on some principles like Charity principle which believes that the richest people should donate and share their wealth with less fortunate. The second principle is Stewardship principle which means that the managers in the business have an obligation to act good in order to ensure wellbeing of the society. The Third principle is about keeping good relationship with their stakeholders either internal or external. Legal obligation is another principle of CSR which is established by the government and have to be followed by the companies while taking CSR into action (Soma, MacDonald, Opdam and Termeer, 2016).
Importance of Sustainability and CSR
As per the CSR model of Archie Carroll, a business stands on some responsibilities which has to be fulfilled while taking normal course of actions. These responsibilities include earning good profits, legal responsibilities, ethical responsibilities and the last one is philanthropic responsibilities. These responsibilities helps business in ensuring the perfect action of the companies towards other business. There are many companies which have taken CSR principles into practice. Some of the commonly known companies are Nike, FedEx and General Electric. CSR may increase the sales for the business but if is done poorly, it can affect the performance of the companies and it can also affect the potential of the businesses (Carroll, 2016).
Nokia is a well-known company for its technology which reshapes the world and provides best experience to its customers. It provides communication services to the government, consumers and businesses across the world. The company deals in end to end products and services. The company also known for its high ethical standards because they are known to create and distribute their products and services for social purpose, quality and integrity. The company is also striving to provide innovative a recent technologies for its people (Nokia, 2018).
The company has different approach to Corporate Social responsibility. It basically focusses on following points which is justified by its actions and practices:
- Enhancement of lives by making investments in communities
The company is building up a positive spirit in children by running a program names as Save the Children. A Samriddhi Trust is set up which is specially for providing education to the children which are not able to complete their education. It also ensures that it manages the highest principles of business ethics and corporate governance. The company invests in tackling the privacy issues and security of data issues. It also ensures that the technology is not misused by the people. It ensures that the environmental standards are met properly.
- Connecting people and Things
It is done by designing and developing the rural communications to the global world. The company is striving to improve people’s lives with technology. They deliver technology and solutions which connects people and things. It provides better and healthier lives to the people on a much better and cleaner planet (Babalola, 2012).
- Protection of Environment
The company is also engaging itself in the protection of environment by running various programs and by investing in the small projects which runs for the protection of wildlife and nature. It helps customers in understanding that they have to reduce their energy usage and emissions. It also helps in reducing the environmental impact of their operations which reduces water wastage, resource waste and reduce emissions.
- Making change happen together
The company believes in functioning together with its people be it employees or customers. It focuses on employee engagement and community involvement. The company ensures that it provides fair labour conditions and also maintains good health and safety as their priority. They aim to foster employee satisfaction and development (Choi and Mai 2018).
The first step towards Corporate Social Responsibility is taken by Nokia in the year 1998. The company was sure that wherever it will perform or do its business, it will always incorporate the laws in its actions. Being with the law, the company tried to develop itself as a great contributor towards the good of the society and worked for environment. Nokia is considered as the first mover in CSR. The company believes that CSR has become a business which is normally set with the policies and it is a significant part of the business strategy of the company (Montabon, Pagell and Wu, 2016).
Principles of Sustainable Development
As per Nokia code of conduct (2018), the company has taken an initiative to join Cercle Passeport telecoms which aims at proving a benefit to the young people from high schools to complete their education in the leading universities. The commitment is made by the company to support the students so that they can complete their education and can join jobs after that. The company believes in maintaining Sustainability by creating the technology which connects the world in a responsible manner. They aim to create more responsible and sustainable world in the economic, environmental and social way. The company joins UN to contribute in achieving their Sustainability Development Goals. It connects people and things. The company provides technology which helps world to connect with each other and have an access to better health care and education, more effective use of natural resources and to bring a safer planet for people to live. They aims at improving people’s lives, protecting the environment, conducting business with integrity and respecting people (Koo, 2016).
