The issues of Corporate Social Responsibility Essay

Corporate societal duty ( CSR ) is besides known as corporate duty and corporate citizenship, responsible action, responsible action invariable ( SRB ) , or the public presentation of societal establishments. Ideally, the policy of corporate societal duty is a compact, self-regulation and the mechanism by which the work would supervise and guarantee the committedness to the jurisprudence and ethical criterions and international regulations. ( William et al, 2005 ) . The development of the concerns in claiming the duty by the impact of its activities on the environment, consumers and workers, local communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.

The pattern of corporate societal duty is a topic of argument and unfavorable judgment and widespread. Advocates argue that there is strong demand for the issue of societal duty of concerns, and companies benefit in many ways by working with a broader position and longer than their ain direct, any short-run net incomes. Critics argue that the act of corporate societal duty is the primary economic function of companies, and others believed that no more than window surface is decorated, and some say it is an effort to pre-empt the function of authoritiess as a watchdog on the powerful transnational companies ( Argandona, 2001 ) .

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Marks and Spencer plc, besides known as M & A ; S, is a universe s renowned retail merchant with its central offices in Westminster, London. It has more than 300 shops across 40 states and more than 70 shops in UK. M & A ; S is celebrated for its apparels and nutrient merchandises. It was found in 1884 by Thomas Spencer and Michael Marks in Leeds. Since 2000 the company Marks & A ; Spencer began to spread out and research other countries: family merchandises, nutrient, furniture, merchandises for beauty, engineering, fiscal services, etc.

In recent old ages, Marks & A ; Spencer shops act as all-out shopping Centres with immense food market supermarkets, amusement locales and coffeehouse. The company is covering general ware sector and nutrient sector. All these units have contributed in determining up company s vision saying that they want to put a criterion through which other company should be measured. These units are centralized by the values of Marks and Spencer. These include trust, service, value and invention. ( Utting, 2007, 11 13 )

Each of the units has developed its specific schemes of Corporate Social Responsibility that is based on the brand-value of trust. The issues that are tackled in the schemes were identified through client research, understanding within concern and by interacting with of import stakeholders, authorities, NGO s etc. An action program is developed for managing each issue that arises in order to equilibrate outlooks of the clients and the stakeholders and other external force per unit areas. These issues are divided into three groups: people, merchandises and community.

Peoples: these include the company s employees plus the people who are employed in its concatenation supply.

Merchandise: this division emphasizes on the production of high quality, valuing that are positive for societal and environmental benefits.

Community: this division emphasizes on the function of the company in assisting to keep and develop topographic points where people can work and populate easy.

For all these groups, Marks and Spencer have planned a plan with the name of Plan A. ( Archie, 2008 )

WHAT IS Planing A?

Plan A is Marks & A ; Spencer s comprehensive attack to sustainability which to them is making the right thing. We ‘re making this because it ‘s what you want us to make. It ‘s besides the right thing to make. We ‘re naming it Plan A because we believe it ‘s now the lone manner to make concern ( Marks & A ; Spencer s, 2010 ) . On 15th Jan, 2007, Marks and Spencer took an enterprise by establishing a plan known as Plan A. This was to convey a dramatic addition in the environmental sustainability in five old ages. Plan A contains 100 committednesss for five old ages in order to turn to the major environmental and societal challenges faced by Marks and Spencer, today and in future ( Markss and Spencer, 2010 ) . They have a tag-line for it which states: Because there is no Plan B. These committednesss cover five different subjects: Sustainable natural stuff, climatic alteration, just partnership, wellness and waste with the intent of:

I. No waste will be sent to landfill

II. Become Neutral to carbon

III. Bring extension in the sustainability of resource

IV. Help in bettering the lives of employees working in their supply concatenation section ( Brown, 2008, 125 147 )

V. Provide a healthy life style to the clients and the employees of the company

To get down with, as a portion of Plan A, the iconic reclaimable brown bag was introduced in the twelvemonth 2007. This brought a hope that it will diminish the use of plastic bags over the following few old ages. In 2008, Marks and Spencer introduced the 5p bearer bags strategy at their shops. The clients were supposed to pay 5p per waistcoat bearer bag which was of standard size for their nutrient purchases. This strategy was implemented as a portion of Plan A, stating that it discourages the usage of customary plastic bags. All the net incomes gained from the sale of these bags are given to the Groundwork UK.

