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your task is to review the behaviours, actions and communications of one of the companies listed below of your choice:
1. Woodside Petroleum
2. Dow Chemical Company
4. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE
8. HSBC Holdings In your own words: l Examine and critique one or two aspects of the company’s social performance with regards to fulfilling society’s expectations on how the company should operate its business. You can look at a company’s performance in regards to the environment, equality, employment, community development, health and human rights, just to name a few options. Highlight both areas of achievement and those requiring improvement. If you choose to look at two aspects, focus on one positive and one negative, to allow enough depth in your writing. l Examine and discuss the impact and implications of the company’s actions on society and stakeholders. l Provide your conclusions about the company’s performance in society, based on the information you provide in your paper.
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The awareness among consumers regarding sustainability of products and services has enabled to focus on social performances of the companies. Social performance of a business is determined by many aspects which may be negative as well as positive (Watson 2011). Tesla is a company that creates efficient electric cars. It is one of its kind automobile companies. Like every company Tesla is also under immense pressure to perform its function within the perspectives of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) norms. The aim of this essay is to analyse the social performance of Tesla using ethical practices and environmental practices. The essay will first of all highlight the major aspects of a socially responsible behaviour by connecting it with Tesla. After this the discussion will move on to analysing the position of Tesla in performing it functions in environmental friendly manner and also discussing the ethical policies of the company. It will enable to understand the different cases that are against and for Tesla. On the basis of this analysis the essay will finally suggest how Tesla still has a scope to improve its social performance due to lack of ethical practices in its performance. Of all the social performance factors provided by various scholars such as equality, employment, environment, health and human rights, community development, ethical practices, etc. two are chose for this purpose that are environment and ethical practices (Bond 2015).
Tesla’s stance: Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is identified as a behaviour that tends to actively reduce the fatal consequences for the stakeholders by linking socially responsible behaviour with profits of the company (Boons and Freund 2013). In this manner CSR is the aspect that enables companies to earn profit but not by overlooking benefits of stakeholders of the business. Tesla takes very strong stand towards CSR practices by using aluminium to build their cars. As a matter of fact aluminium is expensive than steel or plastic but it can be recycled 100%. This suggests that the business practices of the company are such that they are not profit centric rather environmentally responsible. The company also uses non-toxic batteries with no rare earth usage in building cars. This enables to cut noise pollution to a very great extent (Vaaland, Heide and Gronhaug 2008). The models of cars permits easy exist of the occupants in case of accidents or burnings. It is also argued that Tesla has taken CSR to a new level by depicting technological responsibility. The triple bottom line that is people, planet and profit are taken into consideration by Tesla to a very great extent (Walker 2014). The mission, vision and objectives of Tesla clearly talk about sustainability practices and it is widely known that Tesla’s concern has always been its stakeholder’s benefits. In this manner Corporate social Responsibility is given very much importance in Tesla.
Case for Tesla
Concerns for environment and practices of Tesla
Tesla Motors that is a manufacturer of electric cars has gained much popularity for its strong stand on environmental concern. The company is not only reducing pollution due to its electric mode but there are various unique features about the design of the cars (Shuh Lii 2011). The most significant factor here to consider is that Tesla Motors has received ‘Environmental leadership ‘ award from Global Green USA (Tesla 2010). The President of Global Green USA Mikhial Gorbachdev recognised the company for its innovative usage of sustainable product design (Corey, Corey and Callahan 2011). They said that the company has followed triple bottom line practices significantly and due to that it deserves this appreciation. The company has launched the world’s first all –electric car Roadster. The cars are lithium –ion battery powered. This design is very sustainable and safe for people as well as the environment. Due to the fact that car will not use fuel it is very eco-friendly. Most of the car manufacturing companies are producing cars that run on non-renewable fuels (Robin 2013). These fuels when burn cause emission of very harmful gases in the environment. These poisonous gases are deteriorating the health of plants, trees, animals and human beings. Due to that pollution has increased to a very great extent and thus all the biotic and abiotic beings are getting affected. But Tesla is an environmentally responsible company that has spent so much in studying the factors that affect environment. It is estimated that the company has spent over $ 5 million to research and investigate the adverse effects of fuels on environment and thus it came up with electric cars.
As a matter of fact the company spends $10 million more than other car companies to make sure that their cars are sustainable. The cars that Tesla produces are environment friendly s well as customer friendly. It has capability to go from 0 to 60mph just in four seconds. The CEO of Tesla said that their biggest concern of all time is resource depletion and sustainability. They were always determined to bring something that is alternative to fossil fuels and thus their cars are environmental friendly (Grint 2005). Tesla Motors is very particular about their policies and practices and thus they stick to the US regulations on environment. At the same time the cars of Tesla Motors are FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) certified. Tesla cars are playing very vital role in reducing C02 emission into the environment. The environmental footprints of Tesla are also lesser than other car manufacturing companies. The CEO exclaimed that an average gasoline car produces about 14,000 grammes of Co2 per 100 kilometers while an electric car only produces 8000 grammes of Co2 per 100 kilometers (Cote 2012). This means that Tesla cars are environment friendly in all the aspects. There are no evidences that suggest that the company is not operating with environmentally friendly aspects and due to that it is true that the company is running its business exactly according to the guidelines laid down in its vision and mission statements. The business practices of Tesla are socially responsible when it comes to environment aspects. The company fulfils all the criteria that make a business socially responsible in terms of environment policies.
Case against Tesla
Fatal crash and Tesla’s stand on ethics
Besides being very concerned about environment and stakeholders there is some gap in policies and practices of the company. Ethics is something that helps in distinguishing right from wrong. It also helps to decide the morally acceptable behaviour (Karna and Hansen 2003). There is a case that questions the ethical stance of Tesla. This case is about a crash that resulted into death of occupant (Fortune 2016).This is the case of first recorded crash involving Model S sedan with the use of autonomous driving technology. In this case along with Tesla, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is also held responsible for unethical behaviour. The case suggests that Tesla and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) have not disclosed the accident for around 8 weeks. The reason behind not disclosing the accident is to prevent the goodwill of the company from getting damaged (Robin 2013). But this is not socially acceptable behaviour. The company did not disclose a most significant fact about the crash that the man who died was using auto-pilot technology. Tesla has marketed this auto pilot technology very rigorously by asserting that it is very important and safe for its customers. The company knew about this accident when it sold its $2B stock. The accident took the life of a 40 years old man who crushed with a tractor. Later on the company protected itself by saying that the driving assist feature is not to be used as a fully autonomous vehicle technology. In this manner the company does not have strict ethical practices. Even after a death the company was concerned about its goodwill and not about the safety of people (Grint 2005). This case proved to be very fatal for the image of the company and raised many question marks on the ethical policies of the business.
The above analysis on Tesla’s socially responsible behaviour suggests that at one side the company is very concerned about environment but its ethical policies are quite weak. Many stakeholders now argue that the company is saying something else and practicing something else. After the accident a number of people restrict themselves from trusting the business practices. This also resulted into reducing the stock of the company. Even after so many efforts for making a sustainable design and sustainable practices just a single point that is ethics has affected the company’s goodwill negatively. This suggests that Tesla needs to work on its ethical practices to make them stronger. It shall keep the safety and security of the stakeholders first rather than its image and profitability. After the company will address this issue it will definitely be a company that will be socially responsible in all the aspects. At present the company needs to make some improvement in ethical practices by taking a lesson from this incident. The company shall admit its fault and assure stakeholders that this will not happen again in future.
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