“Responsible enterprise in action.” In Assignment 1, we identified what is meant by responsible enterprise. The purpose of Assignment 2 is to focus on the specific ways in which organisations can become more responsible in practice, using the ideas & concepts introduced in the lectures, tutorials & readings throughout Term 2. These will make clear that responsible enterprise requires a paradigm shift towards sustainability. Throughout your report you MUST include extensive reference to appropriate academic theories. To illustrate & support the theoretical points made, you will need to critique examples drawn from a particular market (transportation, fashion, manufacturing). These must include at least ONE multinational enterprise and at least ONE of the following; a small to medium enterprise (SME), a social enterprise &/OR a nonprofit organisation. You should take account of the particular characteristics & the government policies to which your chosen sector is subject. Remember that the purpose of this assignment is to analyse the theory through practical examples, rather than to evaluate a particular company or companies.
All relevant topics are covered in Term 2. In addition, skills-based tasks will be included throughout the unit to support students in developing their academic reading, writing & referencing skills. You are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of your tutor prior to starting work on your assignment.
Unit Learning Outcomes Assessed.
L01: Evaluate the sustainability performance and actions of organisations through the application of appropriate academic concepts, models and frameworks.
LO2: Effectively communicate through appropriate structure and language and systematically reference evidence and information used to undertake an assignment.
LO3: Critically appraise the sustainability options available to businesses using a wide range of relevant sources of data.
LO5: Effectively communicate through appropriate structure and language and systematically reference evidence and information used to undertake an assignment.
Assignment Details and Instructions.
The report should commence with a title page followed by a table of contents. Overall presentation of report including structure, language, grammar, spelling. Systematic use of Harvard-style referencing.
Relevant lectures: Introduction to Term 2 & RE assignment 2; Assignment support
1. Executive summary (175 words)
Write an executive summary highlighting the key findings and recommendations of your report.
Relevant lectures: Introduction to Term 2 & RE assignment 2; Assignment support
2. Introduction & background (550 words)
Write a maximum of three sentences that outline the purpose & structure of the report. Then critically discuss why organisations in your chosen market (transportation, fashion, manufacturing) adopt/respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Relevant lectures: Responsible enterprise as strategy & ideology; NGOs activism and the media
3. Responsible enterprise in practice (675 words)
Drawing on appropriate theory & examples from the local, national, international context, critically discuss how organisations in your chosen market can become more responsible in practice. Specifically, you need to discuss ONE of the following:
(a) Responsible supply chain OR
(b) Sustainable products OR
(c) Human rights and/or ethics
Relevant lectures: Responsible enterprise across the supply chain; Making more sustainable products & managing waste; Human rights & ethics
4. The role of consumers OR responsible marketing (550 words)
Discuss ONE of the following:
(a) Drawing on appropriate theory & examples from the local, national, international context, critically discuss the role of consumers in facilitating &/or inhibiting responsible enterprise OR
(b) Drawing on appropriate theory & examples from the local, national, international context, critically discuss the concept of responsible marketing
Relevant lectures: Consumers & sustainability; Responsible marketing
5. Conclusion & recommendations. (450 words)
Synthesise your findings & evaluations in order to conclude on how responsible enterprise plays out in practice. Then discuss one theoretical recommendation setting out an action that organisations in your chosen market should undertake to contribute to a more sustainable future. Your recommendation must draw on one of the alternative business models identified in the lecture
Relevant lectures: Responsible innovation; Alternative business models; Reflections on RE (you will also need to refer back to other relevant lecture slides depending on what recommendations you make)
APPENDIX (100 words)
Write a paragraph reflecting on your experience from the Carbon Literacy sessions you attended. Critically comment on how your attendance helped you adopt a more sustainable lifestyle and how this may reflect on your development as a responsible current/future professional. Appropriate recommendations might include taking steps towards reducing your carbon footprint, volunteering, boycotting irresponsible companies, attending an appropriate event etc. Please attach a copy of the carbon literacy certificate.
Relevant lectures: Private enterprise and environmental challenges (Carbon Literacy 1); Consumers and sustainability (Carbon Literacy 2); Reflections on RE
*Please look in the Unit Handbook for guidance on how to structure a report
Submission information & wordcount: Note that the wordcount for each section is only an indicative suggestion i.e. it is just there to give you an idea of how the weighting given to each section might translate across each part of the assignment. Submit one report with a wordcount of 2,500 words. Specify the wordcount at the end of the report. Headings, diagrams, cover page, reference list & table of contents, appendix (apart from the reflective paragraph) do not add to the wordcount. Diagrams should be included within the body of the report rather than in an appendix. You are required to submit your report electronically via the Turnitin Assignments link on the unit Moodle page. Do not submit a hard copy.
