For so long, businesses tend to overlook the repercussions of their actions. They are so focused at maximizing the potential profits and minimizing the costs that the negative environmental, economic and social impacts of their operations are not considered. Nowadays, in an era wherein citizens are looking at the morals of companies, CSR or corporate social responsibility initiatives are the new trend regarding business ethics. Companies set up foundations and the like to create and implement CSR programs to show that they are also concerned about our society and the world that we live in.
The reports on corporate social responsibility by Hewlett Packard and Toshiba are the ones that are going to be looked at in this paper. Both reports are remarkable but I am more impressed with Toshiba’s report. HP’s report has provided an easier way of understanding and locating the key and relevant information needed than Toshiba’s report but Toshiba has provided greater amount of details in the firm’s initiatives and the issues are covered more effectively than HP’s.
The reports have shown a great deal of presenting their performance on issues relating to the environment, economy, and society as specific details of their programs towards these areas are also shown in the report allowing an assessment of these. I trust the reports of these two companies because it would be unethical to make fraudulent claims on ethical reports. It would be a big backlash on the company’s integrity and honesty. The report of HP has not presented details as to whether it is audited but independent parties or not.
On the other hand, Toshiba’s report is audited by Shinnihon Integrity Assurance Inc. (SIAI) as to the compliance of the report to fundamental provisions of AA 1000 relating to the firm’s accountability to its stakeholders and if the report is put together based on the GRI Guidelines requirement. (www. corporateregister. com). Toshiba also presented the eco-efficiency report done by Shin Nihon Environmental Management and Quality Research Institute Co. , Ltd. so that an impartial and reliable report is assured (www. corporateregister. com).
International standards and codes are becoming more popular nowadays due to their CSR nature. These standards are aimed at promoting environmentally and socially aware companies the guidelines presented in them. Toshiba has received certification for ISO 9000 and 14000-series. Currently, they are working into adopting the ISO 9001 or the certification on quality management system and implementing the ISO 14001 or the certification on environmental management system (www. corporateregister. com).
They have been guided by the principles of the UN Global Impact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, and have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) which is geared towards socially accountable investing (www. corporateregister. com). On the other hand, HP has implemented the standards from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC) Guidelines which are aimed at protecting the confidentiality and transfer of personal information from customer and employees as these are increasingly becoming a problem in the information technology industry (www.
hp. com). They have also been guided by the principles of the UN Global Impact (www. hp. com). The initiatives are consistent with the core competencies of the firms because they are not just geared towards external works such as donations etc. They also focused on the internal aspects of their company like requiring their suppliers to adhere to CSR programs or that they use a system wherein they would be able to collect and recycle their used products from customers.
These would give them an upper hand than their competitors who are not implementing CSR internally. These also became consistent with the company’s core values because of its orientation at improving the standards and code of conduct with the firm’s premises. Applying CSR internally in the company’s operation is a remarkable thing. This is because it bears cost that could mean a decrease in the firm’s profits than is expected. Whereas if the company would just donate, the amount of money that they will give is already fixed.
For example, $10 million is allotted to the recycling program of the company but due to unforeseen events like unexpected cost for implementing the program it bloated to $100 million. Whereas if they had just donated the $10 million, they would not have incurred additional cost and their operation not jeopardized. I would say that HP should include the international standards certifications and benchmarks that their company has on their CSR report. They should also get a third party point of view with regards to the auditing of their report to show the transparency in their report.
As for Toshiba, I would say that they should not clutter too much information to their CSR report. They should only include those that are relevant to which is related to the CSR initiatives of the company. They should also get more independent auditing. Although they have third party perspectives for their AA 1000 and their eco-efficiency, there are still other international standards or benchmark claims in the report that needs to be audited and certified true by pertinent authority.
Courtney from Study Moose
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