1. (1) Corporate community, collaborations helped to improve the public image of Unilever Company. From the case study, it led to the destruction of the environment through converting of rain forests into palm plantations. This conversion led to incidences of soil erosion, water pollution and relocation of indigenous people. This created a negative image for the company. Participation in sustainable development programs helped the company in solving labor disputes. Also, it led to the improvement of the recruitment process. The company was paying low wages to its employees. The need to increase employee loyalty made the company engage in the, corporate community, collaborations. There was high labor turnover among the plantation workers since they were paid low wages. Engagement of the company in community collaborations would help increase confidence among the employees. Economic performance of a company is dependent on the social performance. Corporate community, collaborations are a way of achieving social performance (Barak).
2. (2) Increase in wages requires an increase in output. The company should improve on soap production. Increase in wages without an increase in output would lead to a decrease in the net profit of the company. Increase in output requires diversification of plantations. This would lead to an increase in the quantity of soap produced. Participation in community corporate collaborations would help improve the living conditions of the palm workers. They can engage in community services such as sponsoring of bright students whose parents are the palm workers. Creation of employment opportunities to the indigenous people would help in the improvement of the living standards of palm workers. The level of sustainable development plan would increase. The development plan strategies of diversification of plantations and enhancing agricultural practices would be achieved.
3. (3)Encouraging the government of Ghana to carry out palm plantations in large-scale can play a crucial role in improving the world wide conditions. This would lead to production of excess soaps for export purposes. Ghana would gain attention from the world market. Other countries would be interested in implementing the agricultural practices practiced in Ghana. This would help in improving sustainable agriculture practices worldwide. Unilever should encourage Ghana to enter the oil palm industry. This leads to an increase in competition, thus increasing the quality of the soaps produced. Markets dominated by a single seller leads to the emergence of monopoly firms. Monopolies are a source of market failure. Monopoly firms produce products which do not meet the quality required by the customers. Also, they charge a high price for their products. Competition is thus essential in preventing the market imperfections created by monopolies. Economic conditions of Ghana would improve (Barak).
4. (4)Divesting of palm oil plantations leads to diseconomy of scale. Dis-economies of scale arise from a reduction in the size of a company which leads to a decrease in the market share of the company. There would be a decrease in the quantity of soap produced. There would be a decrease of revenue to the government in the form of taxes paid by the company. Divesting also leads to a decrease in the employment opportunities. In addition, competition in the world market is going to increase. This is because of the decrease in the market share of the company. However, there would be an improvement in the management of the company. A large company is more difficult to manage than a small firm. Unilever would still have influence over the triple bottom line palm industry. The bottom line palm industry would require the assistance of Unilever Company in the production of soaps
1-Unilever’s motives to undertake such ambitious programs for sustainability development was to use one of their main products which is palm oil to grow in hopes of bettering their economic situation. “Palm oil offers two major benefits to manufactures and growers. First the yield of palm oil is higher than that of any other edible vegetable oil source. Second, the properties of palm oil allow for its use with less processing, saving both time and money.” (283) Unfortunately, this has had a highly negative impact on the countries it was being grown in. Specifically the environment has seen the rough end of it as well as people have been relocated to make room for the plantations, and local people had been affected economically. These large plantations often have lots of conflict between local communities and estate investors. The government promotes palm plantation growth because of the financial opportunities; however, the benefits rarely make it to the homegrown people. Unilever must implement their sustainability development plans in order to decrease the negative impacts of the palm oil plantations and continue to expand, which will help to keep their business successful.
2-To improve the wages and living conditions of the oil palm and workers worldwide, Unilever needs plans to equalize production with the demands of the product in order to circumvent a reduction in prices and palm oil. Decreasing the high numbers of negative impacts of the palm oil trees in order to socially be excepted and improve living conditions for the locals would be a help to their industry. The triple bottom line shows that Unilever depended on economic, environmental, and social assets. They company used this concept to show why Unilever needed to preserve these assets. “ The strategies now guide Unilever’s worldwide operations.” (285) If Unilever continues to improve all aspects of this triple bottom line; they will accomplish their goals as a company and therefore become more sustainable.
3-This is where the triple bottom line comes into play. Unilever can control how the oil palm industry is run in Ghana by enforcing this. Unilever has complete control to make sure that the products are grown in a environmental friendly way or to the standards of living from the locals. Unilever should encourage the locals to work within the palm industry because if they do it in the correct way, it can be helpful to their economy as well as profits for them. It can potentially be a very positive decision for their economy. Such actions can improve the corporation image and reputation as well as have advantages in recruitment and in labor disputes. It can also increase employee loyalty and customer loyalty. They also build a strong connection between social and performance and economic performance.
4-The impacts of the Unilever’s divesting itself of the palm plantations will not have full control over the industry. Fortunately, they will still have an input. They will still have influence over the triple bottom line of oil palm industry; however, it will not be nearly as much as they have had in the past. In giving up this control, they no longer have to feel the economic pressures in order to demonstrate profitability, limited company vision (shortsighted and internally focused), and the lack of leadership to champion and sustain efforts
Finally the 4 questions are