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Table of Contents
The purpose of this report is to analyse the Total Company from the aspects of sustainability and corporate social responsibility perspectives. The Total Company is committed towards operating responsible and sustainable business operations through their sustainability strategy that fully embraces corporate responsibility in all its business operations. The organization’s corporate social responsibility strategy aims at meeting the energy needs while acting on the climate change challenges, managing the impact of its activities on people and the surrounding environment and helping to promote the social and economic development among the individuals it serves around the globe.
The Total Company is one of the leading producer and distributor of oil products around the world. It has numerous outlets around the globe which ensure that customers get their access to various sources of energy for both commercial and domestic use. Since the oil industry is associated with a massive impact on the environment, the organization has developed some strategies to help in dealing with this challenge through sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategies (Brower & Mahajan, 2013). The company’s core values of respect, responsibility, and exemplary conduct enables the Total Company to establish strong relationships with all its stakeholders. The firm’s business ethics are developed to promote the sustainable and responsible growth of business operations which relate with sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategies.
The next sections of the report provide a detailed analysis of the two chosen perspectives on the Total Company’s operations. The analysis will focus on the conceptual and theoretical approach analysis of perspectives of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the organization. A detailed examination of these two approaches will provide a clear insight on the sustainable management strategies adopted by the Total Company to shape its future operations. Through the comparison and contrasting of the findings of the research from the analysis conducted, the conclusions will be made to signify the role of sustainability and corporate social responsibility on the sustainable management futures by the Total Company (Epstein & Buhovac 2014).
The stakeholder theory developed by Edward Freeman provides a clear description of corporate social responsibility. This concept starts with looking at the world to determine ethical obligations for the corporations unlike other corporate social responsibility theories, which start by focusing on the business itself. Therefore, this approach provides a different dimension of analyzing this concept. The stakeholder theory puts into consideration all the individuals and groups, which are affected directly or indirectly by the corporate social responsibility activities to establish the legitimate claims on the business (Lloret 2016). The approach provides a clear guidance on the rights of stakeholders with respect to the corporation actions, as well as their responsibilities and obligations towards these stakeholders.
The stakeholder theory attaches the responsibility of securing the environment to the corporation on behalf of all its stakeholders. The corporate social responsibility starts with the surrounding community, which is directly affected by the unethical business activities of the company. In the context of the Total Group, which operates in the oil industry being associated with the massive environmental pollution, the organization will have the responsibility of ensuring the following fact. The environment is kept safe and free from pollution. According to the stakeholder theory, the main stakeholders around the firm include the company’s shareholders, its workers, its suppliers, government entities, and other local businesses that operate hand in hand with the target corporation (Brammer, Jackson & Matten 2012). These stakeholders are given the first priority in provision of corporate social responsibilities since they form the immediate business environment for the firm.
The corporate social responsibility is also described by the shareholder theory that has been developed by Milton Friedman. The concept emphasizes that the sole responsibility of any business is to increase its profits in each financial year. The management of any corporation is hired to plan and execute the strategies that are meant to maximize the shareholders’ wealth since they act as the agents on behalf of all shareholders. Therefore, the authority of the organization is legally and morally responsible for running the operations of the business of interest for shareholders with regard to the basic rules of the society and business ethics developed within the industry. Unlike the stakeholder theory that focuses on the interests of all stakeholders being served directly or indirectly by the corporation, this approach focuses on the needs of specific shareholders who are the owners of the company (Rayton, Brammer & Millington 2015).
Since the shareholder theory concentrates on the concerns of particular stakeholders who are the owners of the company. Moreover, it neglects the interests of other stakeholders who are very instrumental towards attaining both long term and short term objectives of the corporation. It limits the extent to which the firm engages on corporate social responsibility activities because of the little impact on the business environment (Byron & Post 2015). Many companies have avoided this theory after realizing the disadvantages of concentrating on the needs of shareholders only leaving other stakeholders’ interests unattended. Therefore, many corporations have opted for the stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility. The reason is that it incorporated the interests of all stakeholders around the business environment. The shareholder theory focuses on a short term strategy. Meanwhile the stakeholder approach concentrates on both short term and long term strategies.
Corporate sustainability focuses on the long term economic and social concerns of all its stakeholders through the optimization of its sustainability performance and participation in business networks. These ones provide the capacity for the organization’s sustainable development. In the modern business environment, the issue of corporate sustainability has become very critical since all corporations strive to become sustainable (Khan, Serafeim & Yoon 2015). The supportive development is a very broad concept that is responsible for corporate sustainability. It focuses on the economic growth of the corporation with the integration of environmental protection and society equity principles in the system. The total group has developed clear strategies that are meant to maintain the sustainability of its operations while taking into consideration the business ethics and environmental conservation initiatives.
