Unit Title: Communications in Business 100 Essay Title:Corporate Environmental Responsibility: A review of environmental contribution of IKEA Introduction of business vision of IKEA Nowadays the market competition is very intense. In order to maximize the profit and market share, sometimes companies might make some of the destructions in our society or even pollute the environment. With the people’s level of education is rising, people start to concern more about the problem of health, environmental protection, and also sustainable development, there are stricter laws for companies to obey.
IKEA is the largest Sweden-based furniture maker in the world (Swedish Retailer 2012), and the vision is to create a better life for its customers (IKEA business idea 2012). This essay analyses how the company action impact particular stakeholders in positive and negative way. IKEA, the negative impact on the environment It is difficult to imagine how IKEA directly affecting the environment, but actually IKEA is influencing the environment in an indirectly way. Firstly, the best known business activity of IKEA is the IKEA catalog.
IKEA has published around 2 million copies in 30 languages and 59 editions that are more than 20 times the population of Sweden also double the number of the Holy Bible (Reality Catalog 2012). However, in the bleached pulp process, the manufacture is required to use chlorine to bleach wood pulp; it combines with wood resins and organic substances to form a host of carcinogenic and mutation-causing byproducts (Chlorine-Free Paper 1992). Furthermore, the most harmful part of the process is paper production.
Breaking down wood fiber to make paper consumes a lot of energy, which in many cases comes from coal plants (The Hidden Life of Paper 2006). Although IKEA has used chlorine-free paper, it will still have a certain degree of pollution. Such as releasing carbon dioxide when we felling the trees, it will step-by-step to destroy forests. Thus, affecting the ecological environment. In addition, when customers finish their purchase or a new catalog is published, people no longer need the old catalog. That causes a formation of large amount of garbage.
With the network is growing and popularity, IKEA do not need to devote a lot resources in producing the catalog, no matter in money or natural resource aspect. Compared with the B&Q, which is a family and gardening materials chain store, provides detailed information of their products in their website, therefore customers can easily find what they want (B&Q 2012). In my opinion, IKEA should allocate their resources and develop an online catalog like B&Q, and furthermore provides Smartphone application which is even more convenient for customers.
It is not only saving money but also environmental friendly due to reduction in using paper, this helps build a positive corporative image. IKEA, the negative impact on the environment (cont. ) The other cause is with the rapid development of IKEA comes air pollution problem due to heavy logistics. IKEA shopping mall often requires a large area of ?? land and always set up in a residential area. Therefore, acquisition of land is inevitable for IKEA and it will lead to fewer public space such as City Park (In New Rochelle 2001).
Acquisition activities is affecting particular stakeholder seriously, especially for the local residents. Once the store opened, the whole town will change. Shoppers would transform and scar a quiet neighborhood possessed of a battered industrial charm. (Brooklyn Neighbors 2008). Moreover, to construct such a big-box store, there is no doubt that it will increase the burden on the traffic cause traffic congestion and air pollution. According to the IKEA’s logistic data, there are 70,000 weekly vehicle trips in and out the development, and most of that traffic will be for the Swedish furniture store.
(Somerville Community Group 2003). At the same time, production of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide increases substantially, and it will bring health problems for local residents. Bear the brunt is the child, some journal has mentioned that, driving a car does put children at risk, the problem is not from car crashes, but from dirty air. Also some studies have shown that inhaling polluted air can cause children respiratory tract infections, asthma episodes and cancer (Air pollution 1997).
A logistic problem caused by the big-box store is inevitable, but IKEA can still improve this issue by provide multiple driving entrance and free shuttle bus services, which not only ameliorate the traffic problem but also the emissions. Although it may cost some cost, but for long term it could become a very powerful factor to maintain the corporate image. IKEA, the positive impact on the environment We can found that sustainable development is one of the most important purposes for IKEA in their official website.
They use raw materials, water and energy carefully, and minimize waste, also responsible to invest in renewable energy and energy-efficient technology to help tackle climate change and lessen our impact (IKEA 2012). Honestly, we can see that IKEA has really put a lot of effort in environmental protection work. In 2006, American Forests collaborated with IKEA to ask IKEA shoppers to donate one dollar to plant a tree. And up to now, IKEA and American Forests planted approximately 300,000 trees in the U. S.
