Apple, a Socially Responsible Corporation It is no mystery that companies exist and desire to make a profit from their product or service being offered. However, it is becoming increasing popular that companies desire to achieve social responsibility in order to increase their public image, which in turn should lead to increased profits. In this class, we learned that social responsibility is the duty to take an action that will benefit the interests of society and the organization (Kinicki & Williams 2011).
One of the ways to become more socially responsible that is adopted by many companies is through green management, which is referred to using various policies to reduce environmental problems (Tim Barnett, n. d. ). More and more companies are becoming concerned about the impact their organization is having on the natural environment. Green management can, and should be, done by small and large organizations since it can increase the public image of the organization, thus affecting consumer’s perspectives and investors’ behavior.
In the short-term, going green means that management assists in saving the natural environment. However, in the long-term, the costs will be reduced, thus increasing profits as well as achieving green management through waste minimization and improved energy efficiency. Therefore, making “going green” a win-win situation. By contrast, those companies that continuously cause pollutions will be criticized as companies of social irresponsibility, which will damage their public image and affect the sales of their products. For this research paper I have chosen to discuss Apple Inc. nd how they are a socially responsible corporation. Apple (then Apple Computer) was built by Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs in April of 1976. For more than two decades, Apple was predominantly a manufacturer of personal computers, including the Apple I, II, Macintosh, and Power Mac lines. In 1985 Jobs was fired from the corporation he had help start. However, due to the low market share and rocky sales experienced during the 90s, Jobs returned as Apple’s CEO in 1996 (Company History, n. d. ). Apple’s products now include MacBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, as well as some online services like iTunes and iCloud.
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Since Apple is currently the largest technology firm in the world, its policies about environment protection are certain to carry weight by public and even have some level of impact on the behavior of its suppliers. [update] One way that Apple has become socially responsible is by creating products that are multi-functional. In 2010, Apple launched a new product, the iPad. The iPad provides multi-functions such as e-book reader, cameras allowing for Face Time and HD video recording, Wi-Fi, 3G, and theater and music repository to name a few.
This means that consumers who own an iPad no longer need to purchase e-book reader, camera, mp3 or mp4, and even the DVD player since it has gathered the functions of various products in one. In other words, it has fulfilled the different desire of the consumers in just one product. Perhaps this is why the iPad had been sold out in the first quarter of the 2010 financial year. Apple has also successfully developed a longer-lasting battery which outlasted competitor’s batteries.
This means that consumers could save money since they will need not to buy new batteries frequently, which is important to consumers in deciding which technological products to choose. Moreover, Apple is also concerned with the energy efficiency. Every single Apple product not only meets but exceeds the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s strict ENERGY STAR guidelines for efficiency. Apple is the only company in the industry that can make this claim. The experience about designing the software and hardware system gives Apple a convenience to achieve this mission.
For instance, the power consumed by Mac mini is one-sixth of power consumed by a typical light bulb! Such design can satisfy the demand of consumers since it can reduce the expenditures of electricity and thus can reduce their living expenses. In long-term, it can help this company to increase sales of their products. Apple has also developed a smaller and lighter packaging which has the ability to protect the products as well. For example, the new version of MacBook is fifty-three percent smaller than the first generation of MacBook.
This kind of efficient packaging design not only enables the company to reduce the raw materials needed in and waste brought from the production process, it also helps to reduce the emissions produced during product transportation since a vehicle can carry more products, thus, reducing the amount of boats and planes used in distribution. Obviously, the smaller packaging decreases the cost of production such as fees for warehouses used and materials used as well as make their product easily carried by consumers. Another example is the packaging for the iPhone.
It is almost entirely recyclable and its retail box is made primarily from bio-based materials. In addition, its packaging is extremely material efficient, allowing more units to be transported in a single shipping container. The paper used in packaging of every unit of iPhone 4 were reduced from 136g to 120g compared with that of the iPhone 3GS. Apple iPhone packaging is now getting smaller and smaller with each and every generation which is more economical and environmental. On the other hand, Apple’s retail stores implemented a “no plastic bags” policy in order to cut back on unnecessary packaging a few years ago.
Plastic bags are difficult and costly to recycle, they will break down into tiny particles that contaminate the soil and waterways and penetrate the food chain when animals ingest them. They clog up gutters and drains causing water and sewage to overflow and become the breeding grounds of germs and bacteria that cause diseases. Therefore, this policy taken by Apple can help to significantly reduce the pollutions caused by thrown away plastic bags, especially since the quantities of products sold by Apple are over millions.
Apple uses the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to calculate greenhouse gas emissions for each product. The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act requires that manufacturers of new televisions, computer and printers must have established an electronic recycling program by April 2011. (Roger Mock, 2011) As one of the manufacturer of technology production, Apple offered Electronic Waste Takeback Program which was established as part of Michigan Law which refers to proper disposal of hazardous materials.
Hazardous material can damage our health by increasing cancer risk, damaging our body system and even lead to death. The European Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive restricts the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ether, which Apple complies with. Apple also complies with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which pertains to the lead content of consumer products and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation CH (REACH) which pertains to chemicals and their safe use.
In addition, Apple is on the European Chemicals Agency list for producing products that do not contain any substances of very high concern. Further, Apple, along with other top smart phone companies, signed an agreement on the standardization of mobile phone chargers which reduce the electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions of such by the thousand tons (Apple Inc, 2012). To minimize the environment impact, Apple refers to precautionary principle to reduce and eliminate environmentally hazardous substances from their products.
