In the current corporate world, enterprises are mainly driven by profitability. As a result, CSR is normally perceived as a strategic initiative that should contribute to a firms bottom line. According to Carroll & Buchholtz (2006), emphasis on profitability is likely to hurt CSR objectives. Similarly, emphasis on CSR is likely to hurt a firms bottom line. Therefore, organizations have the challenge of formulating the right CSR approach that can guarantee benefits to both the organization and society simultaneously. The underlying challenge relates to how organizations can adopt CSR strategies that can create value for both society and the business. Another CSR challenge with respect to achieving UAE 2021 Vision for organizations to create social aware and responsible citizens and clean environment relates to producing products that meet these standards set by the UAE Vision 2021. For instance, companies will be compelled to ensure that their products are environment-friendly and use fair practices. As a result, expenses on research and development are likely to increase because of the need to develop eco-friendly products using fair practices that can be considered ethical by the society (Matten, Crane & Chapple, 2003). Another challenge is the increasing consumer cynicism in the sense that many consumers are of the view that CSR is just a public relations gimmick, and thus they are skeptical with respect to the true motivation behind CSR activities. Therefore, organizations have the challenge of convincing the public that they have the interests of the environment and the community at heart.
The corporate spirit of ABC Company is guided by a concrete belief in social responsibility as well as the craving to positively impact our customers as well as partners and world at large. Our actions draw upon integrity and responsibility in order to help us become a great corporate citizen, employer and neighbor. The corporate spirit of ABC Company thrives in treating our diverse partners fairly, environmental consciousness, business ethics, and giving back to the society. For ABC Company, CSR acts as a way of understanding the role of the company in the society, taking into consideration the economic, social and environmental impacts of the companys activities as well as the companys relationship with its diverse stakeholders.
CSR is considered a traversal factor that affects all business units and areas in the company, ranging from decision-making to operational areas, to form a component of ABC Companys organizational culture. It is achievable through the establishment of management practices that guarantee respect for the environment, respect for people and business practices that are guided by ethical principles. Through listening to our employees, environmental advocates, and the communities where we operate, we can make momentous strides with regard to our journey towards becoming a great corporate citizen. With the growth of our business, we believe that focusing on social responsibility can differentiate ABC Company and drive the companys performance.
The CSR team at the company seeks to strengthen the companys commitment to using sustainable business practices in 4 core areas, which include the community affairs, diversity, corporate governance and business ethics, and the environment. The following are the objectives of the strategic CSR plan:
1. Minimizing environmental impact;
2. Increasing involvement with the community as well as the social fabric;
3. Providing employees with safe and good working conditions;
4. Broadening the commitment to social responsibility to subcontracted firms and suppliers.
Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats
The strengths of ABC Company with respect to achieving the CSR vision include a dedicated CSR team ready to implement the strategic CSR plan, sufficient funds allocated for CSR projects, other business units/departments that are committed to social responsibility, the company has reported consistent environmental, ethical and social performance in the past, and employees who are committed to social responsibility.
The weaknesses of the company with respect to achieving the CSR vision include limited time and management resources, the CSR department is young and relatively inexperienced in strategy formulation, ABC Company makes use of a top down organizational structure meaning that the vision of the CSR department is shaped by the top managements decisions rather than the department itself, and that ABC currently lacks partners, such as environmental advocates that can provide valuable advice regarding companys social responsibility activities.
The opportunities that could help in achieving the CSR vision include attracting and retaining employees who can drive social responsibility, achieving the label of a preferred business partner, improving corporate image and brand value, increasing access to business partners, and attracting socially responsible investment.
The potential threats that could hamper the achievement of the CSR vision include an increase in expenditures in CSR projects, likely loss of investors because of the underlying conflicts of interest between CSR projects and shareholders, and likely loss of business partners that do not share the same responsibility vision.
1. Minimizing environmental impact using sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship. Such strategic decision is important because the company offers products with the aim of helping its customers to preserve natural resources as well as lessen their environmental footprint. In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally responsible, which implies that this strategy will help the company resonate with consumers by positioning itself as a being environmentally responsible (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2006).
2. Increasing community involvement. Such strategic decision is crucial for the company owing to the fact that it is a form of giving back to the community, which will play a pivotal role in improving the companys corporate image while at the same time helping the communities where the company undertakes its operations (Matten, Crane & Chapple, 2003).
3. Broadening the commitment to social responsibility to subcontracted firms and suppliers. Such strategic decision is important owing to the fact that, for social responsibility to be considered effective, business partners, such as subcontracted companies and suppliers should be involved because they perform a considerable part of the companys activities. The strategic decision is also part of the ethical business practices.
Priority Decision to Achieve Vision
The priority strategic decision is minimizing environmental impact using sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship. The reason why this strategic decision is a priority is because of the increasing importance that consumers are placing on environmental responsibility. In addition, this strategic decision is consistent with the increasing calls to mitigate climate change. The companys risks include consumer boycott and litigations if regulations concerning carbon emissions are not adhered to, which poses the need for the company to prioritize on reducing its environmental impact.
A pilot project that can be used to implement the decision is procuring renewable energy and energy conservation. Planning for this project entails identifying and evaluating the environmental impacts of the company and determining the reductions in environmental impacts after the project is implemented. Organizing entails activities, such as the incorporation of green technology in the design of new buildings, using energy management systems, lessening the energy used per square foot, and developing policies to foster efficient energy use within the organization. Leading entails encouraging and motivating employees to abide by the policies established to foster efficient energy use and communicating the policies. Controlling will entail comparing whether the project has actually reduced the companys environmental impact in terms of reducing energy consumption at the company.
Gathering Resources and Choosing Tactics
The resources needed to implement the strategic decision related to minimizing environmental impact using sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship include human resources (a team to evaluate the companys environmental impact and formulate energy use policies), financial resources (funds needed to procure green energy, such as solar systems, biomass, landfill gas and hydro power among others), and infrastructure (ensuring that the design of new buildings can facilitate the use of green energy).
This pilot project will be implemented within the organization and will be implemented at two levels. The first level entails the procurement of renewable power. It will entail assessing energy consumption at the company, conducting frequent energy audits and procuring and using energy efficient equipments within the company.
The second level entails the promotion of efficient energy use among employees at the organization by formulating policies that foster efficient energy use. Some of the policies could include using vehicles that are more fuel efficient, turning off office equipment when not being used, and using natural light during the day among others. The stakeholders in this project include the companys employees and the companies that provide renewable power solutions.
A number of challenges are anticipated with the implementation of this pilot project, such as high costs and lack of an effective mechanism to ensure that employees adhere to policies of efficient energy use. Even with renewable power, if they are not optimal, this project would make minimal contribution to the goal of reducing environmental impact. The project is aligned with the CSR vision of treating the firms diverse partners fairly, environmental consciousness, business ethics, and giving back to the society.