Global Warming And Corporate Social Responsibility Engineering Essay

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Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuous commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while still helping the quality of life of their surroundings such as the local community and the society. (Mallen Baker, Business Respect, [Online], Avaliable: http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/definition.php [2010])

This essay will discuss the general background of British Airways company and the situation, key facts, the stakeholders and their involvement and the ethical issues that has arised in the last five years. Alternative solutions, evaluation and conclusion will also be discussed on the final part of the essay.

          British Airways is one of the largest airlines worldwide that provides transport to its passengers by plane. British Airways' mission is to give its passengers the best possible service in their flight so that they will truly value their stay aboard the British Airways' aircraft. (Dr Paul Toyne, Dr Andrew Sentence, Article 13 and CBI - CSR Case Study Series, [Online] Avaliable at: http://www.article13.com/A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublicationHYPERLINK "https://owa.exeter.ac.uk/owa/kcjt201@isad.isadroot.ex.ac.uk/redir.aspx? C=aaedac0f05b944718bbb437ba845c374&URL=http://www.article13.com /A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublication&PNID=1320"&HYPERLINK "https://owa.exeter.ac.uk/owa/kcjt201@isad.isadroot.ex.ac.uk/redir.aspx? C=aaedac0f05b944718bbb437ba845c374&URL=http://www.article13.com/ A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublication&PNID=1320"PNID=1320 [March 2006]) Air transport is very efficient and beneficial to its stakeholders, however, its gives out many negative impacts to the environment such as loud noises and the less obvious, carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate change is arised as a huge issue in the 1990's. Carbon dioxide emissions are a greenhouse gas that lead to pollution which contribute to what is known as the "greenhouse effect" or global warming. (founded by Arrhenius and Callendar) It also comes from waste dumps when the gases cannot let the sun's energy radiate it back into the space. Each time a plane takes off, fuel is burnt emitting carbon dioxide (C02) into the atmosphere which contributes to the "greenhouse effect". The airline industry has "a diverse and generally unsatisfactory attitude" to carbon offsetting, a report from MPs says today. (Peter Woodman, The Independent, PA Transport Correspondent [Online] Available: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/mps-attack-british-airways-for-risible-attitude-to-carbon-offsetting-458386.html [Monday, 23 July 2007])

The damage done to the earth's atmosphere is increasing and planning and action must be taken to prevent this. A major stakeholder in the company is the managers. The managers in British Airways took the action to join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and also participated in the Kyoto Protocol to help the greenhouse effect problem. In a meeting in Copenhagen, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has told the airline industry (including British Airways) to improve its carbon efficiency by an average 1.5% per year from 2005 to 2010 and by keeping the targets of this growth annually. Also, the UNFCCC wants to see a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 and 2050. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, [Online], Avaliable: http://unfccc.int/2860.php) and (Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, BioAge Group, [Online], Avaliable at: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/iata-20090923.html [2010])