Formatting & style: Use 12-point, single-spaced font. Use page numbers. Be analytical not descriptive in your approach. The report should be well-structured & use appropriate academic language. It should contain a balance of theory & concepts, factual evidence & reasoned argument. Harvard referencing style must be adopted i.e. all references must be cited appropriately within the text, with a full alphabetical list of sources included at the end of your assignment.
Using academic theory: Remember to make use of the relevant lecture & tutorial material from Term 2. However, the assignment should be based primarily on your own individual research i.e. not just lecture & tutorial material. Throughout your report you must draw on appropriate academic concepts, models & the general academic literature in this subject area. In other words, appropriately referenced content is expected, drawn from academic journal articles, textbooks, specialist reports, industry standards, government data etc.
Similarity scores: You will have the opportunity to check your similarity score prior to submission. Do not copy/paste extensively from the Internet as this is poor academic practice. Rather, you should paraphrase from the original source to demonstrate your understanding & to tailor the material you find to the arguments you are trying to make. As a matter of routine we check your similarity score on Turnitin & those with a score above 30% may be subject to investigation. More guidance will be given in lectures & tutorials but please speak to your tutor if you have any concerns or questions.
Early Career/ World Class Professional Skills (PLOs) being assessed or developed/assessed.
PLO1 Our graduates will apply critical thinking to practical and theoretical problems
1.1.1 Identify and interrogate relevant data and literature sources using methods appropriate to level of study and to discipline
1.1.2a Apply theory to discussion and analysis
PLO2 Our graduates will be effective communicators using a range of media
2.1.1 Organise work in a logical structure in order to draw conclusions that follow
2.1.2 Apply consistent and appropriate referencing and in text citations
2.1.3 Demonstrate digital skills appropriate to level and to discipline
PLO3 Our graduates will demonstrate an awareness of ethical, corporate social responsibility and sustainability issues appropriate to the level of study and the discipline context
3.1.1 Recognise, explore and reflect on key ethical issues as they affecting own and others' practice.
3.1.2 Recognise, explore and reflect upon corporate social responsibility and sustainability issues as they affect different stakeholders.
PLO4 Our graduates will demonstrate professional and commercial/corporate awareness
4.1.1 Identify and explain professional and commercial/corporate issues
4.1.2 Critically evaluate professional and commercial/corporate issues
4.1.3 Critically reflect upon own development as a current or future professional
4.2.1 Identify and explain debates in their global and/or international context
4.2.2 Critically discuss the global and/or international context
See the Moodle unit page for further details on resources (lecture slides, tutorial activities, reading list etc.)
Table of Content
This study highlights the process and operations practice of a responsible organization to achieve long-term sustainability by considering both the environment as well as community factors. Hence, it has been found that, in the metal and mining sector, organizations need to consider environmental sustainability to ensure a long run in the competitive market regardless of the size of the organization (MNC or SME). Besides this environmental concern framework by carbon literacy, it is equally important to consider other business operations to achieve a good amount of trust from the consumer group to meet sustainable goals. Additionally, this study sheds light on the development of a sustainable plan by protecting consumers' right as consumers are the key players of a business. Besides integrating social responsibility with the business process to achieve sustainability, this recommends developing alternative business model such as 'Natural Capitalism' model to develop more sustainable business strategy.
In recent time, business becomes more strategic than only focusing on earning profit by delivering products or services. Modern day's organizations are looking forward to incorporating the social responsibilities with their business process. To take care of this social responsibility modern businesses have integrated environmental, social and economic factors to create values and operations in a transparent and accountable manner. This is important for businesses to minimize the operational impact on society and its operating environment. Therefore, corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes an integral part of modern businesses to achieve long-term business sustainability (Cronin and Dearing, 2017). Hence, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the importance of taking social responsibility for modern organizations such a serious note to achieve business goals. Therefore, by viewing this study it can be possible to observe the outline of responsible enterprise practice to become a sustainable business in its operating sector. Thereby, by taking the responsible practice of real-world business scenario it can be possible to view the operation process of the organizations in the account of responsible marketing. To experience the responsible operations of the enterprise a large organization and an SME have been selected from the manufacturing industry sector namely Rio Tinto and As met Limited Accordingly.
