The United Nations Global Compact platform
The United Nations Global Compact platform has ten principles of which three are environmental principles. This submission describes lessons learnt from businesses practices by Honda Motors, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi companies that can be used to achieve compliance of two of the environmental principles. The two principles are (a) promoting greater environmental responsibility, which the eighth principle and (b) development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies, which is the ninth principle (UN Global Compact and Duke University, 2010; 11).
Promoting Greater Environmental Responsibility
This principle intends to help companies to adhere to a more environmental consciousness. Despite Honda not being a member of the of the United Nations Global Compact initiative, it has established different platforms within the company to ensure that it is promoting greater environmental responsibility. It does this through its Honda’s Global Compact Platform and Earth Dreams Technology (Honda, 2014a). The company has established environmental e-learning campaigns aimed at educating the public about different ways of preserving the environment.
Likewise, Hitachi has established environmental management strategies and initiatives that are aimed at improving its environmental impact. In addition, the company is involved in ecosystem preservation initiatives aimed at educating the public about the different ways of preserving the environment. It also encourages customers to buy products that are manufactured using eco-friendly procedures.
An analysis of Mitsubishi Company reveals that the company promotes greater environmental responsibility by investing in eco-friendly designs and processes. In addition, just like Honda and Hitachi, it offers information about preservation of the environment to the public (Mitsubishi 2014).
Development and Diffusion of Environmentally Friendly Technologies
Honda Motors Ltd is at the forefront in developing new technologies that seek to ensure environmental preservation. It has development motor vehicle engines that consume less fuel through its hybrid technology. Further, the company has produced such cars as Honda Jazz which is efficient and environmental friendly. The company has also produced hybrid engines that use electricity as well as gasoline hence reducing gasoline consumption (Honda, 2014a).
Hitachi is also developing efficient engines and cars. However in addition to such efforts, the company as a UN Global Compact member ensures that environmentally friendly policies are kept within the company. It has numerous products that are environmentally friendly and it ensures that where it cannot reduce environmental pollution, it does so through other corporate social responsibility events such as planting trees and providing clean water to society.
Mitsubishi ensures the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies through the manufacture of such products that preserve the environment. Further, it is involved in construction of more efficient aero engines as a way of reducing pollution to the environment caused by aeroplanes.
Positive Lessons Learnt From Businesses Practices
Honda uses the Global Compact Platform despite its non-member status in the UN Global Compact initiatives. This shows that any company, regardless, of its membership in the UN Global Compact can participate and ensure the adoption of Global Compact principles.
Honda’s success in motor vehicle industry shows that it is possible for a company to be profitable through the use of environmentally friendly strategies in manufacturing and distribution of products. In addition, Honda markets its Honda Jazz series as the best environmentally friendly SUV cars in the market.
Mitsubishi and Hitachi also use the UN Global Compact strategies to ensure that all its products and company processes adhere to the principles. Unlike Honda, these companies do not use platforms such as “Global Compact Platform” used by Honda.
Negative Lessons Learnt From Businesses Practices
Mitsubishi and Hitachi as members of United Nations Global Compact ensure that they embed, balance, diffuse, and translate the two environmental stewardship principles in their company. The companies have ensured that they provide communication of their procedures and new technologies to the public and Global compact platform as a commitment to the two principles. Unlike Honda, these two companies are accountable to an outside entity.
Another lesson from Mitsubishi and Hitachi is that they have worked and invested in developing decision-making strategies that enforce the two principles. Through their development of energy efficient products and services and the commitment to events and CSR programs that are aimed at educating the public about eco-friendly practices, the two companies are able to enhance environmental responsibility and development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Further, Mitsubishi can track their success through the laid out procedure in the environmental stewardship strategy developed by UN Global Compact and Duke University (2010). The strategy ensures that there is accountability and it is result oriented unlike Honda which is not accountable to the UN Global Compact.
Business Practice Recommendations
Since companies joining the UNGC platform wish to benefit from their association and compliance with the principles, it is important that such benefits are protected. In order to encourage compliance, it must be made difficult and expensive to get accreditations of eco-friendliness from other institutions. As such, the UNGC should liaise with other institutions to ensure compliance of the two principles. The companies seeking such recognition must show investments and commitment to environmental friendly procedure and processes. This will prevent companies from seeking recognitions from institutions with lesser strict requirements hence allowing companies that have genuinely investment and committed to environment to be recognized and benefit from such recognition. The following can be done to ensure that business practices conform to the two principles
Principle 8: Promoting Greater Environmental Responsibility
To enhance compliance with the eighth UN Global Compact principle, it is important for the companies to ensure that they have decision-making strategies that ensure compliance. This helps in assessing the level of compliance within a company.
By having membership in the UN Global Compact, companies can remain committed to the principle unlike those that try to enhance compliance without being members of the Global Compact. This ensures accountability as well as encouraging self-assessment.
Principle 9: Development and Diffusion of Environmentally Friendly Technologies
Companies that comply with the ninth principle should ensure that throughout their supply chain, manufacturing and distribution processes, environmentally friendly technologies are used. This can be ensured by following the environmental stewardship strategies proposed by UN Global Compact and Duke University (2010).
Secondly, compliance can be enhanced through benefits such as publicity for technology that is eco-friendly. The UN Global Compact should establish and award that recognizes efforts done by companies.
Challenges and Implications to Shareholders
The UN Global Compact fraternity will be required to limit the use of phrases such as Global Compact, which may be a difficult process. Further, the UN Global Compact will be required to partner with numerous institutions that give accreditations. The companies involved will also be affected. For instances, companies will now be required to show their commitment to UNGC before getting accreditation from other institutions. Thirdly, customers and the public may find it hard to get information about eco-friendly companies and technologies if UN Global Compact does not provide information of legitimate technologies.
UN Global Compact and Duke University, (2010). Environmental Stewardship Strategy: Overview and Resource for Corporate Leaders. Retrieved from https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/Environment/Environmental_Stewardship_Strategy.pdfHonda, (2014a). News Releases 2014: Paris Motor Show 2014. Retrieved from http://world.honda.com/news/2014/4141002Paris-Motor-Show/Honda, (2014b). Key Indicators of Honda’s Environmental Performance. Retrieved from http://world.honda.com/environment/report/act_val/indicator/Hitachi, (2014a). Sustainability report 2014: Environmental Report. Retrieved from http://www.hitachi.com/environment/activities/index.html
Hitachi, (2014b). Hitachi Recognized as World Leader for Corporate Action on Climate Change. Retrieved from http://www.hitachi.com/environment/newsr/2014/1028.htmlMitsubishi (2014). Progress Towards Sustainable Society. Retrieved from http://www.mhi-global.com/company/csr/policy/releaseandrecognition/sustainable-society.html