Businesses are increasingly revising their corporate philosophies as the old-fashioned conventional ways of operating business are no more enough to bring success to the firms in today’s era of conscious and fully aware consumers and other concerns. State governments, non- profit organizations, health care associations and the general public now expect corporate businesses to serve the society with not only innovative products but with more socially responsible codes of conduct.Socially responsible corporations are taking steps to work in collaborations with the communities they are operating in, investing in the projects with more responsible and ethical ways, developing relationships with customers and employees and adopting policies that are environmentally protective and sustainable. Critiques assess the success of the companies more on socially responsible operating methods and organizations tend to achieve long-term strategic goals by being socially responsible and ethical. Being food supplier, Whole Food Stores are behaving well as socially responsible in its operations and is consistent in taking into account the value of serving humanity along with the business. Whereas, Wall Mart is also a supermarket providing many foods and beverage products but with little social responsibility.
Businesses today need to act participative with its stakeholders for mutually shared benefits of sustainable businesses. The preferable way for such practice is following socially responsible guidelines of operating business. The contribution to saving energy, reducing land waste size and caring about health of consumers are becoming morally obligatory on food products retailers (Attaran, 2007). The present essay will look into success and failure of two different food products retail stores (The Whole Food Stores and Walmart) as per behaving socially responsible.
Whole Food Stores is currently behaving benevolently socially responsible by adding the value of humanity to the operations of the business. The company has evolved its operations’ design in an overall social responsible theme day-to-day operating activities tend to allow all stakeholders benefit from the devised business plan. The Whole Food stores have certain core values which they follow through their business operations exemplifying the initiatives of non-market nature. For instance, the company provides the customers only organic and natural products available for the supply that promotes the benefits of organic food eating and defines the quality of a product regarding freshness, nutrition, and ingredients. “We are buying agents for our customers and not the selling agents for the manufacturers.”
by selling organic food only is expanding the market for organic and natural products that give support to sustainable agriculture. Dealing with only the natural and healthy products empowers production of health- supportive and nutritional products. Besides, the company is contributing to the healthy life on Earth by reducing the land waste through recycling method. Such policies indicate the strength of the company in behaving socially responsible as per environment and nutrition and also is earning a great deal of goodwill by keeping their customers as a prior stakeholder, eventually turning them into advocates for their business.
The Wholefood store enjoys the high recognition of they’re corporate socially responsible performance depicting thorough concern towards the health of the customers and environment. An instance of company’s stewardship in environmental concern is that it bought worth over $4.3 billions’ megawatt hours of energy produced by windmills. One of their distribution center and fourteen of their stores are using solar power, and the company has a commissary kitchen running with biofuel energy that is generated internally from waste cooking oil. The Whole Foods earned certifications for “Leadership in Energy and Environment Design” to twelve of company stores and is participating actively in “green movement” that shows high concerns for social responsibility.
Wall Mart is one of the world’s largest companies, leading its competitors successfully at the top in generating revenue. Despite all its economic success, Wall Mart is not considered successful as per corporate social responsibility performance. Over the history, the company has demonstrated little concern with the social welfare and benefits of the stakeholders (Dauvergne, & Lister, 2012)
News stories have been appearing on protests by Walmart employees. Suppliers of Walmart have also been complaining of being dented by the company and forced out of the contracts by the company. According to Michelle Chen (2015) “Walmart’s sustainability record is anything but ethical” She further reported that agricultural subsidies back all the price tags on food products in Walmart, exchanges of commodities on the financialized basis and overblown marketing. What was the real cost of the products sold at lower prices at Walmart the “Food Chain Workers Alliance” tracked down the supply chain to investigate “violations” against “ethical sourcing.”
Walmart faced a huge amount of public pressure on ethical issues and resultantly came up with guidelines for sustainable and ethical sourcing pledging that all associated suppliers and outlets must be complying with laws and regulations applicable on health and safety, environment and labor. Though the company in the past decade has demonstrated much positive behavior from the perspective of social responsibility, it is still lagging in many ways on sustainability. Especially, on climate change which is a most crucial environmental issue, Walmart has hardly made some progress (Coote, 2006). Even after promising in 2010, elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, the company’ s stores and fleet emitted huge amounts of greenhouse gases in 2012. Overall, as per sustainable approach towards climate change, Walmart has failed to set scientifically achievable targets.
Compared to The Whole Food Stores, Walmart is way behind in building a reputable image of sustainable business in the market as it is moving too slowly towards its social responsibility goals such as buying 100% renewable energy and controlling greenhouse gases emissions. Efficient ways of renewable energy use and positive contributions to environmental sustainability by The Whole Food Store are quite advisable practices to adopt by retail food stores such as Walmart.
Kannel, C. (2012). Corporate Responsibility Spotlight: Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool. Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/09/14/corporate-responsibility-spotlight-whole-foods-ma.aspx
Chen, M. (2015). Here Are All the Reasons Walmart’s Business Is Not Sustainable. The Nation. Retrieved https://www.thenation.com/article/here-are-all-reasons-walmarts-business-not-sustainable/ from
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Dauvergne, P., & Lister, J. (2012). Big brand sustainability: Governance prospects and environmental limits. Global Environmental Change, 22(1), 36-45.
Coote, A. (2006). What health services could do about climate change: They must embrace sustainable development and reduce their ecological footprints. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 332(7554), 1343.