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The Total Company is committed to operating a responsible and sustainable business through the development and implementation of the sustainability strategy. The organization has made a massive investment in the research and product grow to ensure that its products are able to overcome a challenge of the climate change and remain environmentally friendly (Lozano 2015). Some of the initiatives adopted by the Total Company to maintain its corporate sustainability are the development of the proportion of natural gas in its overall output, growing solar projects being eco-friendly, adopting more energy efficient initiatives, promoting the universal access to energy for all its customers, and adhering to the global commitments towards maintaining the sustainable environment. The organization’s initiatives towards corporate sustainability have enabled it to be the leading company offering eco-friendly products within the oil industry.
The Total Company is committed towards the public outreach to the communities in host countries which are desperately poor especially in developing economies. The organization establishes the initiatives that are meant to improve their situation through the promotion of education programs and easing the access to the sources of energy being the crucial factors of production. The organization has facilitated its corporate social responsibility initiatives through forming both local and international partnerships which are meant to empower people around the world and improve their living standards (Hahn, Pinkse, Preuss & Figge 2016). Some of its leads include the promotion of education and training to empower people, the expansion of access to energy through the development of energy solutions, and working closely with non-governmental organizations to ensure maximum corporate giving and community support initiations.
The Total Company has made the environmental protection one of its priorities in all its operations around the world. The organization has a well-developed safety health environmental quality charter, which provides the environmental guarding initiatives adopted by the firm in its endeavor of keeping the environment safe. The performance of the enterprise’s corporate social responsibility is measured using the industrial safety measures taken by the company, the level of support to the local development initiatives, and the extent to which the corporation is committed towards securing the future of energy. Moreover, the productivity of the organization is evaluated by the environmental stewardship of the company and its commitment to deal with climate change problems (Deng, Kang & Low 2013). The extent of the company’s commitment towards corporate social responsibility can be evident in its idea to establish a charity committee in 2010. It was mandated to review and plan charitable support and educational sponsorships for the local communities around the world.
The concept of corporate social responsibility has a wide range of concepts which try to describe its significance in attaining sustainable development. Some of the principles include the corporate social responsiveness which is closely related to corporate social responsibility in that it raises the issues concerning the nature and purpose of the organization’s obligations in its corporate social responsibility initiatives. This concept is concerned with responding to the external pressures and current demands arising from the firm’s developmental strategies in a proactive manner (Turker, 2015). It focuses on the ethical pressure which needs to be addressed in order to maintain the reputation of the corporation’s operations from the perspective of corporate social responsibilities.
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The corporate social performance is a productivity measure used to determine the extent to which the firm’s corporate social responsibilities have succeeded or failed. It evaluates the corporate social responsibility programs, policies and strategies to define the organization’s performance in different departments in the perspective of social and environmental terms (Kim, Park & Wier 2012). The weakness of this principle is that it is quite subjective. The reason is that the decisions made on whether the social and environmental productivity of the firm is good or bad is based on subjective measures. These ones may not provide a clear insight on the performance of the corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The concept of corporate governance encompasses a wide range of measures and policies that are meant to control the firm’s management. These policies guide the management it its core role of protecting the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Good corporate governance provides a better way of doing business thus enabling the company to be socially responsible to all stakeholders within its environment (Schrempf-Stirling, Palazzo & Phillips 2015). Despite that the corporate governance is majorly concerned with internal processes of the organization, the decisions made inside its internal environment has a large impact on the external surrounding being formed by the surrounding society.
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In addition, the principle of corporate citizenship is also critical in explaining the corporate social responsibility of the company. This concept provides that the organization has the ability to bear rights and undertake responsibilities within the community, in which it operates (Dagiliene 2015). It encourages corporations to actively engage in development initiatives for the society where it operates through upholding its corporate social responsibility leads. Corporate citizenship provides the similar initiations as the corporate social responsibility. However, it has the limited objectives and a smaller scope of operations (Cheng, Ioannou & Serafeim 2014). This concept can be well integrated into the company’s systems to ensure that the firm attains its maximum corporate social responsibility objectives in both short and long terms.
Source: The Total corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability report (2015)
The main source used for the analysis of theoretical/conceptual approaches is the annual report produced by the Total Company to present the corporate social responsibility strategies adopted by the organization towards attaining corporate sustainability. The reason for using this study is that it provides useful insights about the entire concept of sustainable management not only in the firm but also in other companies within the same industry. The material is also readily available in the corporation’s website. Therefore, it is easy to get the key details of the report. The material is quite relevant because it provides the most recent information about the firm’s sustainable management strategies. These data can, thus, be used to critically analyze the theoretical and conceptual approaches of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability of other corporations in different industries.