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change gathers and shares information with each other about carbon dioxide emissions, deciding on what methods are best to handle it and maintain a good environment for the society. It launches national strategies and spreads them to each other within the convention to deal with the climate change. British Airways joined the Kyoto Protocol and by doing this, they agreed to reduce their emissions by 5% by 2010 compared to the levels of 1990. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol helps come up with strategies to helps BA (British Airways) solve the global warming problem in an efficient manner. In the Kyoto Protocol, there are two project mechanisms. Firstly, the Joint Implementation (JI) allows industrialized countries to co-operate with the developing countries to carry out projects. This allows British Airways to get help by joining the Kyoto Protocol. Secondly, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) involves investment in projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Huge numbers of projects are supported by investments by the CDM including the CDM pipeline project where huge numbers of carbon dioxide emissions have been delivered away from the United Kingdom. British Airways' actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are monitored and precise records are kept by the Protocol and experts teams are hired to review these records. If the greenhouse effect is not dealt with, water levels could rise leading to floods on some locations destroying ecosystems and the change in climate could effect people's health worldwide for people who cannot adapt to it. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php) British Airways' most important stakeholder is its customers which are its passengers. By doing all this, appropriate action is taken by British Airways to help the living conditions of its passengers. By taking action, British Airways promotes a good image for the company leaving its customers with positive feedback. This will make it's passengers continue in purchasing the services of the business as the business shows good ethical behaviour and shows that it is a corporate socially responsible business. It also shows that British Airways is a company willing and able to take the appropriate action to fix it's problems. The managers carried out surveys and investigated that its employees have excellent customer service. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc.int/press/fact_sheets/items/4987.php) The managers also recruit CR (corporate responsible) experts and encourage the employees to think of their ideas of their own to help with CR. The managers carried out a survey in 2008 to question its corporate responsibility. The response of this survey led to the set up of the programme "One Destination". The programme involves using all the necessary means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global warming and to maintain a good corporate socially responsible status. However, even by doing all this, BA was still left with unsatisfactory comments that BA had only purchased 1,600 tonnes of carbon offsets which only average to four return flights to New York. Global warming has to be dealt with, it leads to many problems. (Peter Woodman, The Independent, PA Transport Correspondent [Online] Available: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/mps-attack-british-airways-for-risible-attitude-to-carbon-offsetting-458386.html [Monday, 23 July 2007]) It increases the temperature resulting in the enlargement of glacial lakes which could lead to floods. It also leads to ground instability which could result in avalanches. Both of these results destroys the ecosystems of the animals living in those areas. If this problem is not dealt with, the change in climate could effect the people's health who cannot adapt to it such as the youth and elderly. Also, global warming leads to extreme weather events which increase the costs of the business to adapt to these conditions. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc.int/press/fact_sheets/items/4987.php )

               British Airways volunteered to join the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. (EU ETS) The EU ETS monitors and takes record of all the large carbon dioxide emitters and allow them to emit to a certain limit of carbon dioxide. If a company exceeds its allowance it has to purchase allowances from other companies in the EU ETS or cut down on how much they emit. This allows British Airways to purchase extra carbon dioxide emissions than the amount that they are allowed if they need to for their services to keep their customers satisfied. This allows the company to run its flights and services as usually efficiently, however, it could contribute to global warming if it goes over their carbon dioxide allowances frequently. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010] and British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-climate-policy/public/en_gb )

Phase One:

Country

Verified emissions

Change

2005

2006

2007

2005-2007

 Austria

33,372,826

32,382,804

31,751,165

-4.9%

 Belgium

55,363,223

54,775,314

52,795,318

-4.6%

 Cyprus

5,078,877

5,259,273

5,396,164

6.2%

 Czech Republic

82,454,618

83,624,953

87,834,758

6.5%

 Germany

474,990,760

478,016,581

487,004,055

2.5%

 Denmark

26,475,718

34,199,588

29,407,355

11.1%

 Estonia

12,621,817

12,109,278

15,329,931

21.5%

 Spain

183,626,981

179,711,225

186,495,894

1.6%

 Finland

33,099,625

44,621,411

42,541,327

28.5%

 France

131,263,787

126,979,048

126,634,806

-3.5%

 Greece

71,267,736

69,965,145

72,717,006

2.0%

 Hungary

26,161,627

25,845,891

26,835,478

2.6%

 Ireland

22,441,000

21,705,328

21,246,117

-5.3%

 Italy

225,989,357

227,439,408

226,368,773

0.2%

 Lithuania

6,603,869

6,516,911

5,998,744

-9.2%

 Luxembourg

2,603,349

2,712,972

2,567,231

-1.4%

 Latvia

2,854,481

2,940,680

2,849,203

-0.2%

 Netherlands

80,351,288

76,701,184

79,874,658

-0.6%

 Poland

203,149,562

209,616,285

209,601,993

3.2%

 Portugal

36,425,915

33,083,871

31,183,076

-14.4%

 Sweden

19,381,623

19,884,147

15,348,209

-20.8%

 Slovenia

8,720,548

8,842,181

9,048,633

3.8%

 Slovakia

25,231,767

25,543,239

24,516,830

-2.8%

 United Kingdom

242,513,099

251,159,840

256,581,160

5.8%

Total

2,012,043,453

2,033,636,557

2,049,927,884

1.9%

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en .wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]

