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Introduction: Company overview
Deutsche Post DHL (DP DHL) is a logistics solution provider operating globally. DHL’s headquarters are in Bonn, Germany and the company’s primary operations are found in more than 220 countries across Europe, America, and Asia. The company offers an assortment of services including mail, carriage, contract logistics solutions and other value-added services. Principally, the company has diversified its operations in terms of business divisions and geographical markets. Global forwarding, freight division is the company’s largest business division accounting for almost 30% of the total revenues (“Datamonitor: Deutsche Post” 3). However, the core operation is the express division, offering courier and express services globally. The mail division, supply chain and express division follow the topmost division in that order, in terms of revenue. Evidently, the company prides itself in comprehensive contract logistics solutions, which has empowered it to influence economies of scale and help it to not only shape but also uphold a strong brand globally (Musiolik 29). The company’s motto is “Living responsibility”, and in practice, they live it as the company emphasizes its pledge to social accountability (Musiolik 29). This has seen the company establish programs in ecological protection, disaster management, and education.
DHL and business ethics
Ethics is considerably a key integrating force in management. According to Godiwalla (1382), managers now, more than ever, understand that by embedding ethics into business, they can secure a competitive advantage and promote a sustainable development of their companies. Business ethics comprise a set of rules and moral standards that aim at enhancing the company’s economic conducts and activity (Neiman 78; Raza 50).
At DHL, quality is of paramount significance. Moreover, DHL is ethically committed to achieving customer satisfaction through their customer-focused business processes, projects, and dealings (“DHL: We Deliver” 46). The focus of DHL Company is to inspire trust in their company, and as a result, they take into account not only the quality of their service but also the ethical, social, and environmental performance.
The corporate values of DHL guide the employees towards sustainable development. Additionally, social responsibility enables DHL to honour the diverse interests of their customers, employees and business partners (Rahim and Shawkat 610). As a multinational company, DHL subscribes to the United Nations Global Compact, which sees to it that they respect human rights in their sphere of influence. Moreover, the company is ethically committed to transparency, pledges to accounting and reporting standards that ensure accuracy and authenticity of information, and complies with rights and regulations that combat money-laundering activity. DHL has chosen to pursue effective business ethics through a monolith and standardized global approach (Godiwalla 1381). The company has also adopted multiple and customized approaches that suit each country’s needs. It is evident that by adopting a customized approach for each country, DHL is able to embrace a second approach that enhances the company’s ethical commitment to its different markets. The ethical commitment allows the company to respond to different needs and expectations represented in the different territories. Additionally, DH is able to cater for business ethics and social responsibility in each country where it operates.
DHL, corporate governance and CSR initiatives
Corporate governance comprises the wholeness of all universal and nationwide values and ideologies for good, accountable company administration and management. As of Marketline (6), corporate governance does not contain established uniform international rules, but refers to a company’s consideration of responsible company running. At DHL, there are certain elements that underpin the company’s corporate governance. Apart from DHL declaring their conformity with a corporate governance code and the company upholds the guiding principle for their employee engagement, which is “Respect and Results” (“DHL: Deutsche Post” 13). Moreover, the DHL Company has a code of conduct for employees and suppliers which include anticorruption and competition guidelines. To a certain extent, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) converge. Rahim and Shawkat (607) assert that this convergence works for the good of the corporate regulatory landscape. Even though this significance is reduced in strong economies, it has contributed to significant reform of the regulatory environment that guides corporate governance in weak economies. This attribute makes sense; especially following the assertion that economic globalization has reduced the percentage of the global population living in moderate and extreme poverty (Arnold 126). This shows that most MNCs are expanding from strong economies to weak economies, and to ensure sustainability, corporate governance aids in ensuring achievement of these goals.
Therefore, CSR is a function of corporate governance. At DHL, three programs express the company’s commitment to sustainability
DHL has a variety of sustainability programs under its living responsibility banner, and one of them is the Go Green program. The program is the cornerstone of the company’s sustainability efforts for environmental protection. The program was set up in 2008 as response to global environmental issues, and it aims at addressing the company’s energy efficiency and carbon intensity (“Datamonitor: DP DHL” 2). The program has since grown to cover environmental issues such as waste, water consumption, environmental management, and sustainable sourcing. The company anticipates improving the carbon dioxide efficiency of its processes and subcontractors by 30% by the year 2020. This resourcefulness has seen the company introduce fuel-efficient vehicles and uptake of renewable energy in the facilities it owns. Moreover, the company has introduced green parcels in Germany, and seen to it that they go green in a considerable number of its operations and processes
Go Help program is another CSR initiative that DHL has established as a means of responsible living, and its design centres on three functions, which aim to assist in disaster management. The three functions include disaster response, disaster preparedness and a partnership with UNICEF to reduce child mortality (“Datamonitor: DP DHL” 9). Partnering with the United Nations has seen DHL dispatch their disaster response teams at disaster-site airports and their disaster preparation training program that help airports equip themselves for emergency situations (“DHL: We Deliver” 65). Meanwhile, The Go Teach program consists mainly of localized programs that aim at championing education (“DHL: We Deliver” 15). The initiative has seen DHL give many children from poor backgrounds a chance at a good education (“Datamonitor: DP DHL” 10). Moreover, DHL supports volunteer work among its employees through the Global Volunteer Day and the Living Responsibility Fund.
Discussion of CSR initiatives
Evidently, the CSR initiatives of DHL enable the company to accomplish one of its objectives, which is to ensure achievement of sustainable living. The company made a major step when it decided to participate in a green economy since the establishment of the Go Green program in 2008. This milestone has helped the company to grow its brand worldwide.
As a global logistics company mainly dealing with transport, DHL seems aware that its contribution to the greenhouse gases was immense and taking a step to put the production of carbon dioxide in check through various means discussed has earned it a competitive advantage. This shows how much the company values the environments in which it operates and it is willing to achieve sustainability to ensure continuity.
The Go Teach program has extremely benefited the DHL in terms of winning the trust of its customers in this weak economy, as they see the company as an aid and not only an agent looking to make profits. While DHL benefits from the sales it makes to these populations, the community benefits in other ways. This relationship is the cornerstone of dependence that shows value for people. The Go Help program is also a feasible initiative, as it not only seeks to help, but also seeks to earn trust among consumers, which comes without much compromise, for it reflects the saying that a friend in need is a friend indeed.
The resolution of DHL to establish such feasible CSR initiatives has been a major score that has enabled the company to continue towering as the logistics company of choice among many consumers in the world. Through CSR, the company not only endears itself to the consumer market, but also does what is ethically right by giving back to the same society where it generates its profits. Overall, the company has successfully used CSR as part of its public relations, resultantly making it successful in how it relates to different stakeholders.
Arnold, Denis. “Global Justice and International Business.” Business Ethics Quarterly 23.1 (2013): 125-143. Print.
Datamonitor: Deutsche Post DHL: Company Profile 2011. Web.
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Datamonitor: DP DHL Sustainability Case Study: How is DP DHL responding to the Challenges of Sustainability? 2010. Web.
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Musiolik, Thomas. The Global Player: How to Become “the Logistics Company for the World“, Hamburg: DiplomicaVerlag, 2012. Print.
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