Analysis: Is The Walt Disney Company Socially Responsible?
In my studies of The Walt Disney Company, I have found them to be a socially responsible company. The definition of corporate social responsibility goes as follows: “Corporate Social Responsibility is seriously considering the impact of the company’s actions on society.” (Carroll & Buchholtz, pg 30). According to The Walt Disney Company’s website (WWW.Disney.com/corporate) the six main components of their approach to corporate responsibility include, Business Standards and Ethics, Corporate Governance, Community, Disney’s Environmentaltiy, and International Labor Standards. The Walt Disney Company has, in many ways, proven to the world that they care about what’s happening in the world and is trying to make the world a better place for everyone. The Walt Disney Company has contributed to many charities and is trying to set a good example to their target audience, mainly children. Since children are the target audience, Disney has many responsibilities to make sure they do not promote or endorse behavior that would not be socially acceptable. In my opinion, The Walt Disney Company has a massive influence on other companies and is trying to lead by example. The Walt Disney Company has implemented many programs over the past few years focusing their concerns on the environment, volunteer work, charities, fighting for a cause. I will go through the many stages on how The Walt Disney Company has proven to be Socially Responsible.
Standards Business and Ethics:
In 2006, The Walt Disney Company announced they will help curb child obesity by changing the menu at their many theme parks, and by setting restrictions on the products they endorse with their characters and logos. “The initiative, which focuses on kid-centric products only, will include limiting licensing deals to foods with certain percentages of fat. The company will also offer healthier options to kids at its theme parks and will cut out trans-fatty acids from the park food” (PR Week, p11). The Walt Disney Company has realized that obesity is a problem among its target audience and feels they have a responsibility to these children to encourage a healthy life style. “Fat is a serious problem. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, 34% of the nation's children--that's 25 million kids--are overweight, and half of those overweight kids are actually obese. That's scary.” (Staff, p30). Taking this type of measure makes parents happy; parents want their children to eat healthier, and children want to eat what their favorite character is endorsing. It makes me happy to know that corporations are looking to change the way they have been doing business when marketing to children. Not only is the Walt Disney company changing their ways, there are many other corporations following. “This follows the trend of corporate social responsibility that has taken over corporations that deal with marketing to children.” (PR Week, p11). The Walt Disney Company plans to have this campaign in full force by 2008; they plan on changing the way the food is produced. “The rules limit sugar, fat and calories in foods that bear a Disney character or logo. Snacks that get more than 35% of their calories from fat or 25% from added sugar will be off-limits. Over the next two years, Disney will drop foods that don’t meet these guidelines” (Time for kids; vol.12 Issue 8, p2-2, 1/2p, 1c). According to Robert Igler, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, “It was the right thing to do” (Time for kids; vol.12 Issue 8, p2-2, 1/2p, 1c).
Over the summer of 2007, Mattel had recalled thousands of toys produced in factories from China due to high levels of lead paint in their toys. This was a major concern for the Walt Disney Company since Mattel has produced numerous toys on their behalf. The Walt Disney Company decided they would conduct their own...