To go a C impersonal company, Marks and Spencer committed to merely utilizing the C equalisers as their last resort, restricting to the instances where is required by the authorities or where the green air, route conveyance and engineering will non be available for the predicted hereafter. In 2008, Marks and Spencer had 3 operational air current tribunes, one in Methlick and two near Strichen. These generate power that is adequate to cover three shops through National Grid. In 2009, the company started purchasing 2.6TWh of the renewable energy from the Npower which was plenty to supply energy to all of the M & A ; S offices and shops in Wales and England.

In 2010, Marks & A ; Spencer s set out 80 new committednesss with the purpose of going the universe s most sustainable major retail merchant by 2015. This they hope to accomplish by prosecuting their clients in edifice Plan A qualities into all of its 2.7 billion merchandises and help the clients to develop their ain Plan A eco-plan. Besides, they intend to travel Plan A from merely a program to How we do concern by incorporating it into procedures and giving its people the needed tools, accomplishments and motive to do a difference.

In order to accomplish this, Marks & A ; Spencer s launched a 50m invention fund, every bit good as sustainability programmes for its nutrient and general ware providers, sustainable agribusiness programmes for its husbandmans and agriculturists. As portion of attempts to widen the Plan A to the employees, they are been offered free place insularity, a free place energy proctor and a twenty-four hours s paid leave each twelvemonth for a voluntary work.

Benefits of Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility: Plan A of Marks and Spencer

First, Marks and Spencer got the value of distinction. This does non needfully associate to the merchandise but besides defines the moral values of the company. With the execution of Plan A, Marks and Spencer got benefited with appeal factor. A recent research states that, 88 per centum of the clients will be more interested in purchasing the merchandises from the company that is actively working in the society and engages and supports the activities in bettering the environment of the society. Therefore, it has provided an advantage to Markss and Spencer by being good known for their active engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility methods.

They can easy pull their bing clients to increase their gross revenues and they can even pull new clients by their Plan A undertaking. This in bend, helps in adding up the net incomes made by their shops. But these net incomes finally are used by Marks and Spencer in puting in the schemes of Corporate Social Responsibility. Although, Marks and Spencer can bear down high monetary value for their differentiated merchandises in order to cover the cost of investing in CSR. The ground due to which they can bear down higher monetary value is their active engagement in being socially responsible. This in the long tally will increase their net income border. This is a basic regulation for CSR ( Cuthbertson, 2011 )

Second, the work force at Marks and Spencer is really happy with some of the plans that the company is running. One of these undertakings was the Ready to Work undertaking. In this undertaking, Marks and Spencer helped around six hundred stateless people from UK to get work experience while they were being mentored by a friend. Furthermore, above 30 per centum of these people, who were internee, were subsequently on provided a occupation because of the success of the undertaking. This plan came up with a market research which was successful and was stimulated by the laminitiss of Marks and Spencer s scheme saying that the best and vouch manner to get long-run success is to hold good relationship with your providers, employees and the society. This message acted as a anchor for all the CSR schemes of Marks and Spencer.

A study based on 500 employees of the company, stated that 75 per centum of the employees felt that the undertakings has contributed in doing Marks and Spencer a great topographic point to work. They besides said that it helped them in increasing and heightening their accomplishments. This besides led to an excess motivated work force who feel wholly comfy at their workplace and have led to a lessening in the rate of employee turnover.

Third, Plan A besides covers the portion of just trade extensively. This is an issue which has gained UK s focal point more than any other state. Marks and Spencer has purchased around a 3rd of the universe s just trade cotton ( Cuthbertson, 2011 ) .

Not all the accomplishments were unusually good. For cutting down the emanation of CO2, Marks and Spencer tightened up the demands for achieving a company auto. These stairss did drop the corporate car fleet from 488 to 469, but this did non convey any important alteration ( Damien et al 2010 ) compared to other accomplishments, this scheme must be left out of the limelight.

The biggest disadvantage of CSR for Marks and Spencer is the cost that is invested in the execution of these schemes. Plan A introduced by Marks and Spencer had an estimated cost of around 200 million. Although, the CSR scheme helps in deriving net incomes in the long tally and it helps in going financially strong, it still requires a immense sum of investing to implement the schemes. Therefore, if the scheme of Corporate Social Responsibility is non successful in bring forthing a coveted sum of consequence in pulling the clients, so it could do great loss to the investors. This loss might non be black for Marks and Spencer nevertheless ; it can damage its repute. Although, the Corporate Social Responsibility is about enriching the stakeholder, but if the scheme is non successful in conveying excess net income so it depends on the ethical motives and values of the investor to see what a good result is and what a bad result is.

Another disadvantage of this scheme would be the cost of maintaining the clients happy. In the Plan A of Mark and Spencer, there are 20 marks for heightening the just partnership between the providers. Initially, the investing should be big as it targets the providers belonging to the international market ( Beder, 2007 ) .