As per Nokia (2018), the recent highlights of Nokia CSR programs stated that around 1.1 million of people benefited from the corporate community investments of the company. The company also managed to have 44% average energy savings. The company is also considered as one of the most ethical companies in the world. The company also won many awards for their superb work in the sustainability. These awards and recognitions shows the hard work of their employees and also motivates them to do better with every single passing day. It has reduced the effects of climate change and set a target to reduce emissions from their operations by 41% by the year 2030. The company is also joining the board of Global Network Initiative (GNI) and after that it will be the first telecommunication company in that category. The company honoured by Ethisphere Institute as one of the most ethical companies of the world. Also, GLOMO Awards gave the best IoT innovation category award to the company. It also received the Quest Forum 2017 Global Sustainability Award in the Network Equipment Category (Ethisphere, 2018).
It is stated in the report of Nokia (2010), the company also works for its supply chain so that it can work more transparently with its suppliers and other contributors of the supply chain. The company reduced total energy consumption by 3% and water consumption by 14%. The company works in its areas and sets a target for itself for achieving greater sustainability in future. In the next few years, the company aims at improving the life of 2000000 people through its corporate programs aligned with regional programs. It also aims at investing in improving the health of the people. It aims at reducing GHG’s and reducing at least 20% of the renewable energy, reduction of water usage and energy use.
The Corporate Social Responsibility council of the company consist of the senior representatives who support the functions of the company and helps in meeting the objectives of the activities of the company. The company have a whole team which supports the customers in handling their issues and also fulfils their sustainability requirements. The company is committed for better actions and results in future. In the year 2017, the company increased its work and commitment and contributed in inventing, and delivering the goals for the community. The company aligns its practices keeping in mind the stakeholders so that it can benefit both of its stakeholders whether internal or external. Ultimately, the company is improving the lives of people with technology so that they can meet the future challenges and can create greater opportunities for themselves. They are focusing to empower the individuals and their future (Hakala, 2015).
Steps for Sustainable Development
Nokia is doing great in terms of maintaining Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Since, it is an organization with higher power and popularity in the world, the company should focus on certain areas which are still untouched. The company should give a chance to young people to show case their talent so that the company could also get a gateway to innovation and better ideas. The company should open itself for public help so that it can gain public trust and confidence. The company should promote its programs through social media so that more popularity can be gained. This way, company will be able to interact more with people and could be able to align their ideas with the ideas of public.
The company should revitalize its existing policies and procedures so that it can be re made by keeping in mind the needs and requirements of people. This will help them to be more sustainable. Like this, they would be able connect better with people and can better establish themselves in the market by catering to the basic needs of people.
The company should take effective steps to educate children in the lesser developed areas. This would help them in contributing a lot to the education of the needy and in the development of the backward regions as a whole. The company should focus on the roots of the problems and should work on them so that the society can be benefitted in the right and effective manner. The company should be as inclusive as possible in its programs so that the society can feel the contribution of the company and it can indirectly help in the increase of the business popularity. Not short term but long term results should be expected out of the efforts made by the organizations in the CSR practices they implement.
It can be concluded from the assignment that Corporate Social Responsibility is the integral part of the programs and practices of any organization. Without this, the company will not be able to sustain for long in the market. Sustainability in the performance is necessary because it helps in attracting more people towards business thereby increasing the profit levels of the business. The benefits of CSR is beyond our thoughts because in the longer period of time, it provides tremendous benefits and advantages to the company in terms of revenue, popularity and growth.
The assignment discusses about the Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable growth along with their principles which ensures the growth and commitment of the organizations. The literature review has been conducted on these concepts by reviewing the thoughts of various authors. Also, a case study of Nokia is taken from where it can be concluded that the company is already investing a lot for the benefit of society and environment. It has won many awards and recognitions which shows that company is pioneer in this field but there is a scope of improvement in everything. It is recommended to the company that it should popularize its programs and actions which could connect people with the company and more recognition can be gained. This way, company could gain more sustainability in future. It is concluded that Nokia, being a well-known and among the leading organizations in the world should effectively focus on the practice is of CSR so that ultimately its business can revitalize and gain longer term survival in the economy.
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