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In the modern era, a large number of consumers are well versed when it comes to ethical values of a product and services. Organizations globally have a social responsibility and understand how influential their stakeholders are to impact on the company’s business. The fundamental objective of global corporate citizenship is to encourage and promote environmental sustainability, implement ethical business systems, perform social welfare programs, educate the stakeholders about climate change, energy conservation, scarce resources management, public health care initiatives, Non-GMO, etc.
Global corporate citizenship is the recognition of society and global consumers. It is based on the notion that organizations are not only associated with their stakeholders but are themselves important stakeholders that also includes governments, community, and civil society, etc. Any business organization has a big responsibility to play in uplifting the global society (Foreign Affairs.com). Given below are the three strategies that could enable an organization success in maintaining or achieving an ethical balance in the international marketplace:
Environmental Protection of Business Activities
The first integral component of maintaining an ethical balance in the marketplace is the promotion and implementation of environmentally friendly practices to promote good corporate citizenship. The organization must comply and follow environmentally protection rules, laws, and regulations to safeguard our environment. Companies should avoid producing pollution and reduce the harmful effects by taking practical steps such as green initiatives and planting trees etc. Organizations should promote eco-friendly practices that would enable sustainability and will not harm our environment. Green initiatives, recycling systems, reduce noise pollution, energy-efficient activities, useful power consumption, water management, waste management, etc.
For example, PepsiCo was able to reduce its overall water usage by 26%, which exceeded its initial goal of 20% (Hardcastle.com, 2016). They were able to do this by increasing efficiencies and implementing new technologies but also PepsiCo facilities capture and use rainwater through harvesting and evaporation techniques. To help conserve even more water, PepsiCo also works with its suppliers to help them to use less water and operate more efficiently. The water conservation tactics have saved the company more than $80 million but also along with its more comprehensive environmental sustainability program (which are energy, packaging, and waste reduction initiatives), has provided over $600 million in cost savings. (Hardcastle.com,2016).
Employee Ethical Standards Implementation
Companies operating within countries that use a younger labor force or follow less stringent ethical standards regarding their employees’ overall treatment and hours worked should be put into a collaborative role with their parent companies. The collaboration would encourage mutual understanding on both sides when it comes to the welfare of the workers being used and understanding the differences between both countries knowledge of the ethical treatment of their employees.
Furthermore, it is crucial to ensure that the organization doesn’t directly or indirectly participate with child labor in an unethical capacity, whether that be being underpaid or overworked. The statement extends to dealing with any third-party that implements child labor. These third-party contracts should regularly maintain a fair and balanced workplace for their employees. It would require a commitment to following fundamental human rights that not only extend that country’s laws but also supporting standard employee rights. There is difficulty to ascertain precisely what wages are considered “fair” in the book following the example of Nike’s laborers in Asian countries. Their salaries which would be regarded as poverty levels in the U.S are considered the middle class. If they were to increase those wages could create a wealth disparity in the country. (Macguill. Dan, 2018)
Customer Ethical Protection
Organizations have an ethical responsibility to protect their customers and should respect and value the fundamental rights of consumers. The organizations need to adopt ethical and moral values in ways to support and protect the individual rights of consumers, protection of privacy, and surrounding communities, and by avoiding relationships or any kind of association that violate human beings rights to health, safety, education, and a satisfactory standard of living” (Donaldson.com, 1996). An example of how a company can ethically protect their customers is the food industry. By giving customers the knowledge about the effects of Genetically Modified (GM) foods, they provide them with the ability to make an informed decision for themselves. This not only protects the customers but the company’s credibility.
Business activities or practices need to be suspended or discontinued with a drastic decision-making process by the leadership if the organization is violating ethical standards internationally. For example, In 2010, Google shut down or discontinued its Chinese search engine because of content-related problems, and it could not delete any content of the Chinese version or transcription in its search engine as well as with censorship issues. It is incredibly challenging for an organization to abandon its operations when it comes to ethical issues, but it is necessary to earn consumers respect and loyalty. If a company faces such challenges, the management should strictly adhere to the rules and regulations and follow the moral code of conduct framework to guide them in making ethical decisions (TheAtlantic.com, 2016).
- Schwab, K. (2018, January 29). Global Corporate Citizenship. Retrieved from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/-/global-corporate-citizenship
- Donaldson, T. (1996). Values in Tension: Ethics Away from Home. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/1996/09/values-in-tension-ethics-away-from-home
- Hardcastle, J. L. (2016, December 06). How PepsiCo Saved $80 Million by Cutting Water Use 26%. Retrieved from https://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/09/how-pepsico-saved-80-million-by-cutting-water-use-26/
- Macguill, Dan (2018, September 7). Nike Factory Workers in Vietnam Earn 20 Cents Per Hour. Retrieved from
- Waddell, K. (2016, January 19). Why Google Quit China-and Why It’s Heading Back. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/why-google-quit-china-and-why-its-heading-back/424482/
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