Business in the manufacturing sector contributes to social cost and environmental pollution and thereby, there is a potential risk of safety-related issues and environmental sustainability. This business venture can reduce the negative environmental footprint by taking social responsibility with serious interest and hence, by the help of this practice an organization can attract a greater number of employees as well as can develop a transparent relationship with the society in which they are operating. Therefore, by developing a positive relationship with the society, they can gain a good amount of social acceptance that helps to improve business growth (Starchier, 2017). Multinational businesses in the metal and mining sector (manufacturing) needs to develop long-term CSR policy to conduct a large amount of CSR activities by assessing the society needs and on the other hand, SMEs in this business sector is more concentrated on fixing ad-hoc issues to ensure business sustainability in the competitive market. Therefore, it can be seen that, in this same business sector, MNC and SME businesses have a different point of focus by adopting social responsibilities and thereby, they can strengthen their social policies by engaging more with the local community people to accomplish their business goals. In addition to that, by practising this social responsibility, large as well as small-medium businesses in this sector can able to overcome negative outcomes that can affect their stakeholders by protecting human rights (Wirth et al. 2016).
Moreover, in this mentioned business sector, both the said business needs to adopt a good socially responsible policy to achieve sustainable development goals as their business process is directly related to environmental sustainability. Therefore, these businesses need to develop a transparent relationship with the local community besides taking some innovative steps to reduce the negative impact on the surrounding environment caused by business operations. This activities and sustainable policies taken by these businesses can able to reflect a positive ideology to the community and thus, they can attract a greater number of stakeholders towards their business. Hence, with the help of this sustainability practice, Rio Tinto can able to develop long-term relationship policy with the community and on the other hand, As met Limited can able to achieve long term sustainability (Yakovleva, 2017).
To become more responsible in the said business market, the chosen organizations need to focus on several factors such as responsible supply chain, sustainable products and maintaining human rights and ethics. Among these factors maintaining human rights and business ethics is the most crucial entity to achieve business sustainability by standing as a responsible business enterprise in society (Pactwa and Wo?niak, 2017). Hence, to achieve a long-term relationship with the society, mentioned businesses need to develop human rights policy by the reference of human rights theory proposed by Kant. According to Kant's 'categorical imperative' ethics theory, there is a need for universal law to maintain good working ethics within the organization that is called 'natural law'. With the help of this implication of moral law at the workplace the mentioned business organizations can able to develop necessary policy practice to ensure proper working hours for the employees, proper wages, prohibit negative trade union policies and can direct the labour forces to work ethically within the organization (Azadegan, 2018). Hence, by following this ‘categorical imperative’ rights, the organizations such as Rio Tinto and As met Ltd can maintain transparent work ethics within the organizations. Therefore, a greater number of workforces wants to join these companies due to its transparent work policy and human right policies.
In addition to that, to maintain a good level of human rights and ethical practice, the mentioned organizations are following the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to preserve the following rights:
Civil rights- This right says, civilians are free from arbitrary arrest and there is no interference with privacy. Hence, by acquiring this policy, said businesses can provide an extreme level of privacy to their worker (H?bek et al. 2019).
Political right- By adopting this political right, companies are given to their workers to convey political views of their interest to such extent that is not harming the work practice of the firm (Jones et al. 2018).
Right to life- With the adoption of this right, companies are developing such a framework that prohibits slavery practice, torture and forced labour. Hence, this practice can help organizations to develop a positive image of work culture among the workforce (Brown, 2016).
Economic right- According to this economic right said businesses have developed reasonable pay structure to their employees and provide good employment opportunities as well as effective per hour wages to the employees (Kholis et al. 2020).
Figure 1: Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(Source: Brown, 2016)
Social right- In addition to the internal work functions, these organizations have also developed a suitable framework to make a notable contribution to society. By contributing to healthcare and education filed as well as by participating in several cultural programs, these organizations in this sector have achieved a good amount of social responsibility (Mbilima, 2019).
No discrimination- To mitigate workplace discrimination, both the firms have developed a transparent framework to recruit employees regardless of their sex, religion, race, ethnic group and political views.
Negative freedoms- Most importantly, the organizations have a look into the matter of freedom of their employees to sense that if there is any misconduct of freedom within the work practice. This is an important measure to ensure long-term business sustainability as negative freedom has a vast negative influence on the business process (Birn et al. 2018).
Hence, by following the benchmark guidelines provided in UN General Assembly Resolution, 1948, mentioned organizations are developed their human right policies incorporation with their business process. In addition to that, both the forms have intended to achieve a good amount of response from the operating society by implementing their ethical code of conducts by following which it can be possible to mitigate unethical behaviour from the workplace (Hilson et al. 2019). Hence, mentioned companies are developing an ethical framework to:
Hence, by developing an efficient ethical framework, it can be possible to release the pressure from the company board of directors while taking corporate conducts besides maintaining regular business operations.
