Business Ethics and CSR Assignment

This assignment involves imagining yourself in this situation: You are a Senior Partner in a large, well-respected global consulting firm that has been in business for many years. In fact, you were one of the founding partners of the firm when it was established long ago. You and your team of consultants work with senior management teams on corporate strategy, overcoming challenges a company is facing, and helping companies identify and pursue new business opportunities. At this point in your career, senior executives of some of the world’s largest companies seek you out and engage your firm for guidance.
Salus Corporation is one of these companies. You have known the new CEO for several years. He has hired your firm to consult on a plan for reinvigorating his company. You will lead your firm’s consulting team in this new engagement. Your Final Paper is the guidance you will provide to Salus Corporation. (You can skip ahead to read about Salus Corporation’s situation now if you would like. Remember to come back and continue reading from here.)
In preparing this paper, you will apply what you have learned in the course. The purpose of this assignment is to help you synthesize what you have learned and further your learning by applying it in a specific scenario.

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● Demonstrate your knowledge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and make the business case for it.
● Identify and assess the potential impact of social, economic and environmental issues and opportunities over time on a specific business.
● Demonstrate your ability to differentiate the roles played by business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments with respect to CSR. Anticipate the interactions among these groups related to a specific CSR opportunity or issue.

You are to demonstrate your understanding of concepts from the course by applying them accurately in your consulting work with Salus Corporation. Defining concepts is insufficient. You must:
1) identify the root causes of the company’s issues
2) explain what the company needs to do; give prioritized recommendations
3) state the expected outcomes from your recommendations
4) identify the potential risks in your recommended actions

You are to help your client understand the concepts from the course that you are using, how they are relevant to the client company and its goals, and the specific actions the company should take. Concepts from the class are to be integrated into a cohesive strategy for the client company, not simply listed as a series of objectives or actions. We have covered a wide variety of concepts in the course.

These are the concepts you are required to address in your paper:
1. Stakeholders
2. Life cycle assessment
3. Competitive advantage
4. License to operate
5. Creating shared value
6. Partnering for CSR
7. Extended producer responsibility
8. Circular economy

YOUR CLIENT: SALUS CORPORATION Salus is a multinational firm that manufacturers cosmetics, first aid products, vitamins and supplements, shampoos, soaps, laundry detergents and other cleaning products as well as tea, coffee, soups, sauces, and other packaged foods. It is a publicly held corporation headquartered in Chicago and it has 140,000 employees around the world. The long-time CEO of Salus retired last year. The new CEO is Anthony Abelson. He was hired from outside the company and has extensive experience in business-to-consumer(These are firms that sell to consumers as opposed to other businesses) companies.
While still very profitable, Salus has been in slow decline for the last decade. The company’s products are sold primarily through retail stores and Salus has felt some of the pain that retailers have experienced as a result of the growth of e-commerce. Many Salus products are available through online retailers and sales via that channel are growing but only slowly. In addition, competitors have proliferated. A few of these are young companies that sell directly to consumers via the web as opposed to selling through online retailers or brick and mortar physical stores.
Abelson, in his last executive role at another company, experienced the positive impact of a balanced business philosophy – one that considers more than just financial performance. In his last company, corporate strategy took into account financial, environmental, and social performance. The company is quite successful and attributes this to its corporate philosophy that guides its actions as a responsible company.
Abelson is determined to improve Salus’s performance financially, socially and environmentally. He feels there is a unique opportunity at this point for the firm to go through a transformation to become an industry leader in corporate social responsibility as well as profitability. Now he needs to convince his skeptical board of directors and senior management team that Salus, a struggling company in a tough competitive environment, should embrace bold nonfinancial goals to achieve his vision of transformation for the company.
In addition to financial objectives, Abelson is considering three potential goals for 2025:
Reduce the environmental footprint of making and using the company’s products by 25%.
Help 500 million people around the world improve their nutrition.
Improve the quality of life for employees and for those working in the company’s supply chain.

Abelson has hired your consulting firm to identify the roots of the company’s problems, prioritize actions to address them and make the business case for pursuing transformation. He is looking to you to help him show the board of directors how pursuing these goals will put the company on a robust path of growth and improved financial performance. As a Senior Partner of the firm, you will be leading this consulting engagement and be directly responsible for its success.

Salus has had a number of problems in recent years.
● A consumer group initiated a boycott of the company’s products because of child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa that were suppliers of Salus. As a result of the boycott, Salus stopped sourcing cocoa from those farms.
● The company was investigated two years ago for violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when there were accusations of bribes delivered to agriculture officials in Central America. Salus sources seafood, tropical fruits, coffee, and sugarcane there. No charges were filed. The investigation damaged Salus’s reputation.
● In Kochi, India, where Salus had had a plant for many years, residents of sixteen neighborhoods surrounding the plant claimed the company was siphoning off drinking water and depositing waste with a high level of mercury. Word quickly spread globally. An international NGO got involved and filed a lawsuit against Salus. Salus did a cost-benefit analysis weighing the revenues produced by doing business in Kochi against the cost to its reputation worldwide and decided the price was too high. Salus closed the plant and left Kochi. ©2020 Cathy Moran. Do not copy, post, publish or distribute in any way without permission. Page 4 of 6
● Last year, Salus began the planning process for building a new distribution center in Columbus, Ohio. The city administration was supportive of the project, in part because it would create new jobs. Salus was surprised when citizens of Columbus opposed the new distribution center. Many spoke at city council meetings against the project and the media was critical of it as well. At this point, it is unclear if Salus will continue with its plan to build the distribution center.

Salus Corporation is under pressure to make changes in several areas:
● Packaging – Plastic is used in much of the company’s packaging. There is increased consumer awareness that a) much recyclable plastic does not get recycled, and b) oceans are polluted with plastic.
● Producer responsibility – Governments are experimenting with new forms of regulation focused on inducing “producer responsibility” through both mandatory and voluntary product take-back schemes. In Europe, Asia, Latin America and Canada, regulation of companies like Salus imposes responsibility for recycling packaging on these producers. There is talk in the U.S. Congress of legislation that would regulate waste generation during manufacturing and mandate the actual physical recovery of products and packaging at the end of their useful lives.
● Shareholders have filed a resolution(A shareholder resolution is a non-binding recommendation to the board of directors of a public corporation regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Proposed by shareholders, resolutions are presented and voted upon at the corporation’s annual meeting. While successful resolutions are only advisory, they are a powerful way to advocate for changes in board policy.) asking Salus to report on its business risk and strategy with respect to climate change.
● Abelson has seen for years that consumers are demanding that companies share their values. This trend is growing and now more consumers, regardless of their environmental consciousness, are holding companies to this standard. Salus has made some small progress but is unsure of how to effectively communicate the actions it is taking and the results to these consumers. Competitors are way ahead of Salus in this and, as a result, Salus is losing customers to competitors.

Avoid plagiarism. Someone else’s writings must be cited unless the information contained in their work can be considered common knowledge easily obtained from a number of sources. Beware of the following:
Paraphrasing – even if words are changed and reorganized, a citation is required. Summarizing – even if there is a concise or “boiled down” rewrite, a citation of the original source is required.

Please make sure it is 400 – 500 words, excluding information in the upper left of the page, citations and the bibliography if you include one. The word limit applies only to the body of your Final Paper.

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