Mcdonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund
Using English for Communication by Thai Prostitutes BY 3605030 The purposes of this study were to study English competency of the Thai prostitutes for communication with their customers, and to explore methods of Thai prostitutes in improving their language ability for communication with their customers. In depth, face-to-face qualitative interview were conducted with a convenience sample of 36 Thai prostitutes and 10 international tourists. The samples were randomly from the Thai prostitute’s famous night areas in Bangkok; Khaosan Road, Patpong, and Soi Nana.
A semi-interview form was created as a research tool. This study was supplemented by additional analysis of existing secondary data sources including books, and online databases. The results indicated that the English competency of the informants is in the average level with successful communication purpose. The informants improve their English skills in real life working experience. Half of the informants are educated. They learned English skills from universities. Half of them are studying in higher education institutions.
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They work for money to pay for tuition fees, rents, and other needy expenses.
The international tourists expressed that the nformants are poor, and they had no other choices. However, it is a way to improve language skills. The limitation of this study focuses on the anxiety of the informants since working as prostitutes is still an illegal Job in the Thai society. They thought that the researcher was a police officer which may effect the obtained information. The paper shows that the language skills are beneficial in communication. It creates better customers satisfaction which will lead to an increase of the opportunity to earn more income. By Thavorn Thitthongkam Mcdonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund
By alecxandrine McDonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund: a case study of a green alliance Sharon Livesey Originally published in… The Journal of Business Communication January 1999 In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, which had convened to address the global ecological crisis, produced Our Common Future (the Brundtland Report). This watershed event established the conceptual underpinnings for environmental politics and debate in the 1990s by reframing the problem of the natural environment as one of sustainable development.
In the wake f this reframing, a new practice in environmental management emerged – that of green alliances or partnerships between business and ecology groups (Westley & Vredenburg, 1991, pp. 71-72). These alliances, considered one of the ten most significant trends in environmental management and the greening of industry (Gladwin, 1993, p. 46), appeared to signal a sea change in the way business, as well as environmentalists, could respond to the ecological impacts of firms’ economic activities.
Indeed, environmental partnerships offered both business and ecology groups the potential for a new rhetorical stance. Business communication cholarship has identified a variety of rhetorical strategies adopted by corporations in the face of environmental controversy: defensiveness and apologia (e. g. , Ice, 1991 ; Tyler, 1992), competing information campaigns (e. g. , Lange, 1993; Moore, 1993), or retreat (e. g. , Setter, 1995). Green alliances provide business with an alternative to these strategies.
Through eco-partnership, a firm can adopt, at both material and symbolic levels, a proactive approach toward the natural environment; its posture vis-a-vis environmentalists, or at least a wing of the environmental movement, can be collaborative rather than conflictual. On the other hand, green alliances offer environmentalists the possibility of direct influence over business practice and an alternative to – or as Fred Krupp, leader of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and an early proponent of eco-business collaboration, would have it, a tool in addition to – the Jeremiad (Killingsworth & Palmer, 1996; Slovic, 1996).
While eco-alliances have been discussed in the environmental management and green marketing literature, they have not been so far studied as business communication. This paper presents a case study of the rhetorical aspects of an early green partnership, the 1990-1991 recedent-setting alliance between McDonald’s Corporation, the leading quick- service restaurant chain, and EDF, a United States-based mainstream environmental organization.
McDonald’s and EDF formed a Joint task force that publicly released a six-month study of McDonald’s entire range of packaging and materials management practices. The partnership is most widely known, however, for the fact that three months into the study, at the last minute, and under pressure from EDF, McDonald’s abandoned the polystyrene boxes (called clamshells) it had traditionally used to ther – arguably more important, and certainly less controversial – work, including a 42-step action plan to lessen the environmental impacts of McDonald’s business.
My study seeks to recontextualize the packaging decision, considering it within the broader dynamics of the partnership and within the context of McDonald’s prior corporate environmental advocacy. Further, it locates the McDonald’s-EDF partnership within the broader realm of environmental politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, an arena where nonprofit environmental groups began to play a new and important role. I focus on the symbolic and discursive aspects of the partnership.
Relying on public relations material released by McDonald’s and EDF before and during the partnership, as well as contemporaneous and subsequent news accounts, I show the variety – and the variability – of rhetorical strategies adopted by McDonald’s in its attempt to construct itself as green in the eyes of its consumers and publics. I also explain the rhetorical approach used by EDF in its struggle to expand the scope of legitimate action by environmentalists to include collaboration with businesses. Green Partnerships: A New Kind of Alliance
Alliances that have arisen between environmentalist groups and businesses in the last decade represent a shift in the arm’s-length, or adversarial, relationships among institutional stakeholders (business and environmentalists, environmentalists and government, government and business) traditionally concerned with problems of the natural environment (Long & Arnold, 1995; Milne, lyer, & Gooding-Williams, 1996; Westley & Vredenburg, 1991). The new relationships have been described as path breaking and innovative (e. . , Coddington, 1993; Long & Arnold, 1995; Ottman, 1994; Wasik, 1996). Typically, they are distinguishable from the prior charitable (e. g. , donations to or sponsorships of environmental causes) and commercial relationships (e. g. , calendars, T-shirts produced for environmental groups) because they engage the expert knowledge of the environmental group and involve it, to varying degrees, in Joint problem solving or strategic decision making with the corporate partner (Clair, Milliman, & Mitroff, 1995).