With the help of responsible marketing framework, a business can develop a transparent relationship with the stakeholders. This relationship can be developed by building a good amount of trust of the consumers on the business. By taking initiative to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide from the organizational activities, responsible organizations have aimed to reduce the carbon footprint (Young, 2018). Hence, it is the responsibility of the seller side to take an active part in the social programs that are to make an active contribution to the society part from their business process. Therefore, from the organization's point of view, it is necessary to follow the national legislation to protect the consumer’s right. By doing this, it can be possible to change the societal level of expectations and therefore, the firms can achieve a good amount of response from society. Hence, by following UN guidelines for consumer protection, the companies can able to encourage a high level of ethical standard that can able to protect the consumers' right (Martus, 2019). Therefore, these consumer protection guidelines can deliver the following principles that the mentioned organizations have adopted to develop a responsible marketing process by protecting consumers’ right:
In addition to the above-stated guidelines, the mentioned companies in this sector need to follow the standard of Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) of the UK to use advertising media by following the general rules and guidelines provided by ASA. Therefore, as per this ASA standard, both the companies Rio Tinto and As met Ltd needs to develop advertisement strategy using social media platforms such as company websites, email marketing, social community platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While developing this advertising strategy it is essential to follow the advertising codes developed by independent advertising regulatory authority of UK, ASA. These codes have been inaugurated and maintained by CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) and BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice). Hence, according to this guideline the companies need to ensure that the advertisements are legal and there is no tendency to mislead the consumers by providing false information or by making influence (asa.org.uk, 2020). Moreover, to protect the consumers against the misleading advertisement and to protect them from advertisement regulation issue EASA (European Advertising Standards Alliance) has raised voice against these issues. Additionally, it ensures the high ethical standards in commercial communication by making self-regulation (easa-alliance.org, 2020). Hence, this regulatory authority can provide legal commercial practice by setting ethical advertising framework to solve the advertisement misleading issues of the consumers. Therefore, by following this self-regulatory guideline, mentioned firms can able to develop an effective framework to protect the consumers' right and thereby, they become responsible organizations by maintaining the consumer's interests (). However, consumers also have some responsibility to develop this transparent trustworthy relationship with the business by making purchasing decisions without any external influences or by avoiding misinterpretation of advertisement.
From the above discussion, it can be sensed that a business can achieve sustainability by achieving business opportunities by reducing the destructive and wasteful flow of business resources. In modern days, to become a sustainable enterprise a business firm needs to aim at taking part in social activities that can help to develop a transparent relationship with the society. While looking at the sustainability framework developed by the mentioned organizations in this metal and mining sector it has been seen that firms have considered pollution control framework to ensure environmental sustainability. Thereafter, with the help of suitable pollution control and minimization technique of wasteful materials, the companies are focusing on minimizing the negative environmental impact by the business operation process. These practices help the firms to achieve a good amount of impression in the operating society. Moreover, by ensuring a greater number of stakeholder’s participation, these companies are trying to expand their reach in the competitive market especially, the SME organization As met Ltd has developed stakeholders participation framework to ensure better engagement of business stakeholders to achieve long-term sustainability (asmet.com, 2020). On the other hand, Rio Tinto has participated in several social and cultural programs to increase its stakeholder’s participation to achieve more social responses (riotinto.com, 2020). Hence, both organizations have made this social responsibility framework as an integral part of their business management system to become a responsible enterprise. Hence, from these company perspectives, maintaining sustainability is not only protecting environmental sustainability but also maintaining a transparent relationship with the community by taking part in several wellbeing cultures. Hence, it can be said that to become a responsible enterprise by ensuring long-term sustainability it is necessary to develop consumer protection framework besides implementing a framework for protecting the environment (Bice, 2016).
To achieve sustainable goals, it is recommended to follow the alternative business model such as ‘Natural Capitalism’ model. Principles of this model are as the following:
Hence, based on the above mentioned four principles, in future days an organization can improve its economic activities by using natural resources. Therefore, by adopting this business model future firms can able to minimize the wasteful use of natural resources such as water, topsoil, energy, materials and fibre (Hawken, 2016).
By attending the carbon literacy session, I have achieved a diverse knowledge about the effective business framework taken by a responsible enterprise to reduce the hazardous production that has a huge negative impact on the environment. I have experienced the way to achieve a more sustainable life by taking into account the carbon footprint activities developed by the companies. I have also learned the way of integrating environmental sustainability and other operations process to achieve a sustainable place in the market. This experience will help me to develop an effective sustainable strategy in my professional career.
asa.org.uk, 2020. Advertising codes. Available at: https://www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rulings/advertising-codes.html [Accessed on 9th May 2020]
asmet.com, 2020. About us. Available at: https://www.asmet.com/about-us [Accessed on 9th May 2020]
Azadegan, E., 2018. Review of Business Ethics: A Kantian Perspective, by Norman E. Bowie.
Bice, S., 2016. Responsible mining: Key principles for industry integrity. Routledge.
Birn, A.E., Shipton, L. and Schrecker, T., 2018. Canadian mining and ill health in Latin America: a call to action. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 109(5-6), pp.786-790.
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