Ethics are the morality of human to distinguish between the right or the wrong and making the right choices. It is a behaviour that promotes good values in humanity such as maintaining right relationships, being authentic as an individual and having the courage of doing the right things is right, instead of doing things right (The Ethics Centre, n.d.). Social responsibility is the civic duty of an individual to benefit the society as a whole in a way that the welfare of the society is concerned and the environment is not harmed (Pachamama Alliance, n.d.). A business can be ethically and socially responsible when its business is operated in a business route without confidential which transparency is achieved, promoting business with environmental-friendly activities which environmental awareness of the public is achieved and establishing non-profit business activities to give back to the society.
Definitions of Ethics and Social Responsibility (ESR) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (*** personal stands and opinios should be added)
Ethics are moral principles or values that manage the conduct of an individual or a group. Ethical behaviour is the thing that all profession individuals should mean to have. It is not a burden to bear, yet a judicious and viable guide which encourages life and achievement. Besides, ethics characterize individual character and refer to the beliefs that a person practices when he interacts with individual and social relationships. The conduct exhibited by the individual in social practices gives a right assessment of his moral.
Social responsibility means that individuals and companies have a duty to act in the best interests of their environments and society as a whole. For instance, some investors utilize a company’s social responsibility, as an investment criterion. As such, a dedication to social responsibility can really transform into profits, as the thought motivates investors to invest and consumers to purchase goods and services from the company. Overall, social responsibility helps companies to create a good reputation.
Corporate social responsibility is the incentive of the company to be responsible for its actions that affects the environment and the social well-being. Corporate social responsibility is generally used to describe the efforts that exceed the expectations of regulators or environmental protection groups. Corporate social responsibility is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperative as well as the expectation of the stakeholders and shareholders.
Ways in which businesses can be ethically and socially responsible
Businesses can be ethically and socially responsible by increasing the degree of transparency. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, transparency in terms of business means a condition in which business and financial activities are completed in an open route without confidential so that consumers are able to believe that business is operated fairly and honestly. As the degree of transparency of a business increase, the confidence of the consumers towards the business will also increase. For instance, Canada’s McDonald’s launched a campaign named “Our food. Your questions” in 2014. This campaign gives chance for customers to ask questions about the company publicly. It gives McDonald’s the opportunity to banish bad rumours about their ingredients used in the food (Milbrath, 2016). The company uploaded a series of videos about how their food and ingredients were processed in the factory on Youtube to answer all of the customers’ questions. This clearly shows how a business is ethically and socially responsible towards the customers through transparency. Besides, a business can be ethically and socially responsible for employees through transparency too. When a business’s transparency is high, the employees will securely feel while working in the company. They can worry less about losing their jobs suddenly as the business’s activities are projected clearly to them. With this, employees will be happier working under less stress environment which will not make them stressful and depressing. This can help the society to reduce the rate of social problems like committing suicide and crimes. These practices have implemented the Kantian Ethics as the disclosure of actual information validates the principle which it is wrong to tell lies. Hence, a business will be considered ethically and socially responsible by increasing their degree of transparency.
Businesses can be ethically and socially responsible by promoting environmental awareness. Businesses will be reputed as an important central force of economic development in a country not only because it leads the growth of GDP in a country but also has a huge responsibility to protect the environment. However most of the entrepreneurs on nowadays more tend to get greater profits rather than thinking over that their products may be brought harmful effects to the environment and lack awareness of environmental. Harmful effects that might bring businesses to the environment include air pollution, water pollution, land pollution and excesses of plastic bags. Thus, in order to fulfil business ethics and social responsibility, entrepreneurs should advocate some environmental friendly activities like “Go Green to Environment” and “Recycling” so as to enhance customer’s environmental awareness because everyone is responsible for protecting the environment and the Earth. For instance, Tesco designs an eco-bag with a slogan of “The Natural Green Bag” to all of its customers in order to reduce the usage of plastic bags. While H&M starts to collect all the unwanted or wear out garments from its customers in 2013 in order to practice 3R which are the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The company distributes worldwide clothes that can be worn again, converts textiles that are no longer suitable to wear into other products like cleaning cloths and spun garments that can get a new chance as textile fibres into yarn. Besides that, entrepreneurs could reduce pollution by preferring the use of new energy rather than the use of fossil fuel, adding filter treatment in the drainage pipes and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers. For example, the mission statement of Patagonia is: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis (Robins,2017) and Google recommends “Google Green” which is a corporate effort to use resources efficiently and support renewable power (Moreno,2015).These activities implemented ethics of care which business care for the relationship between them and the nature. In short, businesses play an important role to promote environmental protection in order to fulfil their ethically and socially responsible.
Giving back to the community
Businesses can be ethically and socially responsible by giving back to the community. People nowadays prefer to work in a company associated with positive activities which related to the society. For example, the famous elephant pants business in Thailand is ethical as the company will donate one dollar of each product sold to the official organization which role is to save elephants from extinction. Therefore, workers are willing to be paid twice the fewest wage (driver, 2017). Besides that, entrepreneurs donate money to alma mater is the simplest way of showing they are responsible towards the society. Entrepreneurs could sponsor free or cheaper foods and beverages during school event such as sports day. As some of the students have talents in sports activities, entrepreneurs can provide opportunities by cultivating them to be a team of athletes. This is because education develops us as a successful person and we are responsible to provide a better education to our next generation when we have the ability and capability. Nowadays, economics issues increased costs of living so does the tuition fees in college or university is getting more expensive compared to previous. Entrepreneurs can use a part of the businesses’ profit to offer a scholarship to those students with excellent academic performances as financial aids to their parents. Entrepreneurs can also establish the fundraising program to help and give an opportunity to further their education. The fundraising activities can be charity walk, marathon, bike, and others. Employers should be the leaders to encourage workers to take part in the charity programs such as charity walk, run, bike, and others. As a leader, entrepreneurs should join and lead the whole team of employees to participate in these meaningful activities. One of the well-known charity programs is 30 Hours Famine. It requires participants to raise fund and hunger for 30 hours. This program not only doing charity, it also improves the relationship between employers and workers. In addition, salons are one of the businesses which can be ethically and socially responsible. For instance, if you are doing salon businesses, you can provide free cut services for those who are willing to involve in the hair donation program. Entrepreneurs can also bring along their workers to the old folk home and orphanage to provide free cut services. These examples showed the Confucian Ethics whereas the equilibrium among righteousness and profits must be achieved to seek a balance in managing businesses and helping people. In sum, businesses can be ethically and socially responsible by giving back to the community.
In conclusion, corporate social responsibility is crucial for businesses to be ethically and socially responsible. It has shown that corporate social responsibilities programs such donations, sponsorships, educations, fund-raising programs and charity programs are accounted to shape a business that to being ethically and socially responsible. Besides, environmental-friendly practices should be implemented during the manufacturing, marketing and operating process to raise the environmental awareness of every individual. Businesses are responsible for the prosperity and welfare of the society by finding a balance between profit and responsibilities.