In this category are green product endorsements, audits by environmental groups of business programs or practices, and Joint projects of the type engaged in by McDonald’s and EDF, where the corporate partner’s usiness practices are evaluated and improved according to ecological criteria. The History of the McDonald’s-EDF Partnership In 1989-1990, McDonald’s was the leader of the fast-food industry, with worldwide operations employing approximately 500,000 people in 11,000 restaurants and serving 22 million customers a day.
At the time EDF approached McDonald’s, its entanglement in controversy over its packaging frustrated the company. From EDF’s perspective, McDonald’s leadership position, its problematic history of waste management, and the iconic value of waste management as an environmental issue ade the company an attractive candidate for partnership. EDF saw significant opportunity for both environmental action and a major, high visibility, opportunity to test its innovative approach to environmental problem-solving through corporate partnerships. On the other hand, EDF’s positioning as a mainstream environmental group made it an attractive ally.
McDonald’s earlier attempts to talk with the more radical Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (CCHW), one of the ecology Below I briefly summarize the background histories of McDonald’s and EDF before turning to a description of the partnership. McDonald’s Environmental Record With environmentalism on the rise among the general public in the 1980s, consumer- driven businesses were particularly subject to and sensitive about public pressure (Livesey, 1993a, pp. 2-4). Plastic had been demonized by several environmentalist organizations including the grassroots groups Greenpeace and CCHW.
The use-and- dispose philosophy at the core of McDonald’s business and its distinctive plastic clamshell sandwich boxes, which helped to make the company one of the largest single users of polystyrene in the United States, had made McDonald’s a continuing target of ecology groups (Livesey, 1993a, p. ). Throughout the late 1980s, McDonald’s instituted and publicized a number of environmentally positive steps in its domestic operations (see Figure 1). It reduced consumption, for instance, by using lighter weight paper in straws, paper bags and other items and recycled paper and cardboard packaging.
In 1987, it switched from polystyrene (used for the clamshells) blown with CFCs, the family of chemicals which destroy the ozone layer, to plastic foam that used hydrocarbon blowing agents (Annual Report, 1989, pp. 10-15). In 1989, the company instituted a pilot program in 450 New England stores to recycle its lastic clamshells (Holusha, 1989; Livesey, 1993a, pp. 12-14). In April, 1990, it committed $100 million, or one quarter of the company’s annual building and remodeling budget, to buy recycled materials for restaurant construction, remodeling, and operations under a program called “McRecycle” (Livesey, 1993a, pp. 3-14). In 1989 and 1990, McDonald’s bolstered its environmental management practices with a proactive public relations campaign. The centerpiece was the 1989 Annual Report, which highlighted the issue of the natural environment. McDonald’s also offered in-store flyers to educate customers about the company’s environmental anagement practices, policies, philosophies, and positions on particular issues such as rainforest beef and the ozone problem. Brochures on environmental topics, including packaging, were available from its public relations department.
In addition, McDonald’s worked with several different environmental and nonprofit groups (e. g. , the World Wildlife Fund and the Smithsonian Institution) to coproduce elementary school materials on the environment. Despite its efforts, the company continued to be criticized. The Environmental Defense Fund Twenty years after being founded in 1967 as a grassroots group that litigated against he use of DDT on Long Island, EDF had become one of the Group of 10 mainstream U. S. organizations (Clair, Milliman, & Mitroff, 1995, p. 168; Dowie, 1995). With a budget of close to $16 million (Reinhardt, 1992, p. ), its staff had expanded to include 110 lawyers, economists, and scientists; membership was greater than 200,000 (Livesey, 1993a, p. 14) and a Harvard Business School graduate served as chairman of its board of trustees (Reinhardt, 1992, p. 6). The scientific culture of its early days gave EDF a basis for positioning itself as a technical expert. In the late 1980s, its Executive Director Fred Krupp (1986) began to propose “coalitions of former enemies” (p. 34), that is, coalitions with corporate America, as an important tool for achieving environmental change.
EDF thus differentiated its role within the competitive environmental movement, a move for which it was criticized by CCHW and other and too willing to compromise (Reinhardt, 1992, p. 5; see also Dowie, 1995, pp. 105-124). Before the McDonald’s partnership, EDF had pursued various Joint projects with organizations and groups ranging from the World Bank to the electric utility industry to western water users (Reinhardt, 1992, p. 4). Further, like McDonald’s, EDF ad participated in multi-party negotiations organized by the Coalition of Northeast Governors to develop waste management guidelines for New England.
Thus, it had built expertise in the area of packaging and waste management and had enjoyed a working relationship with McDonald’s representatives before the task force was initiated (EDF Fact Sheet, August 1, 1990). The McDonald’s-EDF Alliance The task force history had three phases: the announcement of the McDonald’s-EDF partnership on August 1, 1990; McDonald’s decision to abandon its clamshell packaging on November 1, 1990; and the release of the Joint task force study on April 16, 1991. A brief history of the partnership follows (see Figure 2).
The McDonald’s-EDF joint task force on waste reduction was the outcome of a year of EDF-initiated dialogue with the company (Reinhardt, 1992, p. 9). The eight-member group included representatives from McDonald’s, EDF, and The Perseco Company, McDonald’s exclusive packaging supplier. Shelby Yastrow, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs at McDonald’s, along with EDF Executive Director Fred Krupp, oversaw the group (McDonald’s Corporation & EDF Press Release, August 1, 1990).
The alliance was structured by a formal written agreement (McDonald’s & EDF Final Report, 1991, pp. 5-6) that defined the issues the task force was to consider and set up some ground rules. Designed to anticipate potential conflict, the agreement included an escape clause in case of disagreement, preserved the parties’ rights to note publicly their differences, provided for the parties’ financial independence, and permitted each organization to pursue its own public relations and advocacy agendas on the environment during the period of the task force.