Phase Two

Member State

1st period cap

2005 verified emissions

Proposed cap 2008-2012

Cap allowed 2008-2012

 Austria

33.0

33.4

32.8

30.7

 Belgium

62.08

55.58 †

63.33

58.5

 Czech Republic

97.6

82.5

101.9

86.8

 Estonia

19

12.62

24.38

12.72

 France

156.5

131.3

132.8

132.8

 Hungary

31.3

26.0

30.7

26.9

 Germany

499

474

482

453.1

 Greece

74.4

71.3

75.5

69.1

 Ireland

22.3

22.4

22.6

21.15

 Italy

223.1

222.5

209

195.8

 Latvia

4.6

2.9

7.7

3.3

 Lithuania

12.3

6.6

16.6

8.8

 Luxembourg

3.4

2.6

3.95

2.7

 Malta††††

2.9

1.98

2.96

2.1

 Netherlands

95.3

80.35 ††

90.4

85.8

 Poland

239.1

203.1

284.6

208.5

 Slovakia

30.5

25.2

41.3

30.9

 Slovenia

8.8

8.7

8.3

8.3

 Spain

174.4

182.9

152.7

152.3

 Sweden

22.9

19.3

25.2

22.8

 United Kingdom

245.3

242.4 †††

246.2

246.2

Totals

2057.8

1910.66

2054.92

1859.27

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wik ipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]

British Airways set up a programme called "One Destination". The programme allows British Airways to run efficiently while still taking action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as much as possible. It has many ways to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. British Airways was the first airline to introduce a voluntary passenger scheme and was also the first airline to win government approval for it's carbon offsetting actions. The voluntary passenger scheme allowed passengers aboard flights to give payments to British Airways so that it could fund power plants and wind farms to reduce carbon dioxide emitted around the area. Deforestation increases the global carbon emissions by up to 25%, which is a huge impact towards global warming. (British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-climate-policy/public/en_gb) British Airways is developing solutions with this programme to prevent deforestation leading to a better environment. Waste steering groups have been recruited by the company to prevent waste too much excess waste to be deposited landfill areas which could also lead to carbon emissions. The company reduced that amount of paper by dealing with it's services electronically by email as possible and by changing its manuals, forms and surveys to electronic means as much as possible. Overtime, British Airways waste issues decreased continuously. The company also took reusing and recycling into account. Items that can be reused were donated to orphanages and furniture within offices and the aircraft were reused as much as possible. All the in-flight wastes were recycled and disposed of properly, which left some waste to be incinerated which avoids taking up landfill space. Also, British Airways has decided to replace old model aircrafts to newer more environmentally friendly models reducing emissions. All of these solutions of the programme are cost alot in finance but it will leave its customers satisfied and will show that it is a company willing to take action with good ethical beliefs allowing it to maximise its profits in the future without any problems.

                    By joining the UK Emissions Trading Scheme which is apart of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme allows British Airways to show that it is a business capable of taking action and believes highly in its moral and ethical beliefs. They could also benefit themselves with free advertising and it will show high leadership skills. It also shows that it is a corporate socially responsible business by representing itself in the EU ETS. However, one should think that, the company should have focused more on the efforts on the programme "One Destination" as that showed more positive results. Even though, the company participated in the EU ETS, globally, from 2005 to 2007, there was an increase in emissions by 1.7%. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]) By getting involved with the EU ETS, some time and effort was wasted especially by its meetings where this could have been spent elsewhere.

