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Social Responsibility

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Social Responsibility JJT Task 1 Sheryl K Ellis

My chosen company for my JJT Task is Rhodes Air Conditioning. Rhodes A/C is a small company operated by the owner and two air conditioning technicians. As a small company it is imperative that they fully concentrate on the three P’s which are People, Planet and Profit. Today as we look at the world around us we notice changes. Companies and people are making efforts to sustain the environment by taking small steps to recycle and have even started using fuels that are safer for the environment. Car manufacturers are making cars that run on very minimal amounts of fuel by running electrically. As you pull up to many locations now you will find the electrical plugs to plug in your car for a charge while you are refueling your body. The reading material in Chapter Ten of Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy states that human activity affects three major forms of natural resources: water, air, and land. Resources can be renewable or non-renewable states the material with fossil fuels being non-renewable because once they are used they are gone. Some items are renewable such as forests and fresh water because these things can be replenished. With these areas in mind: water, air and land one needs to focus their efforts on the sustainability of the environment. At the rate we are going we could soon be faced with a drastic decrease in the availability of fresh water and eventually food. As the world grows at an astonishing rate so does the rate at which we diminish the viable resources available for sustainability. The graph in our reading material shows these increases and goes on to say that a person born in 1950 who lives 75 years will have seen the world’s population grow by more than 5 million people. These rates and others can be found at www.un.org/esa/population. The reading material in Chapter Ten goes on to say that as the population grows the strain will become more noticeable. The material states that each additional

person uses raw materials and adds pollutants to the land, air and water. In some areas this is more detrimental as others because of the limited resources already available. Because of this each person needs to consider what they can do to decrease the detrimental effect on the environment. Companies even need to rethink the role they play in the environment as well. The material goes on to say that many believe human society is overshooting the carrying capacity of the earth and that we are on a collision course with a fixed barrier. Continuing at this rate will end in over-pollution and a lack of viable resources. To bring the earth’s carrying capacity back into balance many factors need to be looked at. Decreasing the environmental pollutants is important and we are always looking for new ways to produce energy. I always think of an outlet center in Texas that runs off the power of wind turbines to reduce the pollutants in the area. This not only saves the company money but also reduces the carbon footprint. The company that work for has built three new school buildings that although does have power for items such as computers its sole source of lighting is all from outside using these innovative cylinders that project the light and magnify its intensity to light the entire building. We hear on the news everyday of what type of ozone alert day it is and thus individuals with breathing difficulties know to stay indoors and try to avoid being out for long periods of time. Over the years all of the use of aerosols and other chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) contribute to the depletion of the ozone. The company I am using for this task is one of the top users of these types of destroyers. As an air conditioning company re=charging an air conditioner is a necessity. Because they have to service these types of systems and use what is required to make a change has to start at the beginning. The recommendations that I would make for Rhodes is to increase the use of the newer geothermal heat pump systems that utilize the heat and cooling from the earth’s core to heat and cool the house. These systems are better for the environment and are cost effective. These systems are renewable by making use of the resources already at hand in the earth’s core. As older systems become antiquated or stop working Rhodes will start to introduce these Geothermal systems to its customers in hopes to try to leave their mark on the environment. In the end these will start to decrease the CFCs in the environment by using resources

that are already available. In the long run this will help maintain the ozone and reduce the carbon footprints. The old systems can be recycled for many other purposes at a recycling center. Rhodes will take full advantage of resources available for sustainability such as:  Rhodes will utilize one of these programs to recycle old units to keep them from being used in other homes. Rhodes will use either Responsible Appliance Disposal Program or the “Keep Cool” recycle program to dispose of all old units. This will ensure they are not refurbished and sold at a discount price. Thereby saving the planet over a period of time by reducing the chance of them being reused and by reducing the amount of landfills.  Rhodes will start to introduce the use of Geothermal systems as their primary units. These will help to reduce the CFCs in the ozone because they utilize the use of the earth’s natural resources to heat and/or cool the house and also are more cost efficient.  Rhodes will reduce the carbon footprint by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned.  Extended product responsibility to continue to take care of the products they sell.  Try to contribute to carbon neutrality In addition to these types of changes all individuals should try reduce waste to prolong the earth’s capacity. By doing simple things such as:          Reducing the amount of bottled water drank Plant a tree Turn off computers at night to reduce energy consumption Reduce water waste by shortening your shower and don’t rinse dishes prior to loading the dishwasher Recycle glass products Don’t preheat the oven Wash in cold or warm water and then hang dry your clothes Recycle newspaper and reduce the amount of paper products used Recycle as many items as possible such as hangers, paper products, aluminum and cell phones

