What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility, also known as CSR, is when a corporation has a degree of responsibility, which not only falls in the category of the economic consequences of their activities, but also for the environmental and social implications. The key factors of CSR are the economic, social and environmental aspects of corporate activity.
There are multiple benefits to engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility. It is presumed that when a company engages in CSR, it functions in ways that benefits the environment and society, instead of negatively impacting them.
- One of the benefits to engaging in CSR gives the company a better brand recognition. This boosts the overall impact the company has on consumers, giving them a more positive view on the company.
- Positive business reputation is also another benefit. Having a positive business reputation gives the company a higher advantage over similar companies.
- Having increased sales and customer loyalty is also a beneficial factor to participating in CSR. This guarantees that loyal customers will constantly go back to the certain company.
IKEA is a furniture and lifestyle company, originating in Swedish with its headquarters in Delft, Netherlands. They design and sell furniture ready to assemble, home accessories and kitchen appliances.
Ikea is based in Delft, Netherlands, with an economic freedom score of 77.0 – which is ranked as the 14th freest economy in the world. They have a 2.2% 5 year compound-annual growth, with around $56, 383 per capita.
The Netherlands’ main exports include machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, mineral fuels, food and livestock and manufactured goods. Their main export partners are:
- Germany (24.2%)
- Belgium (10.7%)
- United Kingdom (8.8%)
- France (8.8%)
- Italy (4.2%)
Their main imports are Crude Petroleum ($36.4B), Refined Petroleum ($33.1B), Broadcasting Equipment ($17.8B), Office Machine Parts ($15.9B) and Computers ($11B). The top export destinations of the Netherlands are:
- Germany ($89.9B)
- Belgium-Luxembourg ($67.6B
- The United Kingdom ($47B)
- France ($29.8B)
- Italy ($24.8B)
IKEA’s CSR efforts are led by Pia Heidenmark Cook, their Chief Sustainability Officer. They began their CSR research in 2012, under the title People & Planet Positive.
Their main efforts include:
- Supporting the local communities – in Australia, IKEA Perth and Adelaide have contributed to improve the environment where children develop and live.
- Empowering and educating workers – beginning in January 2015, IKEA has established a new hourly wage, focusing more on the workers needs rather than the market standard.
- Addressing the issues of gender equality & minorities – annually (May 17), the company celebrated IDAHOT, the international day against transphobia, homophobia and biphobia, to stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
- Reducing energy consumption – IKEA strives to reduce their energy consumption, expecting to become energy positive this year. Their current achievements include: owning 700,000 solar panels installed in their buildings and owning and operating a total of 327 wind turbines around the world. Around 60% of their products are based on renewable materials and 10% contain recycled products.
Ikea has good CSR, because they have focused on both environment and the community and care about their employees. A recommendation would be to continue supporting smaller communities.
If IKEA engaged in more CSR, then their public image would be seen more positively which will encourage new customers to buy their products.
In conclusion, IKEA practices more than enough CSR proportionate to their size and business type. They have a strong code of ethics called the IKEA way (IWAY).They are highly committed to Corporate Social Responsibility.