The most indispensable factor in this Plan is the consumer power. Harmonizing to the research, around 88 per centum people would prefer purchasing a merchandise of the company which is extremely active in societal activities and are working with the construct for heightening the quality of life. Therefore, Marks and Spencer can non short-circuit this point as harmonizing to the economic clime these yearss, a client moves on to the following best solution available depending on the ethical motives they chose to follow. Therefore, to construct up CSR schemes are a positive investing in keeping back the good will and image of the company, which Marks and Spencer has already established.

In line to accomplish a mark of been the most sustainable retail merchant in the universe, Marks & A ; Spencer s have over the old ages shifted from philanthropic gift to community investing and later corporate societal duty. Establishing Plan A was its following logical measure but there is still a long manner to travel.

To determine the extent to which the accomplishments of Plan A would ensue in Marks & A ; Spencer s being the universe most sustainable retail merchant, it will be of import to understand what sustainability means. Brundtland s ( 1987 ) defined Sustainability as the development that meets the demands of the present universe without compromising the ability of the future coevalss to run into their ain demands. This attack to economic growing possibly includes a societal duty to its stakeholders and a wider duty for the impact of its activities on the environment.

With the sustainability plans on the study being that of Marks and Spencer s entirely, there is no footing for comparing with other major retail merchants to cognize the extent to which its sustainability steps surpasses them. Besides, by utilizing the word sustainable, they universalised it to their significance. They fail to cognize that sustainability could hold several significances for people different people.

For case, findings have shown that people in hapless states see sustainability as poorness decrease where as in developed states ; sustainability is linked to climate alteration. It will be a false belief to do people believe there is a cosmopolitan word for the term sustainability as there is no understanding over the specific significance of the word and this makes it impossible to mensurate the public presentation of a company in that country.


Corporate societal duty coverage which is voluntary is said to be a public history of environmental, societal and ethical impacts of a company. It demonstrates answerability, transparence and credibleness deriving the stakeholders trust. In order to measure the quality of Marks and Spencer s CSR study, we shall use the Global coverage enterprises which sets out the rules and public presentation indexs that administrations can utilize to mensurate and describe their economic, environmental and societal public presentation ( GRI, 2011 ) . These rules include materiality, stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context and completeness. Likewise, the standard revelation examines the scheme and profile of the administration, the direction attack every bit good as the public presentation indexs of the administration.

So utilizing the GRI guidelines to analyze the study ( Appendix 1 ) I shall rate the Marks and Spencer s CSR study below a C minimum degree despite it was assured by an independent 3rd party Ernst and Young, to vouch truth of the study and in line with best pattern.

To me, it failed to describe the minimum demands. Using the GRI model, there was no study of some compulsory revelations needed to achieve a C degree. These include ( 2.4 ) where it failed to describe the location of its central office. Besides in the profile revelation, they failed to describe on ( 4.15 ) which is the footing for designation and choice of interest holders whom they engage with.

In the public presentation and indicant subdivision, despite non giving any study on human rights except for HR1 and HR2 where uncomplete studies were given, they met the minimal demand of the GRI model of describing at least one out of each Performance Indicator.

In all, the CSR study could be said to concentrate chiefly on profile revelations and this tend s to be the major strength of the study where studies on public presentation indexs were uncomplete and in some instances non reported.

The stakeholder inclusiveness of the study was exhaustively reported. Pages 42 and 43 in the study contained a stakeholder duologue which is rather impressive as stakeholder duologue is one of the basic parties of a sustainability study. Marks and Spencer s reported how they engaged Ernst and Young to garner impartial feedback from a scope of administrations which was besides listed in the study. These administrations are NGO s which focal point on sustainability. The responses of the stakeholders were besides listed in the study and were rather edifying as there were non merely regards but besides suggestions for Marks and Spencer s sustainability way. Besides, Markss and Spencer s responses to the suggestions were listed.

The major concern about stakeholder coverage was on deficiency of information on how many stakeholders from each NGO who were consulted provided feedback and why they chose to utilize external figures to ease the duologue instead than discoursing with Markss and Spencer s people. Besides, it wasn Ts disclosed in the study how much stakeholder input influenced the choice of Plan A committedness.

Marks and Spencer s CSR study is both broad ranging and extremely focused. Under the headers of Climate, waste, Natural resources, just spouse, wellness and good being, each issue is broken down into marks set for the coverage twelvemonth, public presentation in the current twelvemonth and future ends. This attack is extremely effectual in footings of showing a clear and thorough image of the wide range of Marks and Spencer s CSR related activities.

