Write an analytical business report on what ethical consumerism means for businesses.
Choose a company and explain and analyse how they operate ethically. This must take into account the ethics and values of the company you choose to focus on.
The report must be written in business report format and include the following sections:
• An executive summary which gives a brief overview of the argument in your report including key findings and conclusions.
• A contents page which lists the sections and the page numbers.
• An introduction which gives an overview of the structure of your report.
• A brief overview and analysis of ethical consumerism, identifying the examples of some of the products which fall into the ethical category. You must include a definition of ethical consumerism and arguments as to why it is a good strategy for businesses to adopt.
• A detailed review of one company claiming to operate ethically. Discuss the approach(es) they have used to become a more socially conscious business, linking this with their ethics and values.
• The results of a short opinion survey on what influences consumer buying behaviour, carried out by you from a small sample of 10-15 students at GSM London. You need to conduct primary research for this section.
• A conclusion which includes critical evaluation of ethical consumerism based on the evidence that you have gathered both from your primary and secondary research, focusing on the company you have chosen for detailed review.
• Recommendations as to what your chosen company should do to improve their performance in relation to ethical consumerism.
• You must include a references list after the main body of the report. Remember to use Harvard referencing where appropriate.
• A copy of your opinion survey should be included in an appendix.
Word limit: Not more than 2000 +/- 10%
A suggested word count for each section is given below.
Executive summary 100 words
Introduction 200 words
Ethical consumerism 400 words
Company review 600 words
Opinion survey 400 words (not including survey/tables etc)
Conclusion 200 words
Recommendations 100 words
Supporting material will be posted on GSM Learn, but you will be expected to undertake research using newspaper/magazine/web articles, journals and text books. There will also be input in class time to assist you with the topic.
A brief introduction to ethical consumerism
On April 24 2013, a building known as the Rana Plaza collapsed on top of garment workers inside its factories, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring 2,500. It would be known as the worst ever accident in the garment industry anywhere in the world.
It was later discovered that 28 brands that sourced clothes from the plaza included Primark, Benetton, Mango, Matalan and Bonmarché, prompting public concern about the working conditions of garment factories around the world which contribute to western high street fashion stores.
Ethical consumerism encourages people to think about how the products they buy are sourced and produced and which are not harmful to the environment and society. This can be evidenced through simply purchasing eggs that are free-range or boycotting goods/companies which promote child labour or unsavoury working conditions.
The range of product areas which fall into the ethical category includes:
• Banking and finance
• Food and drinks
• Travel and tourism
Ethical consumerism is a growing market; a recent report from the Co-operative Bank showed a third of UK consumers claiming to be concerned about ethical consumption, with a large number of the public willing to challenge and boycott companies which do not comply with ethical standards.
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