That is enough to cancel out 100,000 tons of CO2 pollution over the next 40 years. The contribution of IKEA is recognized by society and it was awarded for the best in environmental innovation and effectiveness (IKEA and American Forests 2006). IKEA not merely protect the environment directly, but also indirectly influence the public to build awareness of environmental protection. In 2006 March 15, IKEA no longer offers customers free plastic bags, every plastic bags in U. S store will charge 5 cents.
At the same time, in order to help alter customer behavior and endorse environmentally responsible habits, IKEA will be selling its iconic reusable ‘Big Blue Bag’ for 59 cents, a cost that has been reduced from 99 cents (Stop Plastic Bag Waste 2007). Firstly, the planting activities is a direct help to the nature, for example it removes excess amounts of carbon dioxide and air pollutants present in the atmosphere, such as sulfur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen oxide. Trees generate oxygen that is an essential element for us to live. Secondly, trees helps controlling the climate (Advantages of Planting 2011).
Also IKEA can take this activity to fulfill their social responsibilities, thereby to reducing the pressure from the social media. Thirdly, IKEA is one of the largest corporations in the world, it has a decisive influence. Once they stop providing free plastic bags and suggest customer to use recycle bags, it might affect other company to follow. This action can influence a wide range of stakeholder, such as changing people shopping behavior; they may have an awareness to use less plastic bag or improve their sense of energy conservation. Also it is good for the company themselves, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.
S. consumes over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps each year. Thus it can be seen free plastic bags is a huge expenses for the company (Stop Plastic Bag Waste 2007). Personal view analysis In my opinion, I hesitate to agree with the views of the business of business is business, but the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. To be directed against with the business of business is business, if a company only focus on making profit, that company will then cannot maintain a long-term success. It is because every company or product has its own life cycle.
Perhaps the company can achieve their profit goals at the first stage, but if they don’t contribute any to the community, customers will no longer have loyalty to the company. In contrary, I agree more with the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. Although the company cannot see an immediate result, but it is still a powerful tool to build up or maintain corporate image. Through social responsibility, companies are able to create another peak of life cycle, thus to maximize profit and let the customer recall of the brand all the time. The conclusion of IKEA
In conclude, a great business must have a good self-monitoring system and a clear understanding of the demands of the community. Altogether IKEA is a responsible company; they have a very clean and detailed sustainable development direction that based on their pass action and behavior. In the past case we can see that, IKEA has a quick reaction to dispatch senior staffs to negotiate with unions, even an individual. Also they actively involved in environmental work such as tree planting activities, stop providing plastic bag and use of solar panels (use of solar energy).
Without end, IKEA has been nominated to Business Week’s List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) and for four consecutive years. Working Mother Magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers (Stop Plastic Bag Waste 2007). These evidences show that IKEA has committed to tight with the social contract and keep listening and cooperating to the public. This is what IKEA have done better than other company. Reference: Grillo, Thomas. 2003. “Somerville Community Group Sues to Block Ikea Plan Increased Traffic, Pollution Feared if Store is Built. ” Boston Globe, Mar 18, 3-C. 3. http://search.
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“The Hidden Life of Paper and its Impact on the Environment. ” New York Times, Oct 25, 0-C. 3. http://search. proquest. com/docview/433411768? accountid=10382; ——————————————————————————————————- West, Debra. 2001. “In New Rochelle, Ikea Finds itself in a Fight with Sophisticated and Highly Organized Opponents. ” New York Times, Jan 21, 0-WC. 1. http://search. proquest. com/docview/431666358? accountid=10382; Reference: Grillo, Thomas. 2003. “Somerville Community Group Sues to Block Ikea Plan Increased Traffic, Pollution Feared if Store is Built.
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‘Bag the Plastic Bag’ Initiative Asks Customers to Stop Plastic Bag Waste; Starting March 15th all IKEA U. S. Stores Will Charge Five Cents for Plastic Bags and Endorse Purchase of Reusable ‘Big Blue’ IKEA Bag. ” 2007. PR Newswire, Feb 20, 0-n/a. http://search. proquest. com/docview/448655375? accountid=10382; Shamsan, Dabwan Saeed. 2011. “The Advantages of Planting Trees. ” Yemen Times, Feb 28. http://search. proquest. com/docview/854070432? accountid=10382; Cardwell, Diane. 2012. “Chain Stores Said to Lead Firms in use of Sun Power. ” New York Times, Sep 12, B. 3. http://search. proquest. com/docview/1039005675? accountid=10382;