The study is rather balanced as there were a smattering of accomplishments listed in each of the headers such as cutting of C emanations from operations by 8 % and bettering shop energy by 19 % . Besides, rather a twosome of the challenges faced by the administration was besides noted which include rise in concern travel emanations despite the Green travel policy. They besides noted a diminution in the gross revenues of organic nutrient despite their attempt to present new merchandises. So I think it merely wasn t a win- win footing in the study.


The term developing states is used to jointly depict states that have low per capita incomes and are less industrialized ( UNDP 2006 ) . Corporate societal duty ( CSR ) in developing states have to cover with the formal and informal mode in which concerns contribute to governance, ethical, societal labor and environmental status of developing states which they operate and possibly stay sensitive to predominating spiritual, historical and cultural context ( Visser 2007 ) .

Contrary to the nature of CSR in developed states, CSR in developing states present a typical set of docket which are surely different from those faced in developed states. CSR precedences in developing states differ. For some, improved ethical duties and integrating good administration are assigned the highest. Whereas in others, undertaking HIV/AIDS, bettering working conditions, proviso of basic services supply concatenation unity and poorness relief are at the extremum of CSR precedence.

.Major issues refering to CSR in developing universe as at big relates to the strategic motivation for following socially responsible patterns. These actions appear to reflect Carroll s ( 1991 ) viing precedences which are ; houses adopt CSR in order to run into their economic, legal, ethical and discretional duties.

Conventional wisdom suggests that CSR is more relevant to administrations runing in the developed states due to elevated outlooks of society responsible behavior. In position of this, I she use Bangladesh to analyze the extent to which a retail merchant could follow Marks and Spencer s Plan A because it possess the features of a underdeveloped state.

Basically, for the success of Plan A in any underdeveloped state by another retail merchant, the retail merchant needs to run the schemes harmonizing to the civilization, ethical background, nationality, faith and race of the underdeveloped state. As Plan A is committed to better the lives of people in their supply concatenation sector ( Peter, 2010 ) .

With the reappraisal of the province of authorities policy and support for CSR in Bangladesh, corporations have hence increased their committedness to CSR other than net income devising and now following with safety ordinances. For illustration, CARE Bangladesh initiated a successful CSR programme with BATA where the company is utilizing the extended web of RARE to advance its environmental friendly merchandises door to door in rural communities. With this, Plan A will be successful due to authoritiess back uping policies which create room for CSR investing.

Besides, the issue of planetary heating which has to cover with the clime, it is obvious that this is impacting both the developed and developing states and therefore authoritiess are enforcing on companies to develop CSR which will minimise C emanation. So a retail merchant who adopts the Plan A will decidedly win but will ensue in high operation cost to the company.

Plan A can besides be successful in a underdeveloped state if the retail merchant seeks the aid of its providers in developing the mills with either being ethical or encouraging environmental features. They can even promote 10,000 husbandmans to fall in their sustainable agribusiness plan merely like M & A ; S ( Mike, 2008 ) .

The Retailer can besides implement their Plan A undertaking and be successful by going an of import retail merchant to do certain that their cardinal natural stuff such as soybean, palm oil, java, beef, leather, etc, are coming from sustainable resources which do non lend to deforestation.

Contrary to this, Plan A which harmonizing to Markss and Spencer s is making the right thing will be successful at a minimum rate if adopted by a retail merchant in Bangladesh. This is so because of the prevalent high rate of poorness and corruptness. Basically the precedence of Marks and Spencer s program A, which focuses on clime alteration, waste, waste, natural resources, just spouse public presentation wellness and good being may non be in line with CSR precedences in developing states as they are interested in undertaking HIV/AIDS, bettering working conditions, proviso of basic services supply concatenation unity and poorness relief.


In this modern epoch, it is 100 per centum of import that companies differentiate themselves from remainder of the market by working on developing schemes for their Corporate Social duties. In order to do their scheme work successfully, companies need to strongly highlight educate people with their CSR programs. Keeping the research in head, it is of import for the companies to distinguish themselves. The company should besides be cognizant of the cost that involve in the execution of the program. Whether you do it for fiscal grounds or to experience morally good, CSR plans wholly depend on your moralss, both economically and personally.

Marks and Spencer has started their journey to do their concern more sustainable. Over the past decennaries, the company has ne’er been dead. It has been traveling from philanthropic gift to puting in the community to puting in corporate societal duties. In 2007, Plan has proved to be a extremist committedness by concentrating on specific CSR issues and undertaking the sustainability issues.