CSR, Sustainable Development & Policy: case study

Students are required, with the module leader’s support and guidance, to submit a essay on a case study provided by the lecturer. The essay should include the principle points of the coursework, including the provisional literature, proposed discussion points and why it was selected.

Case Studies (Please select only one case study to answer)

1. The UK Food Industry: Social Responsibility and Obesity 
In your role as an industry policy adviser you work closely with UK vegetable growers to market their crops. Part of your role is to represent the growers interests, to UK food manufacturers and retailers. 

Your manager will be making a keynote speech at a conference on obesity. Her presentation will discuss current thinking on the social responsibility of the food industry to encourage healthy eating. To help her prepare she has asked you to produce a briefing note (essay) which should answer the following questions; 

a. A summary on current academic thinking on the challenges of the social responsibilities of the food industry, with particular focus on the responsibilities of growers, the food manufacturers and retailers;
b. Government action on encouraging healthy eating, which should discuss the Public Health Responsibility Deal;
c. The importance and limitations of individual responsibility for healthy eating. 

2. The Arms Industry and Social Responsibility
A new government has recently been elected with a strong manifesto commitment to introduce social responsibility actions into all industries. In the case of the arms industry, social responsibility will focus on the product and to restrict the sales of weapons of war to politically unstable countries. 

You work for a company that will be significantly affected by this policy. In your role in the marketing department, your manager has asked you to prepare a document (essay) to consider the government’s proposal and explain why the policy will be detrimental to your company and the workforce but also to the economy. 

In your document you are required to answer the following questions;

a. A summary of current academic thinking on government’s role in encouraging companies to be more socially responsible.
b. Can companies be socially responsible when producing what may be described as morally suspect goods and services? 
c. The arguments for and against the proposition that companies, such as the one you work for, cannot be held responsible for how the buyers use the products.

3. Sin Industries (Tobacco, Alcohol and Gambling) and government regulation 
You work for an organisation that represents the interests and views of various ‘sin’ industries (tobacco, alcohol, and gambling) to government. Companies in these industries are interested in persuading government to reduce the regulatory burden on their products and services. You have been asked to prepare a document (essay) which explains the regulatory context by focusing on ONE industry only. 

In your document you are required to answer the following questions;

a. Why governments regulate business and what are the most common regulatory tools used in the UK.
b. How the market may be affected by government regulation. 
c. The arguments for and against government regulation to protect citizens and their wellbeing.

4. Multinational Companies; Tax Management, Avoidance and Evasion
In your role for an international NGO you have been asked to prepare a document (essay) for a non-specialist audience to explain the social responsibility challenges for multinational companies who use tax management strategies to reduce their overheads and increase their profitability. 

In you document you are required to answer the following questions:

a. What are the differences between tax management, tax avoidance, and tax evasion by companies?
b. Why do some governments aim to be tax competitive?
c. Whether aggressive tax management strategies are reconcilable with social responsibility commitments. 

5. Waste Management and Sustainable Development
You are employed by a major high street clothes retail company, which is a market leader in producing fashionable and affordable products. The new CEO is very keen on improving the company’s sustainability reputation by adopting a sustainable development strategy. You are required to prepare a document (essay) that explains the WRAP Waste hierarchy and the challenges it presents to your company and the fashion industry. 

In your document you are required to answer the following questions;

a. What is sustainable development?
b. The implications of each of the steps in the WRAP waste hierarchy to the fashion industry.
c. What actions can an individual fashion company take to enhance their sustainability reputation?

6. Trade Agreements, including T-TIP
You work as a lobbyist in Brussels for an organization which represents (mostly small) specialist cheese makers. Your role requires you to advise your client on EU policy and developments that may affect their business. In general the client is happy that T-TIP will open new markets for their products. However, responding to recent press reports on some negative aspects of the T-TIP structure, you are required to prepare a document that answers the following questions;

a. Why is there increased controversy about the T-TIP agreement; what are the most controversial aspects of the agreement?
b. How will specialist food producers be affected by the agreement?
c. What is the Investor to State Dispute Settlement and why is it necessary?

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