Corporate Social Responsibility: A closer look at the social performance of CHEM. The relationship between natural environment and industries has often been named ‘dysfunctional’. An Increase In the levels of awareness of the society towards activities of companies, both positive and negative, has pushed corporations to address to their corporate social responsibilities. Industrial Pollution has been a concern for the society. The effects of companies’ actions on the environment are constantly under scrutiny by the society, through different groups including the government and facial interest organizations.
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This study evaluates the social performance of CHEM.. CHEM. Is a major supplier of ready-mix concrete, cement and aggregates, worldwide. CHEM. was founded in 1906, in Mexico. (CHEM. 2013) Today, it operates in over 50 countries around the globe, spanning four continents. Mexico, United States of America and Northern Europe are their biggest markets, making up to 72% of their distribution total. The headquarters of the company are in San Pedro Gar Garcia, in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, located in the state of Novo Leon in northern Mexico.
CHEM. Is one of the ‘big names’ in the cement Industry, having a cement production capacity of 95 million tons, and an annual production level of 1 55 million tons for aggregates and 55 million tons for concrete. They recorded annual sales of $14. 98 billion. Making a net Income of $906. 2 million as on 31st December 2012. The third quarter report shows they have 42,853 employees in total around the globe. Cement companies are generally known to be notorious for air pollution from their factories. CHEM., however, has had Its fair share of positive and negative publicly In he environmental aspect through various activities.
The case against CHEM. Cement Industries, through their activity, pollute the ambient air with dust particles and greenhouse gases, consisting of carbon dioxide (CO), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (Knox) and oxides of sulfur (Kookaburras 2010). These gases are directly linked with issues like global warming and acid rains among others. Concerns have been rising exponentially, with greenhouse gas emissions rising rapidly, threatening agriculture and peoples’ Inevitability.The cement Industry, alone, contributes about 5% of CO emissions.
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Studies show that at the present rate the predicted CO level that will be reached in 2030 will be 110% more than what it was In the year 2000(Hosannas 2012). The cement industry also releases toxic dust, which is hazardousto human beings, consisting of calcium oxides and silicate oxides. The toxic dust is emitted during different processes in their operations, namely, kilns operations, clinker cooling and milling. These harmful chemicals not only cause respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis but have been shown to be associated with several other health issues.
However, these industries have been allowed to operate because of Its direct association with global development, but the environment and to strike a balance between the costs and benefits of these operations. Any violation to these rules and regulations has serious impacts on the natural environment and the society at large. Governments and special interest organizations have a very grim view on such discrepancies. Since, CHEM. is one of the largest cement manufacturer and supplier, it can be deduced that they have contributed, to a large proportion, to these harmful emissions.
Although, it is not seeable to avoid these effects for the production process, they are expected to abide by the guidelines(Kabuki 2010). CHEM. have been guilty of neglecting their Corporate Social Responsibility on various occasions. Negligent operation at the Rugby cement plant of CHEM. was brought to the magistrates’ court in the year 2006(Beard 2006). CHEM. admitted their fault and pleaded guilty. They were fined a record IEEE,OHO for the negligence on maintenance of the clinker. This caused nearby cars and houses to be covered with potentially toxic dust from the plant.
As discussed earlier, these cuts can have serious negative impacts to the environment. Skin irritation, asthma, reduced soil respiration and metabolic imbalance has been featured as effects in many studies(Hosing 2012). In 2008, CHEM. was once again found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act in United States(Valentine 2011). They were fined a hefty $1. 4 million for excessive emission of greenhouse gases. The original estimation of the fines was up to $27,500 for each day between January 1997 and March 2004(Resource 2007).
The violation of the Clean Air Act was taken very seriously as there were heavy negative effects on the people residing nearby. The case for CHEM. In modern days, companies cannot be unidirectional about profits. They are expected to behave along both directions of profitability and Corporate Citizenship(All M. Quiz 2000). Due to increased awareness among people, corporate social responsibility has become very important. Companies have already started to attempt to build a positive relationship with the society at large by proactively addressing to their social performance.
CHEM. has become a model to other business by incorporating social and environmental values in their business, while maintaining profitability and Roth. CHEM. has proactively attempted to cut down its carbon emission by shifting to fuels which are considered to be carbon neutral(Wilson 2003). They are constantly trying to achieve sustainability and striving for echo-efficiency. According to reports, they have reduced consumption of electricity by 160,000 megawatts and emission of CO by 263,000 tons in the year 2000.
In Mexico, CHEM. has recycled 23,294 litter of liquid waste and 10,433 tons of solid waste by using them as fuel. They have also conserved over 148,000 litter of water in Colombia, and 84,000 litter of water in Costa Rica and United States by constructing water treatment facilities. CHEM. is also trying to balance the intensive-energy consuming Portland cement making clinker at one of their plants by using the wasted heat to generate more useable form of energy. This should be able to produce sufficient energy to provide the annual electricity demand of a small town of 16,000 people.
In addition to using recycled materials, the giant cement supplier has been using cutting-edge technology to reduce their carbon footprint. They have also started producing alternative blended cements, CHEM. II and CHEM. Ill cements(“Chem. to Build London Facility” 2006). These blended cements, which have alternative production procedure reduce CO emissions by up to 50% have been suggested as one of the options for the future, as a replacement to traditional cements. CHEM. II uses fly-ash, a by-product of coal-fired power stations, and CHEM. Ill uses wastes blast furnace sites, such as iron and steel industries(Price 2007).
CHEM. can be put forward as a model to other businesses for showing their commitment to respect the values of society and environment, as well as, growing as a business. They have been receiving numerous awards over the last decade. To name a few, they won the World Environment Center (WEEK) Gold Medal in 2002, World business award from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), United Nations Development Program (UNDO) and The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (BIBLE) in 2006, the Corporate Citizen of the Americas Award from The Trust for the Americas and Organization of American States (SASS). CHEM. 2013) Conclusion Harm to the natural environment threatens the society at large. In the modern world, corporations are expected to balance the amount of resources they use and the amount of good that they give back. The cement industry as a whole has not always been in a positive view because of the pollution that it brings during production. However, the necessity of cement is undeniable for development. It is present in, virtually, all aspects of modern civilization. As a commodity, it is second to only water.
As a result, the society has to accept the consequences, but they can still expect the companies to put more effort to minimize the damage, considering that the production procedure cannot come without its negatives. CHEM. has been an exemplary company who has been striving for sustainability. It deserves all the plaudits that have been coming its way. The recycling of wastes should encourage other businesses to Join the cause. The project to develop useable energy from wasted heat is almost inspiring.
Through projects like this, they have attempted to cut down carbon emissions in other sectors since it is not yet possible to eradicate greenhouse gas emission from their industry. They have also addressed other issues in the society. They have been known for their initiatives in reducing housing shortages for low-income families in Mexico. However, these positive commitments awards social responsibility are at times superseded by their wrong-doings. CHEM. and its neglect to environment has been elaborately illustrated.
These impressions of CHEM., as a multi-national enterprise, have not been erased from peoples’ minds. The neglecting practices could have potentially caused more harm. CHEM. as a Corporate Citizen has both positives and negatives. The positives should be used as a guideline for other companies in the industry. Governments could tighten the regulations for cement manufacturers more, considering products such as CHEM. II and CHEM. Ill cements has lower emission ratings. CHEM. have been and should be encouraged to continue their sustainability development program by the society, through various awards.See More on Carbon dioxide