Corporate Social Responsibility (Responsible Business Practice) Essay Example

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Table of Contents


Executive Summary 3

Introduction 4

Philanthropy 4

Community Engagement 6

Conclusion 7

References 9

Business Evaluation/Review — Corporate Social Responsibility (Starbucks USA)

Executive Summary

Starbucks has achieved competitive position through philanthropic and ethical behaviour towards environment and people. Corporate philanthropy has turned out to be a feasible strategic option for Starbucks in furthering brand development and developing marketing strategies. The company has integrated philanthropic initiatives all through the planning process in order to achieve enhanced customer perceptions and market recognition. Through community engagement, Starbucks has managed to integrate and empower people from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The company has also created local community members’ networks which have enabled it to work towards a common goal.


Starbucks runs its business responsibly and conducting itself in a manner that has made its customers to respect and trust it. The company has placed much emphasis on the community involvement, environmental stewardship as well as ethical sourcing. CSR is core to how Starbuck run its business. The company has continually focused on maintaining an effective relationship with its stakeholders through CSR activities. These days, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has turned out to be a crucial part of many companies. It focuses on how company attempts to become beneficial to every stakeholder group. CSR is considered to be a success driver since it boosts company’s sales and improves brand awareness. Starbucks Company has an improved reputation because of its CSR activities. Establishing CSR strategy has become a crucial part of the company’s competiveness. For that reason, CSR policies have to be considered as inseparable as well as a core component of the company’s overall product offering. The objective of this piece is to evaluate/review Starbucks’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in terms of philanthropy and community engagement.


Corporate philanthropy, according to Fontaine (2013), is an event that brings the social sector and the business sector together. Philanthropy offers companies an opportunity to create a moral and ethical mantra in the organisation. As mentioned by Fontaine (2013), knowing the potential effect of philanthropy allows the company to change its value proposition and eventually shape how it is applied in the business strategy. At Starbucks, Philanthropy has added capitalistic as well as the altruistic contribution to its organisational operations. The company has established philanthropy as its CSR activity, which has resulted in improved competitive advantage. Akin to other companies, Starbucks utilise philanthropy to demonstrate its responsible behaviour towards the community. Thanks to its philanthropic activities, Starbucks has built its image and identity, which consequently has insured competitive position. For instance, the company uses the Starbucks Foundation to offer hygiene, sanitation, and water to the community and also to secure job opportunities for the younger generation. Through the foundation, Starbucks participates in development projects in the community. The foundation was established in 1997 and has since then engaged in philanthropic endeavours by giving through various programs: Access to Clean Water, Supporting Communities (especially those in areas producing coffee, cocoa and tea), Community Service, and Opportunity for Youth (Inside Philanthropy, 2017). In its Opportunity for Youth program, Starbucks seeks to help approximately 300 million youths across the globe to get the needed skills that would help them become successful in the global economy that is rapidly changing.

Through its Community Service program, the company tries to create a positive change within the local neighbourhoods. Starbuck’s philanthropic initiatives can also be evidenced by its recent announcement to donate unsold food to charity through its FoodShare program. As cited by Ruiz-Grossman (2016), the company announced that all its Starbucks stores in the United States will be donating the remaining ready-to-eat meals to food banks. The philanthropic initiatives have given Starbucks a greater meaning. Without a doubt, all companies are in the business to become profitable but having a duty as well as a vision that rises above the objective of becoming profitable has offered Starbucks a broader sense of purpose. The company has embraced the vision of donating to the community, which consequently has revitalised the initial drive and vigour that resulted in the establishment of the corporation in the first place. The company has built itself around the mission of giving back to the society, and for that reason, it has infused that passion into its customers, employees, products as well as shareholders. Starbuck’s well-executed philanthropic programs resonate with its customers on a level that is deeply emotional.

Community Engagement

Community engagement, according to Arli and Cadeaux (2014), is the most crucial part of CSR since it improves the firms’ social reputations and can protect them from suffering stock market declines. Implementing the community engagement programme effectively can lead to improved corporate reputation as well as image. Arli and Cadeaux (2014) posit that corporate community engagement can be the main source of competitive advantage since it cannot be imitated by the competitors. For that reason, Starbucks has devoted a lot of resources to back up its different community projects. As indicated by Bull (2013), community engagement programme at Starbucks allows the customers to exhibit their idealised selfbyparticipatinginactivitieswith the aim of helping thatcommunity. All Starbucks store in the U.S. has become part of the community and the company has continually demonstrated its willingness to strengthen the neighbourhoods everywhere it conducts its business. According to Starbucks (2017), the company has worked with determination to bring people together. The company’s stores have enabled Starbucks’s customers and partners to connect as well as tap into shared passions with the aim of providing help and generating significant opportunities which could strengthen the communities. Through community engagement, the Starbucks has been able to achieve a positive impact on the community and has been able to maximise the creation of shared value for the company, its stakeholders, shareholders and employees.

The company together with the customers have dedicated their energy and time to generate positive change within the neighbourhoods it does its business. For many years, the company has come together with its customers across the globe to make the world a better place for all and sundry. By making the community strong, Starbucks has gained a strong base of customers from which to draw upon. The company has invested in the community for many years through various projects such as community health and education. Through these activities, the company has managed to improve the lives of these communities, which consequently has resulted in secure, well-educated and affluent customer base. Community engagement for Starbucks has been a situation where both the company and the communities have become wins. The company has ensured that community engagement program brings forth an opportunity rather than a burden. For that reason, the community, employees and the company itself have all benefited in different ways. This has been attributed to the company’s ability to select suitable approaches to community engagement that fit its employee needs, organisational culture, and mission statement. By paying attention to community and employee feedback, Starbucks has achieved the right balance which improves the lives of everyone.


In conclusion, this piece has evaluated/reviewed Starbucks’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in terms of philanthropy and community engagement. As pointed out in the piece, Starbucks fulfils its philanthropic responsibility through community contributions by investing the company’s goods. Through philanthropic initiatives, the company has been able to establish a moral as well as an ethical mantra in the organisation. Without a doubt, maintaining CSR has turned out to be a crucial part of the modern-day corporate strategy, especially in the industries where inconsistencies come about between social goals and corporate profits. Through the CSR Program, Starbuck has shown commitment towards social goals. Clearly, philanthropy has become part of the core mission in its efforts to facilitate business growth, connect with customers, and engage its employees. This paper has demonstrated that community engagement has been beneficial to Starbuck, especially in terms of improving competitive advantage and customer base. The company has created goodwill through community engagement program, which consequently has enhanced its business’ prospects.


Arli, D.I. & Cadeaux, J., 2014. Drivers of corporate community involvement and challenges in measuring its impact. Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, pp.161-83.

Bull, A., 2013. Brand Journalism. New York: Routledge.

Fontaine, M., 2013. Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: The New Bottom Line? International Journal of Business and Social Science, vol. 4, no. 4, pp.110-19.

Inside Philanthropy, 2017. Starbucks Foundation: Grants for Global Development. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27 June 2017].

Ruiz-Grossman, S., 2016. Starbucks Will Donate Unsold Food To People In Need. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 June 2017].

Starbucks, 2017. Community Service. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 June 2017].