Social responsibility involves a wide range of initiatives or platforms. They may take the form of charities and donations to needy institutions, sponsoring specific groups in education, health or otherwise, offering intangible or tangible expertise and designing consumer friendly products. It should be noted that firms consider social responsibility as a marketing tool. The reason for this is that firms get a unique chance to reveal other aspects about their business. Whenever an article talks about a company’s social responsibility efforts, then they must discuss other business aspects related to the company.
Additional social responsibility as a marketing tool sells because the public assumes that the article is neutral. This is in opposition to an advertisement made by a company. People always assume that there when a third party writes about something, then they do so without any inherent biases. (Business respect, 2004) Examples of social responsibility at Proctor and Gamble (P&G) The company under consideration is Proctor and Gamble. P&G has over three hundred brands under its name and markets its products to about five billion consumers found in one hundred and forty countries of the world.
This company is quite ideal in the study of social responsibility because it is considered as one of the most serious corporate citizens in the United States. During the year 2004, Proctor and Gamble was ranked second in the top one hundred Corporate Citizens list. The Business Ethics Magazine compiled this list. Additionally, the company had remained top five over the previous five years before the award. This goes to show that the company has played its part in helping the community enrich their lives. The most outstanding aspect of P&G’s social responsibility activities was their involvement in Turkey.
The latter country had experienced a serious earthquake that left the country devastated. Many people had been affected by the natural disaster; they had lost their property and even their loved ones. Consequently, most of them did not have enough to meet some of their basic needs. P&G took it upon themselves to provide relief supplies to the affected families. The company was instrumental in assisting those families during and after the disaster. The company has major operation in Asian and African countries or third world countries.
P&G realized that a large number of children within those areas have been affected by water borne diseases such as dysentery, cholera and diarrhea. Most of them suffer from these diseases because they lack access to clean water at affordable prices. Proctor and Gamble created a product that would meet this need at a very affordable cost. They created a water purifying product that has transformed the lives of numerous children to-date. The number of children dying every year as a result of those water borne diseases was two million.
However, thanks to P&G’s products, this number has the potential to reduce. Proctor and Gamble’s social responsibility can be witnessed in other areas too. Not only has the company taken part in community initiatives, it has also donated some technical expertise. For instance, in 2000 the company offered patent rights to production of one of its products to the Kansas State University for further research. The company gave the latter university all the patent and intellectual rights to develop smoothies technologies.
The product under consideration was a combination of milk and juice (a smoothie). P&G had invented technologies that would facilitate storage of such a product. However, the company did not have the time to develop this product into a commercial one. Consequently, they gave the Kansas State University the right to develop to improve it and possibly introduce it into the market. (CSR News, 2007) Proctor and Gamble is also quite keen on the nature of products that they introduce into the market. this is important because there is a need to protect the consumer from any potential harm.
The company has taught its employees to respect the rights of the consumer and to ensure that those aspects are incorporated into the company’s manufacturing aspects. For instance, the company always considers the following before introducing a certain substance into the market. • Product safety • Product legality • Social acceptability of the product • Efficiency of the said product • Overall usefulness of the product • Disposability • etc The nature of their products ingredients are designed to promote their overall business mission, which is to ‘enhance life’.
Most of their newest products are normally designed to fit this portfolio for instance; they introduced a drink known as Nutri Star in Venezuela. This drink was fortified in order to correct any nutrient deficiencies found within consumers’ bodies. By introducing such healthy products, the company is embracing the responsibility of taking care of the community. (Baljit, 2007) Lastly, Proctor and gamble have been very careful about how their products affect the environment. The company has been at the forefront of introducing products that can easily be compatible with the environment.
They have placed the issue of sustainability as one of their most important priorities. This is the reason why their packaging is easily disposable. The company also urges its consumers to recycle the non-flammables. Negative aspects about the initiatives While the company has pioneered many examples of good social citizenry, there is still much that can be done to improve this company’s image. For instance, the company needs to increase vigilance on some of its products. It has been in the courts for selling a certain dink that caused health problems to its consumer.
This indicates that the company is not entirely careful about its quality control. Despite all the good that Proctor and Gamble has done in the US and the world, the company’s stands to tarnish its good name if it has to face law suits from consumers. While some of the activities the company has partaken may be solely for the good of the community, others have been committed in order to gain some profits. There are times when such an approach may be appropriate but there are others when it might not.
For instance, when the company introduced a water purification product to third world countries, it should have donated it instead of offering it or sale. Some of the families in Africa do not have enough money to buy food let alone products for purifying their water. These families do not have the luxury of making such long term plans since they live for the day. Proctor and Gamble should have offered a free donation in such countries. (Baljit, 2007) Conclusion P&G is a company that sells its products to over five billion buyers in the world.
This gives them a unique platform to address society’s needs through corporate citizenry. The company has embraced this through making community donations. They include donating relief supplies to earthquake victims in Turkey, creating a water purifying product for families in developed countries and embracing environmental sustainability in product designs. However, the company has faced law suits about some of its products indicating that it can still do something to improve their image. They need to step up their quality control functions.