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Corporate Responsibility

Essay by   •  December 21, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,053 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,513 Views

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Corporate Social Responsibility

TruNet Telecom Inc

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce, their families and the local community and society at large. It is an attempt by organizations to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and other stakeholders, as well as the environment.

CSR has become a strategic imperative for corporations world-wide as the pressure to play a more active role in the social and environmental impacts of their business grows. The most successful CSR programs in the future will be those that integrate their social and environmental goals into their core business function. They will implement many levels of CSR activity, from fundraising and employee donations, to community involvement through volunteering, and environmental improvement of their business processes (TVF, 2004).

There are many arenas a company can consider when developing a strategy for corporate social responsibility. The strategy I am putting forth for TruNet Telecom will focus on four areas: environmental, ethics, sustainability, and legal. The following pages will discuss what the company is currently doing to fulfill these areas as well as make recommendations to bolster the current CSR status. A solid CSR strategy can reinforce the trust the customers have in the company, it can strengthen relationships with suppliers, and the company will garner more respect from not only the public, but from their own employees as well. By satisfying these stakeholders, there will be a trickledown effect to the investors of TruNet Telecom.

Environmental

A very important aspect of CSR is environmental. As business continues to globalize at a rapid pace, there is more strain placed upon our natural resources. There is countless documentation on how negatively the environment has been effected by the practice of business. TruNet Telecom is a small local provider of wired services so they may not face the same challenges as the larger wireless providers, but they can still employ several methods to reduce the impact they have on the local environment.

In the telecom industry, one of the biggest factors effecting the environment is energy consumption. Over the last few years, TruNet has done a good job of gradually replacing outdated equipment on the periphery of their network with more energy efficient models. This is certainly a step in the right direction. I would like to recommend some other options to further reduce TruNet's energy consumption. For one, the company should look to update their metering equipment within the data center. Being able to accurately measure the energy consumption will identify portions of the network that are not working efficiently and allow the company make decisions on where to upgrade equipment to further reduce consumption. Second, the company should look at the load optimization of the network. A vast majority of customers are utilizing TruNet's network to traffic data. Trunet has the equipment and personnel in place to perform optimization studies, but it is not done on a regular basis. I suggest that these studies be performed quarterly so that the engineers can accurately load the traffic equally across the network. This will optimize the efficiency with which the network operates, further reducing power consumption.

Furthermore, as the company continues to upgrade their routers, switches and hubs with more energy efficient models, they should formally implement a recycling program for the decommissioned equipment.

The added benefit of having more reliable and efficient equipment is that it requires less maintenance. This will result in fewer truck rolls by technicians which obviously reduces the amount of emissions given off by the service vehicles.

Ethical Leadership

In today's digital world, it is more vital than ever for companies to develop, implement and adhere to a strong ethical standard. Poor ethical behavior within a company can have far-reaching impacts on stakeholders, employees, customers and the company itself that can severely impact customer loyalty, brand equity, productivity and revenue.

In business, ethics can be defined as the ability and willingness to reflect on values in the course of the organization's decision making process (Marion, 2001). The ethical behavior of a company starts at the top with its leaders. It is vitally important for TruNet's leaders to exhibit a high ethical standard. This builds trust throughout the organization as well as the outside stakeholders - suppliers, customers, and community.

Because TruNet is not a publicly traded company, they are not required to implement a code of conduct, much less publish it. TruNet does have a code of conduct that is provided within the company. It specifies what is expected for ethical behavior, thus providing a framework for employees and management in their daily activities and decision. It also addresses specific distinctions within the telecommunications industry as well as broader social responsibility objectives. It is my opinion that the company should publish this code of conduct on their web-site. It seems simple, but publishing the code of conduct notifies the public that the company's leaders are committed to the ethical standards defined in the code.

The telecommunications industry is very competitive and some would even say "cut-throat", and anyone who has spent much time in the industry has witnessed various acts of unethical behavior from a competitor, a supplier or even a customer. These unethical activities can include deception, favoritism, bribery, and deliberate misrepresentation. TruNet's leaders need to directly address the disreputable activities that seem commonplace within the industry, and reinforce the fact that the company will not engage in that type of behavior. The code of conduct does mention this in a sense. However, it is my recommendation that the company reinforce these ideals through periodic training seminars for all employees, including management.

Sustainability

Corporate sustainability is related to the concept of corporate social responsibility

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