Ethical leadership is equally important in the world today and can foster long standing implications for a company. Ethical principles refer to moral behaviors and have the ability to wreak havoc on a company if they are not putting their best foot forward. When a customer is looking for a company to do business with they want one that respects the values of its customers. The reading material in Chapter Four defines business ethics as the application of general ethical ideas to business behavior. Our reading material states that there are many reasons a business should be ethical such as these that I have revised for my company Rhodes Air Conditioning:  To meet demands of business stakeholders by ensuring the company is operating ethically, fairly and considering the companies social responsibility. By doing this the company can retain their current business and have the ability to increase its customers. By remaining true to their standards and not charging excessive prices they will be able to maintain the market in the A/C industry.  To enhance business performance by remaining ethically performing so that the company remains financially profitable. Repeatedly given the most cost effective quotes and not charging more than the state mandated allowable charges will keep the company in good standing and will ensure the customers pass the word around about the good ethics of Rhodes Air Conditioning.  To comply with legal requirements regarding licensing of AC technicians as well as the sale of refrigerants to these individuals. The company should also comply with all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations regarding the disposal of units and refrigerants. The company will also adhere to the rules regarding replacing units with more than a 50 pound refrigerant loss.  To prevent or minimize harm by ensuring that all safety measures are followed when repairing, replacing or any other work is done. This is not limited to turning off all power sources and ensuring a safe clear work area.

 To promote personal morality by continuing doing what they feel and know is right. Actions speak louder than words my Mother always taught me. Employees want to work for a company that represents their own values rather than what they are making states our reading material in Chapter Four. Our reading material continues to state that ethical problems occur because of many reasons listed are a few:  Personal gain and selfish interest by wanting it all basically. This can cause a person to act selfishly and harm the company  Competitive pressures on profits by seeing the dollar amount rather than the big picture of good business. One large transaction isn’t better than several with returning customers  Conflicts of interest by having to many obligations and trying to help all of your friends and acquaintances out. Guidelines need to be established. The way you are perceived by your customers goes a long way to foster better business values and increase your customer clientele. Spiritual beliefs should be left out of the workplace and in any customers’ homes because one person’s view is not necessarily everyone’s. As a free country with the ability to have our own free speech also allows us to have our own spiritual beliefs. Rhodes A/C will adhere to keeping this out of the workplace including customers’ homes. Ethical recommendations for Rhodes will include the following:  All business transactions will be handled through the business office. The technician will only handle checks and/or credit card payments paid through the business office. All invoices will be turned in and balanced on a daily basis and at no time will cash be accepted by any technician. This will ensure the proper accounting of all transactions.  All job orders will be priced using the flat rate repair price book. Any variance from this should only be used after approval from the owner. This will ensure all customers are receiving the same price for services. Anytime a customer is being seen as a follow-up after repair or installation the company will not charge for these services unless it is due to an issue unrelated to the original job order.

 At all times the technician should be dressed in the appropriate attire which involves a shirt displaying the name Rhodes Air Conditioning and the name of the technician. Any technician will display their name badge and ensure the customer knows what you are doing at all times.  At no time should an employee of the company work on personal jobs while on the company’s time. This protects the company as well as the employee from any liabilities that could occur.  All employees will refrain from improper language that could be relayed as vulgar or offensive. All employees will act with respect and have the best interest of the company in mind.  No employee shall refer on any online media sites to the company in bad taste. Even though you are off of work all respect should be given to the company and employees should refrain from shedding negative light on the company. The term viability in itself can be defined as 1) capable of living, developing or germinating under favorable conditions 2) capable of living outside the uterus (used of a fetus or newborn) 3) capable of success or continuing effectiveness; practicable according to the Free Dictionary at www.freedictionary.com. With that in mind then it brings to light what a company needs to do to maintain. Of these I can only imagine that a company has to keep financial security at the top of its game. A key step to consider when looking at viability is what would happen if key employees were to leave? For this reason it is recommended that a succession plan be in place in the unlikely event a key individual leaves. By regularly scheduling performance appraisals as well as getting to know your employees you can have firsthand knowledge as who has the ability to move up and who doesn’t. From my own experience at my job where I manage a business office although I know all aspects of each person’s job if something was to happen to me there would many jobs mainly payroll that would not be able to be done. Because of this I have started dually training individuals who can step up in case of any kind of emergency. This way the business will go on. Because of Rhodes A/C being such a small company it is even more important for more than one person to know the interactions of how a job is done. In this way no

matter what happens; all aspects of the company are covered. It is also important to have strong organizational leadership to be prepared for whatever curves may come their way. My recommendations for organizational viability are to:  Have a plan in place for any employees that may leave so the company is not left out in the dark  Have a strong organizational leadership plan in place to not only lead the employees to become stronger employees but also to protect the company in case something happens to the owner  A clear resolution of how to close out any incomplete work should be in place because the company is a small one owner company. This will ensure any incomplete work is completed to the customers satisfaction or an alternate route has been given to the customer  The company should have a plan to recruit and train new employees to be prepared in case of employee loss. Who will train any new employees? Where you look for new employees at? What happens when the company grows and additional employees are needed?  The company should have a strong internal structure to lead the employees in the direction the company wants to go. Who answers to whom or who supervises? Is there only one, two what are the expectations?  The company should have strong communication skills in place to be able to work out small indifferences. As a small company it is imperative that the company does not let small differences come between the employees to ensure a work space conducive to tackle any jobs.  The company should know where they want to be in a year, in ten years and beyond. Where does the company see itself going? Do they want to tackle commercial jobs or solely do residential jobs? Is it worthwhile to invest in the employee’s future by offering more training? Legal and regulatory considerations that should be made are what changes will be made during the next few years from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in regards to new legal requirements for air conditioning companies. Will the government (like with health care) make changes that are going to affect the way air conditioning units are sold, repaired or installed? Since the 1970’s the EPA has