The corporate social responsibility concept has been explained using both the theoretical and conceptual approaches. These ones have provided a clear insight about the entire principle of corporate social responsibility in the Total Company. According to the theoretical approach, the stakeholder theory is used to explain how the organization is committed to empowering the lives of communities in developing economies, which have limited resources to facilitate their economic and social growth. This theory focuses on the interests of all stakeholders of the Total Company just like the provision of the conceptual approach of corporate social responsibility. It is explained by the corporate social responsiveness concept (Aguinis & Glavas 2013). In this case, the findings of the theoretical and conceptual concepts of corporate social responsibility are similar. The reason is that they both focus on the wide range of stakeholders within the environment in which the Total Company operates.
On the other hand, the findings of the theoretical approach explaining the shareholder theory contradict with the conceptual concept explained by the principle of corporate social performance. The shareholder approach focuses on the interests of shareholders who are the owners of the company. Meanwhile the concept of corporate social performance measures the extent to which the corporate social responsibility initiatives of the organization impact the lives of the people around the firm’s environment. The shareholder theory is very conservative since it concentrates on the interests of shareholders while ignoring the expectations of other stakeholders served by the company. In case of the Total Company, it has adopted the conceptual approach of corporate social performance. Such one entails measuring the performance of the initiatives. Although the company is committed to maximizing the wealth of shareholders, it has a wider view of serving the entire range of its stakeholders without any form of discrimination (Frynas & Yamahaki 2016).
The findings of the stakeholder theory clearly explain the role of the Total Company in providing eco-friendly products being consistent with the international environmental conservation standards. The organization has shown its commitment to provide quality goods to consumers while avoiding pollution of the environment with the oil products. The main stakeholders of this firm are the shareholders who are its owners, the suppliers, the consumers of its oil products, the government entities, and the communities located in the areas which the corporation operates in (Goetsch & Davis 2014). These stakeholders play a major role in the overall performance of the company hence its long term commitment is to meet their expectations. The Total Company has invested intensively in community development initiatives towards the attainment of its corporate social responsibility strategy.
The impact of the concept of corporate governance cannot be underrated. The reason is that it is responsible for the development and implementation of corporate social responsibilities. This concept conflicts with the theoretical approach of the stakeholder theory. The corporate governance focuses on the internal operations of the firm; the stakeholder theory concentrates on both internal and external operations of the corporation. The Total Company has embraced the most part of the stakeholder theory as compared to the corporate governance concept. The reason is that most of its corporate initiatives are directed towards the development of the communities in the areas which the organization operates in. However, the company has strong corporate governance policies which guide its management towards the attainment of the overall corporate strategies (Grimm, Hofstetter & Sarkis 2016). Therefore, the corporate governance concept and the stakeholder theory have been embraced by the firm towards the attainment of its corporate social responsibility initiatives across the entire world, in which the operations of the Total Company are experienced.
The organization has also embraced the concept of corporate citizenship which commits the corporation to the responsibilities of empowering the communities through different corporate initiations. This responsibility ensures the company is committed to growing leads which are geared towards shaping the lives of the people who are served by the Total Company. The organization has responded to its obligation of providing eco-friendly oil products to the market by adopting environmental conservation measures. Such ones guarantee that the surrounding is fully protected from pollution (Servaes & Tamayo 2013). The company has also initiated some programs to ensure an easy access to energy sources provided by the corporation. These initiations consider the raising needs for the sources of energy for both domestic and commercial use around the world.
The corporate sustainability of the Total Company has been enhanced by the development of rules meant to promote the commitment of the organization towards the corporate social responsibility initiatives. Through adopting some sustainable development programs, the firm has been able to develop systems that maximize the wealth of shareholders while meeting the interests of the wide range of stakeholders of the company. The sustainability of the organization has guaranteed its long term commitment towards corporate social responsibility leads since the firm has strategic benefits arising from the full adoption of its initiations (Servaes & Tamayo 2013). The stakeholder theory can be linked with the corporate sustainability of the Total Company. The reason is that it ensures that the sustainable development initiatives of the organization focus on meeting the interests and expectations of its stakeholders.
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To conclude, the corporate sustainability level and the corporate social responsibility of the Total Company is quite outstanding. The organization has an international outreach; and its systems have been developed to become self-sustainable. The company’s commitment to offer corporate social responsibility initiatives to all its countries of operations indicates that its systems are well established to sustain the programs initiated. Corporate sustainability initiatives of the Total Company indicate that the firm is stable enough to provide some long term community development initiatives without relenting.