Social Responsibilities of Business

Social responsibility is the concept that business is part of the larger society in which it exists and must therefore act in a way that not only advances the firm, but also serves the society. More than ever firms are being challenged to integrate social responsibilities in to their operations. Many firms now believe that social responsibility to be a lot more than granting money to community groups or volunteering their time to organizations - although these are both important ways that firms support the community. Today, business leaders recognize that a commitment to corporate social responsibility can provide distinct advantage in attracting and retaining employees, dealing with suppliers and regulators, strengthening customer relationships and providing positive returns for investors.

Let us take a look at some of the social responsibility issues and analyze how businesses are showing their social responsibility.

Environmental Protection

Around the world there are lots of environmental concerns that challenge companies to be better global citizens. Leading companies know that taking a strong role in protecting the environment improves the efficiency of operations and saves money, making a positive impact on business partners, customers and investors. Let us see how socially responsible companies are responding to the environmental concerns.

Delphi Automotive Systems
Delphi Automotive Systems is dedicated to protecting human health, natural resources and the global environment. For Delphi, a commitment to environmental management is a critical business strategy. Delphi has certified 15 of its global manufacturing sites under ISO 14001, a global standard that recognizes facilities that have systems in place to proactively manage and reduce their environmental impact. The company is working toward earning this certification for all 168 of its manufacturing facilities around the world over the next three years.

John Jaffurs, director, Delphi environmental services, states, "We want to formally integrate our environmental management into the goals of the business. Delphi is using ISO 14001 and other tools as a means of creating a total environmental management system. This will allow us to integrate operational environmental issues directly into future planning."

Delphi\'s involvement in reducing the automobile\'s environmental impact began more than 30 years ago with the introduction of the first catalytic converters. Delphi works to reduce emissions, increase fuel economy, decrease vehicle mass and enhance the recyclability of its products. Delphi also believes that the reduction or elimination of materials can go far in helping the environment.

Delphi\'s E-STEER Electric Power Steering reduces the number of seals and totally eliminates the power steering fluid, hoses and pump from the power steering system. In 1995, 75 percent of all cars sold (approximately 27 million) were equipped with traditional power steering and carried an estimated 40 million liters of hydraulic fluid. This new technology can result in a significant reduction in raw materials, which means less material to recycle or dispose after the life of the product. E-STEER also reduces energy demand by up to 80 percent, resulting in improved fuel economy and reduced vehicle emissions.

E-STEER received the 1999 PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers\' Contribution of Excellence) award from Automotive News and Ernst & Young LLP, which recognizes automobile suppliers who have excelled in adapting and reinventing their companies and their products to meet the growing demands of their customers -- the world\'s major automotive manufacturers. E-STEER is just one example of the many innovative product technologies Delphi can offer to provide environmental solutions to its customers.

General Motors, Ford and Honda
According to the American Lung Association, motor vehicle emissions account for approximately 77
percent of the carbon monoxide (CO), more than 35.6 percent of the volatile organic compounds (including hydrocarbons) and around 45 percent of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) in our nation\'s air.

With this in mind, car manufacturers like GM, Ford and Honda are now producing and marketing cleaner-burning cars powered by electricity, alternate fuels or a combination of the two. Environmentalists like to refer to these as "green cars" because they represent an environmentally responsible way to travel in style. Politicians, on the other hand, have begun to see the potential for addressing larger issues. Earlier this year, Representative Robert T. Matsui (D-CA) introduced legislation that would give up to $5,000 per year in consumer tax credits to people with green cars. With this in mind, GM came up with its environment friendly “EV1”, Ford with its “Ranger” and