Needs and benefits of adapting to environmental policies

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Task One

Define globalization

Impact of globalization on the national economy of UK

Influence of international organizations (IMF, WTO) to the Globalization

How EU membership of Britain effect M&S

Task two

Introduction

Summary

Needs and benefits of adapting to environmental policies

Health and safety at work place

M&S Health and Safety Practices

Way of assessing risk in the workplace

Specific measures to improve health and safety in the work place

Task three

Regulatory bodies that impact on the M&S

Responsibilities of the organisation and regulatory bodies that impact on the organization

Unethical Manufacturing of Clothes (M&S Fashion Category)

Impact of changing consumer patterns (M&S Fashion Category)

Bibliography

Task One

Define globalization

The different definitions for globalization can be identified as follows.

Definitions

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Globalization is a transformation of social geography marked by the growth of super territorial space.

(Scholte, 2000)

Globalization refers to any force that creates and unexpected, uniform, sometimes disruptive condition across heretofore impermeable boundaries within which the relevant conditions were previously varied.

(Advances in Global Leadership, 2006)

Globalization is the worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration.

(www.businessdictionary.com 2009)

According to the above definitions we could identify that the globalization is a something that remove the geographical barriers that cause to vary the economic, social and financial conditions of deferent destinations. Even though, Globalization impacts on each and every aspect of certain environment (political, technology, social, economy and legal), the topic is highly discussed in relation to its impact on the economy of a country.

Therefore, the Globalization can be further identified as a system to integrate different countries of the world in order to develop a global economy. Further it removes international trade barriers and facilitate for a global market.

In terms of economy, there are positive and negative aspects of globalization can be identified. The next section of this report will discuss how globalization impact on the national economy of United Kingdom.

Impact of globalization on the national economy of UK

Globalization has a significant impact on the national economy in UK. These impacts could be identified in two fold as positive and negative impacts.

Positive impact

Export opportunities

As a result of globalizations some emerging markets such as China, India arise. Today these markets play a key role in world economy. Consequence the living standards of these markets getting improved and people look out for more luxury products. This is a good opportunity for United Kingdom. Diverting from previous exports to German and USA, United Kindom can export its products to these emerging markets.

Increased the level of foreign investments

United Kingdom is the world's second largest foreign investment stock. Only USA has overridden the rank of foreign investment in UK. As a result of globalization and emerging markets, UK may attract more investments to the country. The level of foreign ownership in businesses located in United Kingdom has been increased. (Globalization; prospect and policy responses, 2000) A significant increase in Indian investment on business can be highlighted as a key result of globalization. Common language, similar legal system in the two countries highly impact increasing the Indian investments on UK economy.

Labour mobility

As a result of globalization the number of labour force entering to UK is increasing. When the number of people enters into the UK market getting increased, the supply capacity of the economy is increased too. Further this creates a competition in labour market. This competition may limit the upward pressure on wages and in turn reduce the inflation in UK economy.

Increasing purchasing power

Globalization increases the purchasing power of individuals. As a result of globalization, individuals can reach to cheap products that come from low cost countries such as China. So that, people get opportunity to consume more products comparing to earlier, by paying comparatively a low price.

Negative impacts

Relocation and off-shoring

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Increased number of outsourcing, relocate businesses abroad may reduce the stability of jobs in UK. The employees are got paid lower rates due to the increase in competition in labour market. The increase in IT technology makes the off-sharing easy and possible. Some employees use off-shoring as a threat to keep wages low. However, due to low service quality and difference in cultural values, some organisatons loss their customers as a result of off-shoring.

The overall labour market

The competition for UK emplacements is getting high as a result of entering of the educated and skilled labour from emerging markets. As examples Indians are more tend to target high skilled jobs rather than low skilled jobs due to the bias in Indian education system towards higher education.

Cost of resources

The emerging countries utilize natural resources in large scale. Currently China is the world largest steel, copper and iron. And China demand on oil, cause to increase the world's oil price. This in turn impacts on increase the commodity prices all over the world. Like that the intensive growth of these emerging markets affect on the domestic prices of UK.

