The paper “ BMW’ s Corporate Social Responsibility" is an intriguing example of a case study on business. The modern business environment is consumer-driven in many aspects. One of them that has gained prominence is corporate social responsibility (CSR). For communities that support marketers, it is fair that such corporations should give something in return to the community at the social level. Barth and Wolf 2009, 4-5 say that the various instruments of CSR give rise to numerous definitions. To understand, CSR better, it is better to know the concepts involved which include “ corporate sustainability, corporate citizenship, corporate accountability, corporate social performance, corporate social responsiveness, corporate responsibility, and corporate governance” (Barth and Wolf 2009, 4).
This paper will discuss how BMW has faired in its CSR. Case for BMWBMW AG is a German-based automobile manufacturing company with a global presence. The firm manufactures and markets vehicles and motorcycles and their accessories. The company has plants in a number of countries around the world South Africa being one of them. As a responsible global citizen, the carmakers are involved in CSR projects in various counties.
In South Africa, the firm’ s CSR projects revolve around HIV education and awareness campaigns, education for the disadvantaged in the society, green energy and sponsorship of sports and other social events such as arts. In South Africa in particular, Seabrook (2011) notes that the company’ s CSR strives “ to reaffirm people's sense of worth and dignity, developing individual potential and building capacity, and enabling people to take responsibility for themselves. The company believes in investing in ways to help communities help themselves as well as other needy communities elsewhere in South Africa” (¶ ).
In the UK and Germany, precedence is given to green production. BMW has made positive steps in green technology. It is important to closely assess how the corporation is performing on this front as there are no universal benchmarks for green technology. Basu and Palazzo (2009) and Rondinelli (2006) say some concepts and practices of green technology and manufacturing are not really green. Basu and Palazo (2009) call it ‘ greenwashing’ and define it as the erroneous display of some activities as “ green” but are not essentially green.
One way that automakers and other manufacturers around the world have gone green is reducing emissions. For players in the auto-manufacturing industry, emissions reduction can be effected in two main directions; reducing emissions in their business processes and also reducing the emissions and fuel efficiency of their vehicles. BMW has performed tremendously well in reducing emissions in manufacturing processes. In the UK, the company has developed a comprehensive sustainability program and waste management program. This applies to all its seven business locations in the country (Sustainability in the UK 2011). BMW is heavily involved in the global war against HIV AIDS.
In South Africa in particular, the organization sponsors HIV awareness and education programs, distributes condoms and is also involved in eradicating STDs. Among its employees, there are several trained peer educators who educate and inform their fellow employees and other members of the society about the pandemic. BMW’ s employees are also encouraged to participate in voluntary testing and counseling which is a crucial step in the fight against the disease. For employees living positively, the company has a special health program for them aimed at improving their quality of life and also prolong it.
Cornerstones of this program are clinics in all BMW facilities. The clinics provide health advice to those already infected and offer them health information and dietary assistance.