There are three important elements of this principle: preventative action, voluntary elimination and proactive search for safer substitutes (“Latest News about Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations,” 2010). They planned to completely eliminate the use of hazardous substances such as PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products by the end of 2008. They have worked with the manufacturing partners to eliminate BFRs and harmful toxins. Finally, all Apple products are now free of BFRs and PVC and Apple plans to eliminate all forms of chlorine and bromine.
The effects of hazardous substances can be skin irritation, asthma, losing consciousness, cancer, infection from bacteria and other micro-organisms, and on occasion, death. So, it is necessary to eliminate these harmful substances. Apple carefully manages the environmental impact of its facilities, and as a result they represent only two percent of its assessed greenhouse gas emissions, which come from the production, transport, use, and recycling of products (Apple Inc, 2011).
Apple now discloses full product lifestyle emissions and carbon footprint; it primarily reports on their facilities as a gauge of its environmental impact. For purpose to reduce the environmental impact, switching off the light and recycling office waste are not enough. There is the biggest impact of this company on the environment when using Apple’s products. That’s why Apple focuses on their product’s design and innovation. Apple has taken significant steps to lessen greenhouse gas emissions produced by its facilities worldwide (Apple Inc, 2011).
Code of Ethics is a formal document that states an organization’s primary values and the ethical rules it expects managers and non-managerial employees to follow. The code of ethics for Apple is “Ethics: The Way We Do Business Worldwide, 2005. ” It is applying all employees, including its top management. Apple’s stated policy includes expectations about maintaining high standards of business conduct, to be ethical in business dealings, to avoid conflicts of interest, to respect confidentiality, to conduct business within the law and to conduct business which benefits communities.
Apple now requires suppliers to commit to their comprehensive Supplier Code of Conduct as condition of their contract with them since Apple is committed to ensuring that the highest standards of social responsibility throughout their supple base. Apple requires suppliers to provide a safe and healthy work environment, so suppliers must eliminate chemical hazards or minimize the use of some harmful materials according to the legal requirement (Apple Inc. 2012). In 2005, Apple started a recycling program. At that time, Apple decided to hold a free recycling program for its iPod digital music player.
Their customers were able to bring the iPod to any of Apple’s (then) one hundred retail stores in the United States for free, environmentally friendly disposal. Besides that, those who brought their iPod in to recycle would receive ten percent discount on the purchase of a new iPod on that day. This program continued until 2010. In 2010, Apple announced the updated program which increased the products eligible to be recycled. Now, iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac can be sent to Apple retail stores for recycling (Apple, 2012).
They have two categories on the recycling program which are computer reuse and recycling as well as iPod and mobile phones recycling. For the computer reuse and recycling program, they undertake the community to solve the environmental problems, especially the pollutions which may be caused from Apple’s productions. People can bring their old Mac batteries or computers whether they are working or nonworking. If it can be reused, then they will be given an Apple gift card which can be used to purchase Apple’s products. Otherwise, they will recycle it responsibly at no cost to the customer.
Apple also accepts the computers which are non-Apple-brand because Apple contracts with WeRecycle! to process recycling for those products. iPod and mobile phone recycling is a program that is similar to the two programs mentioned previously. However, if the person doesn’t live near any Apple retail store, he or she can simply go online to the Apple website and complete the form and recycle the iPod or mobile phone via mail (Apple 2012). Finally, Apple has become a socially responsible corporation with the implementation of a commuter alternative program which has more than ten thousand employee participants.
At Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, the company pays one hundred dollars per month of employees’ bus, train, light rail, vanpool, and other transit costs through its Apple Commuter Alternatives Program. They have more than eleven hundred Apple employees that ride their free biodiesel commuter coaches daily. Apple also provides lockers, showers, and turn-up subsidies for their employees who cycle, walk or run to work. In addition, Apple maintains a database of the employee’s addresses and working schedules for those who are interested in ridesharing or carpooling.
Further, Apple has offered free shuttle services for its employees as their workers transport between the Bay Area and Cupertino. Those shuttle buses provide seats with individual power connectors to run and charge notebooks while in transit as well as being equipped with Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. Apple estimates that these programs have eliminated the use of over a thousand single-occupant cars per day, thereby saving the environment of the pollution of over a thousand single-occupant cars per day.
As you can see, Apple has put forth a lot of efforts in green management and being more socially responsible. According to Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield (2012), “Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. ” They achieve this through several perspectives: the product (e. g. multi-functional products), the employees (e. g. commuter alternatives programs) and the environment (e. g. reduce using material that will harm the environment). Apple is strict and has a high demand in environmental safe programs.
That’s why they design them to use less material, ship with smaller packaging, be free of toxic substances, and be as energy efficient and recyclable as possible (“The Story Behind Apple's Environmental Footprint,” 2012). Further, Apple not only meets government requirements, but they exceed them and still continue to improve their products to continually reduce the harm to the environment. Perhaps other companies should consider using Apple as a role model and together try to save the environment. After all, it is the only one we have. References 1. Unknown. (n. d. ). Company History: 1976-1981. In undefined.
Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://www. apple-history. com/h1. 2. Mansfield, Bob. (July 13, 2012). A Letter From Bob Mansfield. In Apple and the Environment. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://www. apple. com/environment/letter-to-customers/. 3. Unknown. (2012). The Story Behind Apple's Environmental Footprint. In Apple and the Environment. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://www. apple. com/environment/. 4. Apple Inc. (January, 2012). Apple Supplier Code of Conduct. In undefined. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://images. apple. com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Apple_Supplier_Code_of_Con
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