Title Page Content Page 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 Executive Summary Introduction Background Literature Review Methodology and Research Justification Data Analysis/Interpretation Conclusion Research Limitations Recommendations and Further Research References Appendices: − 11.1 Appendix One – Questionnaire − 11.2 Appendix Two – Interview Sheet
1 2 3 4 5 6-11 12-13 14-18 19-20 21 22-23 24-27
Page 2 of 32
1.0 - Executive Summary
How important is the use of Corporate Social Responsibility programs on brand image? In recent years CSR programs have become a marketer’s tool rather than the way a business should operate, with ethical trading in mind. These practices of making a product seem ‘Green’ when it is not are greenwashing and have had a major impact on consumer behaviour regarding these products. To unearth the truth behind these practices an interview with a major at a Marriott hotel branch was conducted resulting in the overall impression that although the business attempts to act in an ethical manor, the overall message that was concentrated on was “Upsell, Upsell, Upsell” and little, to none, emphasis on CSR programs. On top of this during a questionnaire participants attempted to name ‘green’ businesses and products with the majority naming environmentally damaging products.
Greenwashing has a direct co-relation to brand equity and brand image. Businesses do not instigate Corporate Social Responsibility programs to benefit the: working conditions environment, to aid its workforce or act in a more ethical manor. They do this to increase the image of their business, by promoting themselves as ethically sourced or environmentally friendly they use this image to bring in a high stream of revenue (brand equity). The recommendations of this dissertation is to conduct further research into the effects of greenwashing on different segments of the public with an interest of consumers under the age of 18, and to conduct research into how much the public understands the effects of Greenwashing. Furthermore the government need to create tighter restrictions on the use of packaging and logos promising ‘green’ or ‘ethically sourced’ goods that do not conduct themselves in an ethical manor. Businesses should not be able to access a website online that grants them an environmentally friendly logo.
Page 3 of 32
2.0 - Introduction
The purpose of this dissertation is to better understand the affects Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and business ethics have on the brand image. In particular this dissertation will explore how businesses approach CSR: with intent to better the environment, working conditions and the way the company is run? Or to ‘Green wash’ consumers into thinking their products are ethically sourced, eco-products or the business is making a genuine stance in relation to CSR. The ways these questions shall be answered are via secondary and primary research. Through respectable journals and articles this dissertation shall unearth CSR’s origins and uses. On top of this some selected primary research shall be undertaken to collect opinions on ‘why businesses act in an ethical manor’: this shall be done by questioning London residents into this issue. London has been selected due to its size, diversity of its population and it being a business hub for the UK.
The issues highlighted above shall be further explored by questioning a manager at a Marriott hotel and receiving their opinions on how the company runs in an ethical manor. These types of data gathering have been selected due to their accessibility, reliability and importance, of inputting a segment of consumer’s opinions on Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical behaviour. Finally this dissertation shall conclude whether it is important if businesses are ‘Green washing’ and only acting in an ethical manor to attract...