Corporate Environmental Responsibility: the Performance of Cadbury

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Nowadays, more people tend to focus on environment issues of corporation because they are the main factors of causing pollution to the earth and impact to the ecological system. Cadbury is the world fourth biggest manufactory of chocolate, it had done a seriously rainforest destruction as a result of their business requiring large amount of raw materials that are collect from natural resources (Cadbury's Shareholders Find Palm Oil Leaves a Bitter Taste 2004). This essay examine the performance of Cadbury and how they dealing the problems with raw materials as well as the effect on the environment and stakeholders.

Cadbury used to be a small beverage shop in 1824, after merging with Schweppes to form Cadbury Schweppes, it acquire more companies after that and today it became one of the largest confectionery company ( history of Cadbury n. d. ) and also one of the largest multi-national corporation (business service industry 2008). The starting main purpose of Cadbury is not creating new brand that people love but is to raise the shareholder value and they already succeed in achieving this purpose twenty years ago (Cadbury Schweppes 2004). After that they have just started to change their business target to create new brand that people love.

Cadbury detected that there is a rare bacteria named “Salmonella” affecting numbers of their product and it is believe due to the leaking pipe, but they are not paying attention to this serious matter. Eventually, Cadbury was prosecuted because of countering health and safety legislation in the year 2007 and was fined 1 million pounds for their irresponsible performance which is also definitely effect the profit of stakeholders(Defying a Reputational Crisis – Cadbury’s Salmonella Scare: Why are Customers willing to Forgive and Forget? 009). Today, Cadbury franchise such as India, USA, Canada have treated CSR as the key to the success of business comparing to the past; they believe that the responsible for environment, health and safety are very important to minimize the impact of environment, It is also important that they can become a profitable and effective company by this way and they will surely proud of what they have done (CSR helps businesses keep tabs on environmental, social impact 2010).

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In order to fulfil society needs, Cadbury continuously launched 23 kinds of chocolate and keep improving their quality to the best from the year 1865 until today. Besides, Cadbury is the first company to provide pictures on the product instead of printing text on the product. There are also many special event held by Cadbury such as giving away some souvenirs products and also a redeem event for their customer to get further item by purchasing their products. (History of Cadbury n. d. They also certified their chocolates as Fair-trade products by labelling it on the products to decrease the public pressure (Cadbury goes Fairtrade2009). Impact on Environment Since manufacturing chocolate require large amount of raw materials, Cadbury discover palm oil is the most basic and cheapest secret ingredient to make chocolate instead of using cocoa butter which require higher cost. Unfortunately, this lead to the serious deforestation problem that not only effected the environment but also many animals is killed.

New Zealand's Auckland Zoo is the place where the primary deforestation took place and this was considered as a threat to most of the wild life that inhabited in that area especially Orangutan, they have became “the orphans of the palm oil” because most of their parents are killed during the deforestation(Palm oil costs Cadbury trusted title 2010). Auckland Zoo has also stop stocking Cadbury’s chocolate anymore to express their protest. (Auckland Zoo bans Cadbury chocolate due to palm oil content 2009).

Auckland Zoo also organise an organisation in Facebook which is “Anti Palm Oil Community (APOC) “to focus the serious of the deforestation issue which destroy 300 rugby fields every hour(APOC). Besides, in order to meet the production target, the company always hired a lot of worker but those workers that are working in the palm oil are often poorly treated. Cadbury has an” Ethical Trading Policy” but they have totally neglect the importance of environment and the human rights issue (Cadbury's Shareholders Find Palm Oil Leaves a Bitter Taste 2004).

Cadbury also claim that the palm oil they used is “green and sustainable” as they have their own certificate system, but they have just pretend to use 2,800 tonnes of palm oil which is recorded in the certificate instead of the actual amount of 40,000 tonnes of palm oil. (Green wash of the week: Cadbury’s ‘green palm oil’ claim 2009)They are ignoring the severity of environment impact they have done, just to emphasize on their profit; the stakeholders also faced a serious losses from this case.

One of the serious problem that environment faced is the global warming and it is caused by the widen hole of atmosphere. According to the scientific research, every single litre of milk produce approximately 900g of Carbon dioxide. Carbon trust is having a carbon footprinting project and discovered that more than 60% of the Carbon dioxide is produced by the Cadbury’s dairy cows farm(We've had drumming gorillas, now Cadbury takes on burping cows 2009).