Likewise, globalization has both positive and negative impact on UK economy. When discussing about globalization, there are some international organisations that highly involve with this process. The next section of the report will discuss the influence of such key international players.

Influence of international organizations (IMF, WTO) to the Globalization

The key institutes that influence on the globalization can be identified as the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB). The increasing power and influence of these international institutes can be identified as another effect of the globalization.

A key strength behind the recent world economic growth is the multilateral trading rules. These rules are imposed by the institutes that we have discussed above. The key role of these institutes is facilitating for a free international trading while reducing unfair behavior of different parties. Therefore, the ultimate aim should be create a liberal and global market.

However, these institutes are criticized as well considering their biasness to their native developed countries.

How EU membership of Britain effect M&S

Since past, UK relationship with EU is a very controversial topic. However, same as all other relationships this also has positive and negative impact to the country. This section of the report discusses the impact of EU membership to the company M&S.

As the first why the EU relationship is so important to the Britain can be identified as follows.

Europe accounts for nearly 60 per cent of our trade;

700,000 British companies have trading ties to Europe;

And 3.5 million British jobs depend upon Europe.

(European Commision, 2010)

In terms of M&S the impact of the membership can be identified as follows.

Reduce prices to become more competitive

The EU membership combined the two markets together and increased the competition in the market place. Therefore, to be competitive, companies need to either reduce their prices or create a competitive advantage. With the impact of recession, M&S have to reduce their price level and adapt to the market situation.

Eliminate tariff

This allows M&S to wider their business to EU membership countries. The trade between membership countries happens under Zero tariff rate. As a result M&S could import product at low cost rather than previous cost and satisfy the customer demand in recession period.

Single currency

UK firms currently spend a large amount of money for buying and selling foreign currencies. However, when doing trade and everything with Euro, this barrier will be eliminated. As a company involve in international trading M&S will be highly benefited by this.

Reduce the uncertainty caused by exchange rate fluctuation

When investing into another country, companies have to be careful about the fluctuation of currencies. However, within EU membership the currency is universal. Therefore, uncertainty on investing overseas countries no more exists. As a company involve in international trading, M&S is highly benefited from this opportunity.

Disadvantages

Over estimation of trade benefits

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According to some of economists the trade and cost advantages of EMU is over highlighted. They point out that a country may gain a little benefit by moving to the EMU system from a stable present system.

Summary

The discussion addresses the concept of globalization and its impact on the UK economy. Further it discusses the role of international institutes when implement the concept of globalization all over the world. Then the benefits of being member of EU have been discussed in relation to the M&S Company.

Task two

Introduction

Marks and Spenser is major British retailer that operates more than 900 stores all over the world. Further M&S is the largest clothing retailer in the UK. Same as it contribute for UK economy, the company concern on environmental policies and sustainable practices in their operations.

M&S is a company that highly consider on the environmental sustainability. It introduced number of initiatives and attempt to reduce the negative impact to the environment.

Animal welfare

Sustainable textiles - using recycled polyester in order to made garments and waste bottles to produce new bottles.

Sustainable wood based materials

Water recycling

Organic food

Pesticide reduction -r educing chemical treatments for M&S production

Sustainable packaging

In addition to M&S launch a plan called "Plan A" in order to cope with the environmental sustainability.

(www.marksandspencer.com, 2010)

Needs and benefits of adapting to environmental policies

According to the above explanation we could see that M&S takes this matter serious and invest heavily on ensuring the environmental sustainability. By doing so they may gain some benefits. This section highlights the need of adapting environmental policies and benefits of doing so.

Get governmental support

The environmental policies are imposed by a governmental body. Not adapting to such policy may cause to fine a penalty over the company. This will lose the governmental trust on the business and generate a negative image and word of mouth towards the company.

However, practicing environmental friendly operations, M&S could win some awards and win the trust of government as an environmentally friendly business. Due to their good practices M&S obtains some tax relief and other benefits from government.

Attract more customers

Today customers are highly concern on the environmental practices of an organisation. Most of consumers are ready to pay high price on ethical products rather buying products which harm to the environment. M&S grab this opportunity by being a market player who highly concern on the environmental sustainability.

