Body Shop Evolution of Business in Society

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The Evolution of Business in Society No longer are business and community two mutually exclusive spheres of influence in the society today. Increasingly, the trend in companies is to be actively engaged in corporate social initiatives with community involvement. Multinationals like Microsoft, BP, and McDonalds have come to appreciate the benefits reaped from successful integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts into their core business units, which serve as a powerful competitive edge over other companies. The competitive nature of business has very much remained. However, the fundamental role of business in society has evolved over the years. Within a company, there are employers, managers and shareholders. Outside of it lies the sphere of influence that extends towards the government, consumers and not forgetting the community at large. With complex intertwined relationships between business, government and the society, a business exists not solely for the sake of profits but it can entail shrewd corporate strategies like how best to serve its customers, satisfy the needs of the community and meet the expectations of the government. Interestingly, many companies like The Body Shop, Philip Morris and Shell are adopting the new model of strategic philanthropy to incorporate corporate social initiatives into their business. On the other extreme end, multinationals are spending millions on corporate philanthropy, which has absolute nothing to do with their products. In this paper, our group will first outline the various CSR taken by The Body Shop International as well as The Body Shop Singapore. All information with regards to the local CSR initiatives were given by Grace Chang, public relations manager of The Body Shop Asia Pacific. Next, we will attempt to share our objective analysis of these initiatives and what they entail. This is crucial, as we will further analyse the extent of The Body Shop’’s corporate social initiatives taking shape in Singapore, which is culturally, socially and politically different from the West. The Green Symbol of Success Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976, which had evolved from one small shop in Brighton, with only around 25 hand-mixed products on sale, to a multinational company today. Today, The Body Shop has over 1,900 outlets in 50 countries and an impressive collection of over 1000 products. The Body Shop aims to distinguish itself to be a leader in corporate social responsibility. The Company's campaigns against human rights abuses, in favor of animal and environmental protection and its commitment to challenge the stereotypes of beauty perpetuated by the cosmetics industry, have won the

support of generations of consumers. It is estimated that The Body Shop sells a product every 0.4 seconds with over 77 million customers worldwide. In 1996, The Body Shop won the prestigious UN Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations campaigns. According to the 1997 Interbrand survey criteria, the Body Shop was named as the 28th top brand in the world and second in the retail sector. The Financial Times voted The Body Shop as the 27th most respected company in the world in a 1998 report. In 1999, the Body Shop was voted the second most trusted brand in the UK by the Consumers Association. Mission Statement The Body Shop Mission Statement dedicates the Company's business to the pursuit of social and environmental change. Underpinning the mission statement is The Body Shop Trading Charter, which addresses the three principal concerns of social responsibility, environmental sustainability and animal protection. The focus on these three primary concerns helps to address and balance the needs between the stakeholders, the environment, the communities, and animals, reflected in the policies put down by The Body Shop. Great Expectations The Five Core Values As a socially responsible business, The Body Shop campaigns for the protection of the...
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