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EU Business Environmental Audit: Adidas Group - Assignment Example

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The researcher of this paper will attempt to detail some of the more important drivers of the various aspects of the EU business environment which have a bearing on the operations of all sportswear and footwear manufacturers operating in Europe. …
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EU Business Environmental Audit: Adidas Group
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Download file to see previous pages According to the study conducted there are several types of environmental audit which companies may carry out, according to the ERM. These span anywhere from a compliance audit (which checks company practice and policy against prevailing legislation) to product or life cycle audit (which determines impact of a product through its stages various stages of development from design to disposal), A business environmental audit is taken to measure up a firm’s internal policies and practices with the mandatory regulations and standards it is expected to meet within the external business environment. This approach, derived from the concept of environmental audit emphasizing detailed policy specification, and that definition of the economic environment of a firm. The business environmental audit therefore expands beyond the ecological scope of the conventional environmental audit, and pursues the broader approach of encompassing the totality of the chosen firm’s business environment. The principal participants in the footwear and sportswear industry, though based in developed countries (Adidas in Germany), all subcontract their manufacturing in emerging third-world countries such as China, the Philippines, Thailand, or Indonesia due to the lower cost of labour. The political conditions in these countries are therefore critical to the risk assessment of the business as they have a strong bearing on the continuity of the production function. In the EU, while national politics may likewise introduce destabilizing factors, the presence of a single market and a single legal framework has reduced much of the uncertainty, thus compliance with the EU standards means that the firm may viably operate in the jurisdiction of all the EU member states, minimizing national political uncertainties. Economic Many of the EU countries are emerging from the economic recession that resulted from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Some are faster than others; for instance, of the principal EU markets, Germany and France are poised to emerge faster than the U.K. The present financial weakness in the less economically stable members (Greece, Spain, etc.) may provide shocks to the single market system, however, since a likely devaluation of the euro will create instabilities in even the stronger economies. In the EU, the three countries with the largest clothing markets in terms of consumer expenditure on outerwear are Germany, the UK and Austria (Gherzi, 2010:110) One policy observed in the EU which was actually conceived as part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations, are the anti-dumping measures. These require exporters to set product prices at a level that fairly exceeds the cost of production, and not to sell the same product domestically at materially higher prices. Socio-Cultural As a result of the mobilisation of consumer organisations, the buying public in many EU countries have become conscious of the need to compel businesses, particularly multinationals, to observe ethical trading practices. Because of the increased vigilance by consumers and the threat to boycott companies that benefit from unethical practice (even though unknowingly), several codes of conduct have been developed by importers. Sometimes, concerted action leads to government rules, such as the SA 8000 (Social Accountability), to which all European firms and their offshore subsidiaries, suppliers and subcontractors must comply (Gherzi, 2010:138). One of the more important concerns raised by consumer groups are that children are likely ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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