Fair trade

A person or companies, who are concern on the environment, satisfy the stakeholders around. Like that, M&S satisfy their customers as well as other stakeholders such as manufacturers, suppliers, etc. Manufacturers are encouraged to manufacture their products in ethical manner while ensuring fairly high income for their supplies. Through that company build a close relationship with their suppliers. This bond benefit not only environment but also for the company in tough periods.

Differentiate the brand and compete in the market place

The market place is full of different players who provide similar type product and services. Being environmentally friendly is one way to distinguish from rest of players. M&S is a pioneer organization that initiated environmental practices. This is one of competitive advantage of the company in the market place.

Public Relations

The investments on these practices are not a waste. Same as they contribute for environmental sustainability, they generate a promotion and positive word of mouth towards the company. These types of promotions/recommendations are highly strong than the commercial promotions. They are having large impact on changing the consumer behavior.

Health and safety at work place

It is very important to keep the work place safe for the employee. In UK the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 93 of 1995 impose certain regulations to ensure the health and safety at work place.

According to this act, employer has to take reasonable attempt to ensure the safety and welfare of employees. Failure to do so considered as a criminal offence. Same as taking steps to ensure safety, the employer should not put the employee into a risk. Further employer should include the employee into the jobs within the safe premises and plants. The employer is assessed comparing the level or risk in the job and cost of elimination of that risk. Through that, whether the employer has taken reasonable steps can be measured.

Usually the employer's responsibility is limited to the risk within their premises. However, in some circumstances this responsibility can be extended further.

M&S Health and Safety Practices

M&S uses following slogan in order to present how much they concern on ensuring the health and safety of their employees.

"As an Employer we care about the well-being of all our staff. We are committed to maintaining the quality of our health & safety at work responsibilities through continual communication and the raising of awareness."

(http://corporate.marksandspencer.com, 2004)

Way of assessing risk in the workplace

Stage 01 - Find the Problem

Stage 02 - Identify the exact problem occurred way and people will be affected

Stage 03 - Find the risks and take precaution actions

Stage 04 - Maintain records on findings and implementation process

Stage 05 - review the final decision and update continuously

Specific measures to improve health and safety in the work place

Key highlights of the M&S health and safety practices are as follows.

It is compulsory for M&S line managers to participate the 'WorkWell', a stress management programme.

As a company M&S participate Corporate Health and Performance industry research Programme with the purpose of developing and implementing new stress control standards.

Set up inter-departmental "stress forum" in order to reduce stress

M&S measure measurements for Fire, Health and Safety performance. These measures are based on a combination of self-assessment and specialist inspections every three months. Further an improved asbestos management plan has also been introduced.

Appoint a health and safety committee - a health and safety committee is appointed to advise, monitor and review the effectiveness of health and safety practices. Information share among Fire, Health & Safety Officers at their meetings and minutes are published in notice board.

Appoint Officer for stores / site - this person should be responsible to maintain the organizations by minimizing the risk of fire and other health and safety issues. As a precaution should record all the minor accidents and issues relating to the OHS in accident record. Government officers will audit this requirement and take legal actions against the lack of procedures.

(Marks and Spencer, 2005)

According to the above discussion, we could identify that M&S operate a well structured health and safety system in order to ensure the safety of its employees.

Task three

Regulatory bodies that impact on the M&S

National

UK Government

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Department of Health

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

National Health Service (NHS)

National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC)

Prescription Services NHS

EU

EU parliment

Data Protection

European Commissions DG Enterprise - Cosmetics

European Commissions DG Enterprise - Devices

European Commission - Eudralex

European Commission - Medicinal products for human use

European Commission - Medicinal products for human use - Latest updates

European Commission - Medicinal products for human use - Pharmaceuticals Archives (goes back to 1986)

Interinstitutional style guide

Global

OECD

WHO

World Trade Organization (WTO),

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

World Bank (WB)

Responsibilities of the organisation and regulatory bodies that impact on the organization

In terms of the responsibility of the organisation, the organisation should practice their regulations as self regulatory organisation. Accordingly the responsibilities of the company can be identified as follows.