British Airways handled the situation efficiently and cleverly establishing the climate change programme, "One Destination". The reduction of emissions and energy use was needed to protect the people for what was known as the "greenhouse effect". This shows that the business is corporate socially responsible and boosts its reputation attracting inward investment and positive customer feedback. One should think that, the company should have used its employees to come up with ideas or have carried out surveys to ask its customers to come up with a solution that would be as efficient but allowing them to fulfil the customers' demands but not increase the costs of the business as much. Also, the company could have mainly focused on one part of the climate change programme, so it did not have to spend hugely on such as air quality and the Auxiliary Power Unit's and Ground Power Unit's which were probably not as noticeable to its customers and could have been avoided. (British Airways, Up to date article, Available: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-air-operating/public/en_gb )

                         British Airways has decided to become corporate socially responsible because it recognises the importance in working with its stakeholders to show that it is a company with good moral beliefs and ethical values. Climate change arised as an issue where carbon dioxide emissions is a greenhouse gas that lead to pollution which is known as the "greenhouse effect" or global warming. British Airways contributed to global warming by its services where fuel is burnt when one of its aircrafts take off. The company joined the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and the EU ETS to prevent carbon emissions as much as possible. The company also set up a climate change programme called "One Destination" which had many side projects to come up with ideas to investigate the best possible means to reduce carbon emissions.

Bibliography/Reference:

1. Corporate Social Responsible:

Mallen Baker, Business Respect, [Online], Avaliable: http://www.mallenbaker.net/csr/definition.php  [2010]

2. Introduction to British Airways:

Dr Paul Toyne, Dr Andrew Sentence, Article 13 and CBI - CSR Case Study Series, [Online] Avaliable at: http://www.article13.com/A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublicationHYPERLINK "https://owa.exeter.ac.uk/owa/kcjt201@isad.isadroot.ex.ac.uk/redir.aspx?C=aaedac0f05b944718bbb437ba845c374&UR L=http://www.article13.com/A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublication&PNID=1320"&HYPERLINK "https://owa.exeter.ac.uk/owa/kcjt201@isad.isadroot.ex.ac.uk/redir.aspx?C=aaedac0f05b944718bbb437ba845c374&UR L=http://www.article13.com/A13_ContentList.asp?strAction=GetPublication&PNID=1320"PNID=1320 [March 2006]

3. The greenhouse effect and global warming and quotation:

Peter Woodman, The Independent, PA Transport Correspondent [Online] Available: http://www.independent.co.uk /environment/climate-change/mps-attack-british-airways-for-risible-attitude-to-carbon-offsetting-458386.html [Monday, 23 July 2007]

4. United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC):

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website, [Online], Avaliable: http://unfccc.int/2860.php )

5. United Nations Framework Convention and the involvement of the British Airways and aviation industry:

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, BioAge Group, [Online], Avaliable at: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/iata-20090923.html [2010]

6. The Kyoto Protocol, Clean development mechanism (CDM) and Joint implementation (JI):

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc.int /kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php

7. Ethics and values of British Airways, the greenhouse effect, climate change science:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc.in t/press/fact_sheets/items/4987.php

8. British Airways and the establishment of "One Destination":

British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-climate- policy/public/en_gb

9. BA and the purchase of 1,600 tonnes of carbon offsettings:

Peter Woodman, The Independent, PA Transport Correspondent [Online] Available: http://www.indep endent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/mps-attack-british-airways-for-risible-attitude-to-carbon-offsetting-458386.html [Monday, 23 July 2007]

9. More Ethics and values of British Airways, the greenhouse effect, climate change science:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website [Online] Avaliable at: http://unfccc. int/press/fact_sheets/items/4987.php

10. Introduction and purposes of European Union Emission Trading Scheme:

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Unio n_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010] and British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available: http://www.britishairways. om/travel/csr-climate-policy/public/en_gb

11. European Union Emission Trading Scheme chart (Phase One) on carbon dioxide emissions:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Un ion_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]

12. European Union Emission Trading Scheme chart (Phase Two) on carbon dioxide emissions:

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Un ion_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]

13. British Airways and deforestation:

British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-climate-policy/public/en_gb

14. European Union Emission Trading Scheme:

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, [Online], Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe an_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme [5 March 2010]

15. Air quality and the Auxiliary Power Unit's and Ground Power Unit's

British Airways, Up to date article, [Online] Available:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel/csr-air-operating/public/en_gb)

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