had a voice in what is happening to the planet and atmosphere. The EPA regulates air pollution, water pollution and land pollution and because of the nature of the business this needs to be the first source of information. One consideration for change could be in the area of air pollution. As the population grows the number of homes, businesses and vehicles grow as well. This contributes to the amount of air pollution and other pollutants. According to the reading material in Chapter Eleven it is estimated that 125 million Americans are breathing unsafe air for at least part of the year. As a former smoker I do not take the smell of fresh air lightly anymore. It is amazing what I can smell now that I am not a smoker as well as being able to climb a flight of stairs with ease. The material goes on to say that there are six pollutants that lead to this and they are:       Lead Carbon monoxide Particulate matter Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen dioxide Ozone

Of all of these an air conditioning company is well aware of what carbon monoxide can do to a person and what each of these pollutants contributes to the environment. Another key factor to consider is land pollution. With the growing population so does the amount of trash that we each use. If we each recycled something, wouldn’t that put a dent in the huge landfills? What would you do with all of your plastic bottles? Do you have any idea of how much space you can save if you recycle? Many of your household items should be recycled but old air conditioning units should not be recycled or be able to be reused because of the potential risk of leaks of CFCs and other pollutants. The last key factor for concern with the EPA is water pollution. Rivers and other waterways are increasingly becoming polluted with unwanted trash. These waterways help to provide us with fresh water from a variety of sources. To protect this steps should be taken to decrease the amount of unused trash and find new ways to dispose and/or reuse.

My recommendation for Rhodes to meet the legal requirements and regulatory actions is to stay connected to the latest news from the EPA and local environmental groups. As well as this Rhodes should join local groups that meet to discuss potential waste issues and ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. From the reading material I found that most electronic waste is shipped overseas which if not used just creates someone else’s problem. Car manufacturers are finding new and innovative ways to reuse materials and even find ways to save the environment by manufacturing cars that run on power rather than fuel. Air conditioning companies should find ways to help reduce the damage to landfills and pollutants as well. Rhodes is recommending the advancement of use of the earth’s resources to help reduce the air pollution problem. By tapping into the earth’s natural resources underground we are using cleaner air and limiting the amount of CFCs emitted into the environment. The new generation of geothermal units will help the environment in the long run. Rhodes is also recommending instead of recycling units that could possibly end up in another home Rhodes is recommending melting these units down for other purposes. Although there would be some emission into the environment from melting these units down the damage to the landfills will diminish. Rhodes is also recommending developing environmental standards that they will adopt to align with current regulations. Rhodes will adopt a environmental quality standard that will supersede the governments expectations and will help foster a sense of caring for the environment. If is funny when you look back at the land and water when we were kids and see where it has gone and where it is going. At this rate our great grandkids will be playing next to landfills and breathing air that is continually getting worse. It is up to companies small and large to help make a role model for individuals to follow and want to make the best of the environment, land and what it has to offer.

References
Rowe, G., Nejad, M. H., (2009). Strategic leadership: Short-term stability and long-term viability. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved on June 10, 2013 from http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/leadership/strategic-leadership-short-term-stability-andlong-term-viability#.UKl-KKCXOSo Definition for viability retrieved from The Free Dictionary at www.freedictionary.com on June 11, 2013 50 ways to help retrieved from www.50waystohelp.com on June 12, 2013 Lawrence, Anne; Weber, James (2010) "Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy", (13th ed). Irwin Professional Publishing

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...SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: WHY IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO “Being socially responsible means that people and organizations must behave ethically and with sensitivity toward social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. Striving for social responsibility helps individuals, organizations and governments have a positive impact on development, business and society with a positive contribution to bottom-line results,” (http://www.imasocialentrepreneur.com/social-responsibility/). In layman’s terms, corporations have a responsibility to serve the community while providing goods and services and making a profit. Business Law author Henry Cheeseman identifies the four theories of social responsibility as: a) maximizing profits, b) moral minimum, c) stakeholder interest, and d) corporate citizenship. In order to comply with social responsibility standards, all requirements must be met. Unfortunately, not all business owners feel obligated to be fully socially responsible. T.J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, is one who does not. His primary interests are in maximizing profits and stakeholder interests. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, on the other hand, fully grasps the idea of and practices all aspects of social responsibility. There are legitimate arguments for and against businesses performing social responsibility activities. The strongest argument in support of social responsibility is that because businesses have such a profound impact on their......

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