Burberry and Csr

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Working In an International Context
How CSR is your company
Mike Plummer

BURBERRY

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulated system that companies use to ensure that their operations are in line with ethical standards, the law and the norms of society. CSR aids companies in taking responsibility for their actions and “encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere (WIKIPEDIA, 2012)” The company that has been selected for analysis is Burberry. Burberry was established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry and is now an ‘internationally recognised luxury brand with a worldwide distribution network (Burberry PLC, 2012)’. They have 473 stores worldwide and employ approximately 6,681 people. This company claims that they are in compliance with CSR and have on their website listed the ways in which they achieve this. “One of Burberry's five strategic themes is pursuing operational excellence. Operational excellence in CR has five key areas of focus: * Healthy business partnerships: based on shared values and high ethical standards * Excellent products and service: quality, craftsmanship, heritage and service standards * Environmental excellence: operating efficiently with minimum waste and maximum control * Excellence in people management: attracting and retaining talented employees * Contributing to society: investing and engaging in the communities where Burberry operates (Burberry, 2011)’

Employee diversity
When it comes to employment, it is important for a company to be extremely diverse and offer equal opportunities. Not only are they required to do this by law (under acts such as the Equality Act 2010), but they should also choose to be diverse. A company that chooses to be diverse is well respected by societies in which they operate, and will find that increasing numbers people/other companies are seeking them out to work for/with them. In the long run, embracing equality & diversity could also benefit the company as it will enable them to gain new ideas and look at things from a different perspective. Burberry claims that they are a diverse company when it comes to employment and says that their diverse work force strengthens and drives their success as a luxury brand. The brand now ‘employs nationals of 95 countries across all continents’ (Burberry PLC, 2011). They state that gender equality is promoted within the organisation and equal opportunities are offered at every level of employment.

Health, safety and well being
Organisations need to genuinely care about the health and safeties of those who are working for them because once they are on their premises the employees become their responsibility. Procedures should be put into place to ensure that the working environment is safe and comfortable enough for their employees to operate in.

In order to provide safe and healthy working conditions for their employees and third party contractors, the company sate that they use third party auditors in its locations all of the world to ensure that standards are being met. Stores and offices are said to be audited once every 3 years, and distribution & manufacturing sites annually. In 2010/11, a well-being programme was launched within the company designed to ‘encourage staff to lead healthier lifestyles (IBID, 2011)’. According to the company’s research, the numbers of sick days were reduced by roughly 0.8% per employee.

Operating responsibility
There has been much controversy around the world in regards to workers in places in third world countries being exploited by companies who simply want cheap labour and have no regards for those producing their products or merely fail to have procedures in place that ensure that these workers are not being treated any differently to for instance a factory worker in...
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