Disclose financial results and other information in timely and accurate manner.

Pay governmental taxes on the real income

Treat investors in a fair and equitable manner

Follow internationally accepted accounting and auditing standers

Provide concern on environmental and stakeholders

Unethical Manufacturing of Clothes (M&S Fashion Category)

"Without trends, fashion would never have grown into a multi-trillion dollar industry. Retail as we know it would cease to exist" (Lee, 2003, 36). The reality of fashion can be characterized by Coco Chanel's famous assertion that "fashion is made to become unfashionable". It is in fashions nature to present a style as 'the in thing' only for it to be cast aside in a matter of weeks. The internet has significantly increased the rate of fashion obsolescence, as trends are seemingly able to surface as quickly as they disappear; leaving high street retailers desperately trying to keep up. To ensure that they stock all the new and up-to-date designs, retailers often go to great lengths in their quest to find the cheapest and most efficient suppliers.

While the original exposés of exploitative labour practices in the last ten years brought to attention how brands and retailers were using 'sweatshops' to manufacture clothes, it has only been until recently that the industry has found consumers "are more motivated by ethical issues. The internet has exposed to them the truth of what's happening in the world and they don't like it" (Arnold, 2009, 224). As a result of consumers changing attitudes regarding how retailers source their clothes, the concept of ethical fashion has been introduced where "the principle is to source garments ethically while providing good working standards and conditions to workers and to provide a sustainable business model in the clothes' country of origin" (Joergens, 2006). It is no longer acceptable for retailers to dodge the issue; they must take steps to ensure their supply chains are ethical in order to avoid negative press that is likely to deter consumers.

Impact of changing consumer patterns (M&S Fashion Category)

The high street retail industry may reflect the trends and styles that designers deem fashionable, but as its primary intention is to sell fast fashion to the masses, it does not possess any real influential voice. Consequently, operations within organizations are shaped by the wants and needs of the target consumers. The 'cult of thinness' that currently characterizes the fashion industry has become the predominant cultural standard for white upper middle class educated females, and is beginning to impact teenage, adolescent, and even pre adolescent girls. This can be partly attributed to the overwhelming impact of the media, and more specifically what designers and fashion magazines portray as beautiful (see appendix 1). Utilizing size zero models and celebrities for fashion campaigns and trade shows, ultimately endorses size zero as the ideal. And if designers endorse it, the public will aspire to it.

The popularization of the size zero phenomenons has altered consumer habits towards shopping and has significantly contributed to today's western ideal of beauty being based on thinness. The last five years has witnessed a significant increase in reported eating disorders and cosmetic surgeries amongst young women. One cannot help but notice that these attempts to considerably alter one's physical appearance have sharply increased at a time when the size zero effect has reached its climax.

Consumers' preoccupation with reaching the ideal body size has impacted the high street retail industry considerably. The concept of women caring more about the size of the clothes than the trends, aesthetics and cost of the items themselves posed significant threats to high street retailers, who thought their strength lay in offering cheaper clothes than designers. Stocking cheaply manufactured clothes meant there was limited scope in improving the fit of potentially unflattering styles of clothing, unless of course they were willing to pay manufacturers more, and accept longer production times. Wanting to keep outgoing costs down, but not face losing business over a psychological need to feel slim, retailers began to mark down sizing in a process that is known as vanity sizing. This concept of vanity sizing, where "retailers 'tweak' their sizing systems by placing smaller size labels on larger garments, to satisfy consumers wish to fit into a smaller garment size" (Apeagyei, 2008) is therefore used primarily to boost a consumers self esteem, which will increase the likelihood of them making purchase.

Another impact of the emergence of size zero as a body ideal is the inevitable introduction of high street retailers stocking size four (American size zero) clothes. "In the UK, the 'size zero label' has had mixed reception among consumers. Whilst some have welcomed its' introduction with dismay, others have embraced it as being the status quo" (Apeagyei, 2008). Retailers have had seemingly little choice in the matter if they are to remain fashionable in their consumers' eyes, and currently it would appear that the majority of high street retailers now stock a UK size four.