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Cees, B.M & Fomburn, C. J (2007, pp. 13-15) defines organizations as networks of people communicating with each other he explains types of information flows in organizations and categories these flows as vertical and horizontal, formal and informal, and internal and external, he also tells that these information flows form link between employees internally and also between organization and external stakeholder. Goodman. M, (1998, pp. 4-5) states that in current information-driven economy, effective communication is an essential element of an organization's strategic planning; he also explains that a clear understanding of corporate communication can grant the sketch for an organization to achieve its future goals effectively. Oliver. S, (1997, pp. 167-169) establishes her view on link between corporate social responsibility and corporate communication and states that effective communication is the key to deliver organizational CSR objectives to stakeholder. In this Chapter we will be discussing how Disney communicates its Corporate Social Responsibility to its stakeholders.
What is CSR?
William. B, (2006, pp. 18-20) defines CSR as "Corporate social responsibility is a type of corporate self proposed law incorporated into an organizational model. Preferably, CSR policy would function as a integral, self-governing instrument whereby business would examine and guarantee its loyalty to law, and ethical standards. Therefore, business would clinch responsibility for the shock of its actions on the environment, stakeholders and public. Fundamentally, CSR is the firm addition of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the adulation of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit".
Theory of Effective CSR Communication
Tamara. L (2006, pp 157-162) tells us about effective communication of CSR and states that in current market if a company has not made CSR a priority, it has more risk particularly if it is a public traded company, CSR is now an important part of reporting to help investors and credit rating agencies to build their impression about the company. He also mentions that if we look at CSR leadership today, executives are increasing their expertise in areas of strategic relevance to organization and its stakeholders. According to his research effective stakeholder involvement, clear and honest CSR performance reporting and a detailed disclosure of progress are essential component of CSR reporting. Later in his research he states that presently we can see companies which prioritize CRS as a tool to build their image on stakeholders are reporting with third party (auditor) verification of performance measurement against international reporting standards five key elements to effectively report and communicate CSR in order to built stakeholder's trust according to Tamara are as follow.
Being true in efforts and language. Because you cannot built trust with help of vague language.
Make report simple and easily understandable.
Spotlight on impacts and disclose results.
Cover both of your past achievements and future goals with addition of performance indicators.
Use internationally recognized reporting methods.
Considering these elements of effective CSR reporting in next section we will be analyzing how effetely Disney communicates its CSR to its stakeholders and to what extent it engages consumer in process of achieving long term goals all data used in report has been taken from Disney annual corporate social responsibility report 2009.
Disney's Environmental Goals
Anopolski. J,( 2009) the senior vice president corporate responsibility in Disney states that corporate responsibility is a vital component of Disney's approach to business. Lance. J, (2009) outlines Disney's long term environmental goals and also mentions that Disney is a leader in environmental stewardship goals mentioned are as follows
Zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions from fuels
Reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumption
Net positive impact on ecosystems
Minimize water use
Minimize product footprint
Inform, empower and activate positive action for the environment.
To achieve these goals Disney shares its objectives with consumer and stakeholders, and regularly communicates and gets their feedback. In annual report on CSR Disney updates on progress of its long term goals. In the following section we will be exploring that how Disney communicated progress on long term goals given above in its latest CSR report. Disney's CSR report gives detailed information to its users with help of graphs to make them aware of duration and progress of its long term goals.
Disney's Way of Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility
Keller. L,(1998) states that Disney communicates its corporate social responsibility to its stakeholders with excellent corporate ability of constantly interacting with them. Disney combines both communication and interaction strategies in corporate range for developing trust-worthy CSR communication in eyes of its stakeholders. Disney was awarded with worlds best innovative organization in 2009, Disney has used its innovative ideas to communicate its CSR objective by communicating, engaging and interacting with stakeholders.
