Friday, July 24, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility

Starbucks has a goal to ethically source all of its coffee by 2015. While some believe that as a highly profitable firm, they should set a more aggressive target, one must consider the time it takes to audit and alter the supply chain where needed. Systems-thinking reminds us that it takes several actors to create a change, so companies like Starbucks, which source their products from all over the globe, have a lot of coordinating to do in order to reach their 2015 goal. This may involve working with private farm owners and workers, local governments, and perhaps even NGOs who know the particular areas. Meanwhile, the public pressure is a good thing and keeps big corporations on their toes, reminding them to stay diligent and make an honest effort towards their goal. For example, here’s an appeal from 2006 to Starbucks:

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