Corporate social responsibility is an important part of development process in the 21st Century (Horrigan 10). Corporate social responsibility has obtained dominance due to its impact on providing solutions to challenges the global society is facing. Some of the issues tackled include poverty eradication, climate change, promoting universal education and promotion of human rights. Certain companies have taken corporate social responsibility to another level in terms of support. Unfortunately, other companies have done very little in this regard.
TOMS and Starbucks
TOMS is a classical example of a company established on a vision entrenched in corporate social responsibility. TOMS is a company that started operating in 2006 as an individual venture by an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie (Carroll and Buchholtz 43). Blake’s frequent travels to South America led him to discover some of the problems that children from Argentina were facing. One of the problems that the children were facing at that moment was lack of shoes. As a result, these children exposed their feet to harm. Blake saw the need to do something for those children. Consequently, he started TOMS to help solve the problem. The idea of helping children to get shoes opened doors to solving other issues as well. These issues included sight related problems.
2006, the company has grown its operations in over 60 different countries. Working in partnership with humanitarian organizations, TOMS has been able to help over 250,000 people restore their vision in addition to providing shoes. People started to buy shoes in order to take part in supporting the needy (Carroll and Buchholtz 43). In four years, the company had managed to donate at least 400,000 pairs of shoes, a clear indication that the customers had embraced this cause.
Similarly, Starbucks is a company which impact on corporate social activities is noticeable. Existing in over 60 countries across the globe, this company has set the pace for what it means to effect corporate social responsibility. In essence, Starbucks thrives on a vision to elevate the lives of all stakeholders who take time to be part of the company. These stakeholders range from the suppliers, customers, the community and the partners. The goal of Starbucks has been to leave a positive effect in the society through creating positive change.
Consequently, Starbucks has emerged as one of the leading coffee houses in the world. Based on a strong ethical vision, Starbucks has action points that define its corporate social responsibility. It endeavors to reach out to the community, support ethical sourcing and create a clean environment. The company has been able to achieve this through acts of philanthropy, taking part in community development projects and embracing the needs of the society. Each of these acts has made it possible for this company to set up a base in various countries.
Similar to TOMS, this company has been on a steady growth. Essentially, taking part in community development projects and addressing issues that people are facing through corporate social concern, it has opened doors to operation in most nations. These two companies have managed to create a niche in their areas of operation owing to their impact on the society. People, and in this case the customers, find it easy to identify with these companies because they respond to their concerns. It is easy for these companies to market their products. The same way that TOMS has managed to grow rapidly, Starbucks is equally achieving this goal. The presence of TOMS in some remote places of the world makes it able to grow with ease. Likewise, Starbucks is capable of venture into challenging markets through taking part in corporate social activities.
Syngenta, Bayer and BASF
These three companies offer an example of corporations that neglect the role of social responsibility. In essence, these multinationals have been producing toxic substances that have reportedly killed bees and other potential pollinators in the environment. Having acquired the title, “the bee killers” the companies have declined to reduce production due to the profits generated from the proceeds. In addition, the companies have invested in extensive campaigns that provide falsified information about their products. Due to their huge income, the companies have managed to get politicians and lobby groups on their side to state their case at the expense of the environment. However, not all nations have accepted their products. In 2013 for instance, some countries in Europe banned their pesticides from the market.
Comparison of TOMS and Starbucks versus Syngenta, Bayer and BASF
These two case studies give two sides of the same coin. TOMS and Starbucks represent companies driven by a desire to solve social problems. On the contrary, Syngenta, Bayer and BASF represent a set of companies driven by the need to generate income. It is also quite evident that TOMS and Starbucks are companies that are doing very well in the market. Due to the driving vision, their products have carved a niche in the market. People are buying their products driven by a desire to help. In addition, various humanitarian organizations and countries are opening their doors for these companies.
On the contrary, Syngenta, Bayer and BASF lack access to some countries. It is quite challenging because these companies cannot advertise their products with ease due to the sanctions and accusations. In essence, nations and organizations that are conscious about environmental safety are declining to enlist them as potential partners. Their brands suffer in the hands of the potential clients.
Corporate branding is indispensable in a world that is facing a myriad of challenges. It is fundamental for these companies to invest in the community by taking part in social responsibilities (Horrigan 10). Taking part in these activities is a show of concern and a step towards providing solutions. In essence, this interest generates rewards since it helps the company to promote itself by positively positioning its products and services in the market.
Carroll, Archie and Ann Buchholtz. Business and Society: Ethics, Sustainability, andStakeholder Management, California: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Horrigan, Bryan. Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: Debates, Models and Practices Across Government, Law and Business, New Jersey: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010. Print.