Cadbury’s dairy cows farm play the most important role in this incident as the cows produced 80~120kg of methane per year which is similar as a family car and was release to the atmosphere that eventually widen the hole of atmosphere. This methane emission is actually produced with the burps of the cows due to the incorrect diet. (Cadbury to curb methane emissions from burping dairy cows 2009)They did not pay attention for their animals as raising animals required a lot of effort by adjusting the stay and diet of the animals. Cadbury’s intension overcome environment issues

Cadbury’s plan to replace cocoa butter with palm oil has caused a serious damage to environment and also a lot of complain by consumers as palm oil is a complex and unhealthy ingredient. In order to fulfils their Environment, Health and safety policy they have no choice but to cut down adding palm oil into chocolate. The deforestation that took place at Auckland Zoo has also caused the company’s reputation to drop. (Cadbury dumps palm oil after consumer protests 2009)With the cut down usage of palm oil, they believe it could at least, save their reputation from dropping too much.

Dealing with the climate change is also one of their target improvements in environment. Cadbury has announced that they have 17% reduction of water consumption by improving their manufacturing progress in the year 2006 which is also act in concert with the World Water day (Cadbury Reduces Water Consumption by 17 Percent 2009). Cadbury eventually launch a strategy plan “Purple goes green” in the year 2008 and set their target to reduce unnecessary consumption while producing chocolates especially to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by 50% in the year 2020.

They have successfully in achieving part of their target within a year with reducing the usage of packaging and the emission of carbon dioxide; they have also successfully saved 4 millions litre of water per year (Cadbury-Purple goes green 2008). For the next two years, they have a further target which is to ensure the packaging they used is 60% biodegradable. Besides, Carbon dioxide that produced with the burps of the cows is also a serious problem that destroys the environment.

Cadbury has already worked together with the dairy farmer to figure out a better way to reduce carbon footprint from the milk chocolate (Cadbury’s works to reduce bovine emission 2009). They provide dairy farmers a guild to lower the emission through scientific research by changing the diet of cows to a balance nutritional. It is believe it will definitely reduce the emission problem by 50% in the year 2020 which is also part of their “Purple goes Green strategy”. (Cadbury Partners with Dairy Farmers to Reduce Carbon Footprint 2009).

Packaging is also one of the factors causing impact to environment. Cadbury has worked hard to figure out a better way of packaging their products to minimize the impact to environment. Their target is to achieve 100% biodegradable by 2010 and they have co-operated with plantic technologies limited since 2002. (Responsible packaging 2007)Plantic do a lot of research at the research centre to invent a better biodegradable and non-toxic materials to advance the packaging technologies.

Cadbury has replaced the roses tin with cardboard box and successfully made a brand new packaging production for Christmas and seasonal gifts (chocolate swallows millions of our dollars in an easter eating frenzy 2010) which not only reduce the weight by 45% but also saved 200 tonnes of steel. (Cadbury replaces Roses tin with cardboard box 2009)In the year 2008, Cadbury has awarded the best green packaging for its new product- Eco-eggs, with the special wrapping style as the products only used very limited materials to complete.

Cadbury has successfully decreased the usage of plastic material by 247 tonnes and cardboard by 115 tonnes in the year 2008 for packaging their products. (Cadburys-‘Eco-eggs' 2008)In this case, Cadbury has successfully proved their effort of saving the environment by achieving their “Purple Goes Green” target and this is also helping the stakeholders to gain more profit. Cadbury also carry out an environmental research with Earthwatch in the year 2005 in order to have a better understanding as well as improving the quality of cocoa in Ghana.

Their research focus on the quality of cocoa and try to invent a better way for farming cocoa bean in Ghana with increasing number of farmers in order to get the best production(Cadbury n. d. ). Cadbury not only provided financial support but also get itself involved in this research to show their intension upon improving environment issue. Concluding remarks Cadbury’s social improvement is obviously, although they did wrong sometime because they have placed profit as the most important role in business .

From New Zealand's Auckland Zoo case, it has reflected Cadbury only concentrate on their profit but neglect the most importance issues which is how society will treat them and this has caused Cadbury’s reputation to drop. Besides, even they have discovered that a rare bacteria is affecting their products, they did not pay attention to the serious matter which is possible to become a threat to health. As a result, they neglect the importance of environmental issues and caused serious damage to environment such as deforestation and also confronting the social protest.

However, Cadbury’s intension on improving the environment aspect of their business is strong and with wised planning, they have been doing this for almost a century. With the “Purple goes green strategy” and the reduction of carbon dioxide emission, water usage and packaging materials usage, they have shown their dedication on improving environment issues, trusting that achieving the environment, health and safety policy are the keys to the succeeds of business, not only just becoming a profit-oriented company but also become a environmentalist company.


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Corporate Environmental Responsibility: the Performance of Cadbury. (2017, Apr 01). Retrieved from

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