According to The Ecolectual, (2009) Disney has redefined theory of communicating CSR, Disney took initiative of Informing, empowering and activating positive action for the environment which was also called "Disney's Friends for Change: Project Green" promoting greener life which provided a platform to kids and teens to take initiative and help planet. In order to communicate this initiative and engaging kids to interact personally to meet common objectives Disney provided a link on official website where it invited young people to get together and help planet in saving water, waste, and climate. Through this link kids will practically approach different ways in which they can help planet against environmental threats. Another effective step in order to involve audience in achievement of goals was that Disney provided opportunity to it consumer to suggest that on what course Disney should invest its donation of 1million. By using Disney's stars from the commonly admired children's network as element of its corporate social responsibility programs Disney has a better opportunity of getting their communication of how to live greener lifestyles through to their aimed demographic.
The environmental friendly TV commercial by Disney spotlights on empowering kids and teens to bond as one for improvement of environment, as it focuses on the supremacy of joint awareness. The theory of CSR is being communicated by Disney to the next generation through environmental friendly television commercials to facilitate make small changes to save the planet. Through these eco friendly television commercials and CSR initiatives Disney guesstimates that "if 500,000 kids contribute in Disney Friends for Change: Project Green events, collectively they can: avert about 100,000 tons of CO2 p/y from polluting the atmosphere by regulating their home thermostats. Save 5 million gallons of water in a day by reducing shower times. Prevent 1 million pounds of waste from entering landfills by bringing trash-free lunches for a week. Create new homes for local animals by planting 500,000 trees." The proposal appears to be getting children to recognize the value of being green so they can in turn help understand the importance to escort greener lifestyles to their families. If we measure effectiveness of such communications of CSR objective in relation to Tamara's research we can see the level of engagement of stakeholders and clearness of objectives with all facts and figures this helps Disney to hold leading position in CSR.
Disney communicates and prepares its CSR report in accordance with internationally approved format. It effectively and understandably communicates its long term objectives, time span, accomplishments of targets and future actions to stakeholders. Let's have a look at some of Disney's long term environmental goals and also on the way Disney has communicated them.
Disney as mentioned in CSR report 2009 took this initiative in 2006. Since then in every passed year Disney communicated progress and initiative taken in order to achieve the goal. It is mentioned in report that company's target is to reduce waste to 50% of 2006. Accomplishments toward target are also mentioned as that Disney has reduced its waste by 20,618 tons which is 44% less than 2006. Progression towards the achievement of goals has been communicated in detailed breakup that organization has began to develop waste inventories of non park operations and also implemented waste reduction programs such as recycling of construction materiel. To make this information easily communicable and precise Disney has also provided table given below.
Source: Disney annual CSR report 2009
Zero Net Direct Green House Gas Omission
Initiative was to reduce carbon omission by 50% of 2006 by 2012 through reduction in fuel usage and efficiencies of operations. To communicate organization's achievements toward goals Disney in CSR report has mentioned that 3.5% reduction has been made in direct omission of green house gas to make it clear Disney has given a detailed graph with calculations of current and previous year, also that Disney has made a massive investment in carbon offset project to save forest in Africa.
As recommended by Tamara, L. (2006) Disney has also mentioned organizations in progress initiatives to achieve targets as Disney has transformed all its all commercial vehicles to fuel made from recycled cooking oil.
Apart from all these achievements Disney successfully managed to donate more than 230 million in cash to help development of new eco friendly organizations all over the world, to communicate by engage Disney's consumer in raising funds Disney started a campaign "Give A Day live A Disney Day" in which Disney promoted voluntary work by giving away free Disneyland tickets to people who voluntarily worked for Disney's environmental friendly campaign. Disney's approach on communicating this campaign by interacting with consumers helped Disney to established its image on consumers to win their trust as an eco friendly organization as well as raise huge funds to help environment.
Corporate communication in current market has significant importance. Effective corporate communication allows organizations to communicate their achievement and other important repots effectively in order to built organization's trust on its stake holders. Corporate social responsibility is one of the important element of reporting. It is hard for an organization to sustain their image if they do not give CSR a priority. In order to communicate organization's CSR to stakeholders organization should find ways which allows stakeholders to actively interact in order to achieve targets. Disney way of communicating its CSR to stakeholders is very effective and its reporting standers are according to international standards. Disney allows its stakeholders to participate in process of achievement so that on time of accomplishment they can personally feel achievement. This strategy of communicating CSR helps Disney to be leader in eco friendly organizations.