General Motor Company is the world’s second largest automobile producer after Toyota. It is found in United States of America. The company employ’s different marketing strategies to ensure that it remains competitive in the ever changing motor industry. One of the strategies that the company uses is corporate social responsibilities practices to create awareness in the world market of its products existence.
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Under the policies of corporate social responsibilities, the company has embarked on massive environmental conservation measures which it approaches from an internal approach, through making environmental friendly products and external factors where it engages in environmental conservation practices. This paper analysis the conservation measures undertaken by the company. To approach the subject the paper will be guided by some questions.
Characteristics of GM’s commitment to the environment
The company approaches the issue of environmental conservation from an internal and external approach. Internally the company aims at producing products which emit pollutant minimal gasses. Half of the company’s production is landfill-free; this means that they can be recycled. The company has 43 landfill-free plants where they aim to recycle over 96% of its products and make fuel from 3%. This will reduce wastage to the environment.
The company has embarked on continuous improvement of its automobiles to ensure that they are fuel efficient. Fuel efficient vehicles emit minimal green house gasses to the environment. Burning of fossil fuels has been quoted to be the highest source of green house gasses The Company has made measures to ensure that fuel consumption is to the maximum by its motor vehicles. When fuel is fully burnt, it effect to the environment are minimal.
From the outside, the company has involved itself in environmental conservation activities like tree planting, garbage collection and water recycling projects. These are done for the public in various countries where the company has a branch. The company is also working on a project which will see it start manufacturing electrically charged motor vehicles.
The company is approaching conservation from a curative approach. This is where it tries to engage in projects that restore the environment to its original form and also preventive measures where it ensures that it does not dispose its wastes in an unacceptable way (Jastram, 2007).
Environmental issues with fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions
Fuel is a natural resource which need to be protected like any other resource consequently burning of fuel emits green house gasses which affect the ozone layer. When the ozone layer has been affected, the resultant is global warming. It is estimated that in1906 – 2005, earth’s surface temperatures raised by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C. General motors’ have realised that burning of fossil fuel results to green house gasses emission.
This has made the company make products which are fuel efficient to ensure that they use little fuel; to conserve fuel reserves and emit minimal green house gases. Engines are designed in a way that there if full combustion of fuel to convert all carbon monoxide gasses into carbon dioxide which is less harmful.
In the same spirit, the company is on product testing stage of electrically charged motor vehicle. The new models will have the option of using electric power or using fuel. With time there will be a fully electric automobile from the company. These efforts are made to ensure that there is minimal use of fossil fuels to conserve the environment (Ernesto & Zedillo, 2008).
GM’s real strategic reasons for these environmental initiatives
GM has six objectives that it wants to attain as far as conserving n the environment is concerned. They are;
- Restoring and conserving the environment
- Recycling wastes and reducing waste in all its processes
- Educating the public on the need to conserve nature and the environment
- Development of strategies which reduce environmental pollution
- It aims at working with the government and international bodies committed to conserve the environment
- Undertaking environmental audit and device ways to improve the environment from the results of audits (General Motors’ Corporate Website, 2010)
The reasons for an environment conservation measure are both for the benefit of the company and the society.
Conservation being a corporate social responsibility will create a good relationship between the company and the people whom it targets as its customers. Good relation creates customer loyalty. This can thus be seen as a marketing strategy.
The move has also been taken for the sole benefit of the community where the company feels obligated to restore the environment for sustainable development.
Thirdly the move is seen as a compliant measure with governmental regulations and international and national conventions like Kyoto protocol. These regulations and conventions mandate a company to ensure that it adopts environmental friendly processes. In case it violates the set standards, there are penalties in term of taxes. This can be a reason why GM is much concerned with environmental conservation (Chiras, 2009).
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GM is the world second largest company in the world. The company adopts environmental conservation measures which start from making products which are environmentally friendly to engaging in practices that conserve the environment. The efforts to conserve the environment is triggered by the benefits that a company gets from corporate social responsibilities and the need to restore and conserve the environment.
Chiras D. (2009). Environmental Science; spotlight on sustainable development. New York: Jones & Bartlett publishers.
Ernesto Z. & Zedillo, E. (2008). Global warming: looking beyond Kyoto. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.
General Motors’ Corporate Website. (2010). “Environmental Commitment”. Retrieved from https://www.gm.com/our-company/about-gm.html
Jastram, S.(2007). The Link between Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Management. CIS Papers No.17. Hamburg: Centre of International Studies.