Sustainable management future - Assignment Example

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Sustainable Management Futures Customer inserts his/her name Customer Inserts Traditionally, the U.K retail supermarkets have been accused of being part of a rat race whereby no concern is shown to those down the supply chain, including the economic and social development of farmers and standards in the labor industry, the conservation of wildlife as well as the road congestions (due to ill planning of retail outlets) and dumping of waste…
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Download file to see previous pages Sustainability, however, attempts to achieve all three elements simultaneously. Sustainability is increasingly becoming popular amongst consumers who are now demanding retailers to adhere to sustainable principles. Further insight reveals that the proportion of ethical consumers has risen over the years in the U.K. To this end, the proportion has risen from 36% in 2004 to 40% in 2007 (Ipsos MORI, 2007). However, a significant factor that hinders ethical purchases is that of price. Increasingly, consumers have suggested that highly sustainable products come at a price premium. Therefore, consumers prefer sustainable products, only if they are not sold at a premium price. John Lewis has incorporated sustainability into every aspect of its operations, particularly its partnerships. The company has a well developed framework for CSR and sustainability under which it operates which includes its compliance with all regulatory measures, the maintenance of a transparent governance structure, keeping all stakeholders on board as well as mitigation of risk. As far as CSR is concerned, there are three major schools of thought. John Lewis applies neither the classical Bowen nor the Friedman view solely. The Bowen’s school states that giving back to the society ought to be the aim of a business’s existence (Bowd et al., 2006). Albert Carr took this view to its extreme by stating that businesses ought to achieve profits at any cost (Bowd et al., 2006).John Lewis does not follow this view since doing so would leave little incentive for running the business; that is, “profits”. The company is certainly not a charity or a non-profit concern; it is very much a profit making entity catering to various product offerings while differentiating itself from its competitors. The other view is Friedman’s view which states that the sole purpose of businesses is to generate profits and that organizations are best run by the interests of its owners (Bowd et al., 2006). Friedman indicated that social responsibility is not the arena of businesses and is the sole domain of the government, NGOs and the individuals. John Lewis does not adhere to Friedman’s principles in isolation because it engages in extensive CSR activities; “green sourcing”, 15% reduction in carbon footprint over 10 years, ? 8.8 million donation to charities to name a few. The perspective followed by John Lewis is the CSR’s theory that has been set in stark contrast to Milton Friedman’s view that the only objective that an organization should have is maximisation of profits. This view states that CSR is best achieved by switching from a purely altruistic view of relationships with stakeholders to one where the CSR activities are tied to organizational performance (Bowd et al., 2006). This is reflected in the stringent long term targets set by John Lewis. For instance, 98% of its current energy consumption is from renewable sources (John Lewis Partnership, 2011). The company has also targeted the elimination of use of non-renewable plastics in packaging along with sustainable interiors in construction by applying ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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