Student`s Name essay

Sustainability and Justice

Ethics is a termthat has been used to refer to a set of moral standards and behaviorthat governs an individual or an organization. Each firm or businessentity has to have a reference point from which they refer to on howbest to solve some social issues (Larmer 322). In any culture, firmsface significant challenges trying to meet and solve all the ethical,social and environmental issues that they encounter as they offerservices to their customers.

Moral principles,which closely relate to the values of a firm, define the culture ofboth the immediate community and the business, they resemble the law.Even though they can be neglected ethical principles cannot bebroken (Byron and William 2). Instead, they will always be availableto the people involved, waiting to be applied. Various ethicalprinciples have been outlined to help in daily operations of abusiness and other organizations. Among them include the principle ofintegrity, veracity, fairness, human dignity, participation,commitment, social responsibility, common good, subsidiarity and love(Byron and William 3).

On the other hand,social responsibility constitutes the success of many firms. Businessexperts, lawyers as well as economists, have gotten into heateddebates regarding social responsibility. In the long run, it has beenagreed that a socially responsible firm must be in a position touphold public equality, enhance the relationships between communitiesand still observe the various value-maximizing governance practices.Overly, all properly managed firms have turned out to be sociallyresponsible (Savitz 131).

Also known ascorporate social responsibility, it becomes more consistent whenshareholders are involved, and the set initiatives are for the solepurpose of benefiting the society. Today, most business practicesare either one or more of the three broad categories of corporatesocial responsibility, which are philanthropy, environment, andethical labor practices. While undertaking the socially responsibleinitiatives, a firm not only wins the conscious customers to theirside, hence promoting sales, but also makes an enormous contributionto the world. Given the current financial standings of the Shopritestores, it is evident that the organization is economically viable.Over the years, their sales have been going up thus acquiring moreprofits.

Environmentalsustainability refers to the act of finding more innovative ways ofcutting the costs that the firm incurs and minimizing the impacts itsactivities have on the environment. Among the most commonly appliedenvironmental sustainable strategies include the conservation ofenergy and water as well as the reduction of packaging material inthe case of shopping stores. Other initiatives include the lesseningof carbon (IV) oxide emissions and stopping forest destruction. Anenvironmentally sustainable firm, despite placing many demands on theenvironment, instills strategies that ensure that the requirementscan be met without limiting the capacity of both the current and thefuture generations to live well.

Various ethicalapproaches have been designed to help firms to decide which actionsare morally right and wrong. Among them include the rights,utilitarian, virtue, common right and justice approaches. The rightsethical approach addresses the thoughts of Emmanuel Kant and otherauthors who were of the same mind. According to them, human beingsare different from other creation for one reason that they have theopportunity to choose freely what they want to do. People should notbe manipulated in any way and using people or organization in such amanner is defined as a violation of human dignity. Whenever a firmseeks to implement the rights approach to ethics, someconsiderations, like whether the action respects everyone’s moralstandards, have to be put in place. The determination of either rightor wrong depends on the degree of the violation the greater theviolation, the greater wrongful an action is considered (Larmer 325).

On the other hand,the utilitarian approach, which was pioneered by John Mill and JeremyBentham, sought to help legislators to regulate which laws withintheir organizations are morally right. They both agreed that ethicalpractices are the ones that bring the greatest balance of good overevil. Therefore, in this case, when this approach is applied, thefirm needs to consider and come up with a list of all the people whowill be affected by any particular action that they take. Afterwards,they have to choose which action produces the greatest good for thehighest number of people. The utilitarian approach duly focuses onall the possible consequences of a firm’s actions to the well-beingof the persons who directly or indirectly rely on the enterprise.

The virtue approachwhich mainly dwells on the dispositions and attitudes that directpeople on the best way to act assumes that there are certain setideas within which people should work. The base of these thoughts isthe reflection of what kind of a being an individual has to be in thefuture. In this sense, the vision of a firm depends on the virtueapproach. This is because, the view of a company, which entirelyoutlines the position it looks forward to becoming, regarding thegoods and services it provides as well as the relation with thesociety, is crucial to its development. Virtues enable a firm tooffer services in a manner that will allow them to discover theirgreatest potential, and once the virtues are acquired, they becomepart of the organization.

The common goodapproach assumes that every society contains people who want to bepart of what is defined as upright in that community. According tothe authors and other advocates of this approach, all socialconditions must favor every individual. Therefore, every person hasan equal chance of accessing any institution of their choice orbusiness entity they wish to purchase goods or seek services of anyform. The fairness or the justice approach roots back to theteachings of Aristotle who once said that “the equals should betreated equally and the unequal unequally (Hughes 37).” The moralquestions behind the slogan of this approach include “how fair theaction is” and “does it treat everyone in the same way, or doesit show favoritism and discrimination?” (Hughes 37)

This paper mainlyaddresses Shoprite Supermarkets and their ethical, social andenvironmental practices that they engage in when offering theservices to their customers. Shoprite Holdings Limited is aninvestment company that makes up the largest fast-moving consumergoods (FMCG) and has opened up over 300 stores around the world.Shoprite supermarket is believed to have originated in New Jersey atthe time when buyers could not get fair prices for groceries. Afterthe company had decided to cut its prices by approximately 10%, theywere able to get a large customer base generating a lot of revenuesthat enabled them to come up with more stores. Currently, Shopritestores stretch from Maryland all the way to Connecticut. Despite thatNew Jersey is considered as the home for the Shoprite stores, thereare many branches in the suburbs of New York City and alsoPhiladelphia (Hirshon 146).

Shopritesupermarkets offer to their customers, a numerous variety of goodsand services. They major on providing groceries, warehouse clubs,garden centers wine and spirit as well as, adigital platform that focuses on the sale of electronics, specialtyfoods, baby care products and health and beauty products in overfifty states in the US. In the case of Shoprite wines and spiritstores, they are either located inside or adjacent to thesupermarkets although there are few instances of freestanding stores.There are thirty-eight Shoprite wine and spirit stores in New Jerseyand New York. The Shoprite new grocery stores aim at placing moreemphasis on the need for fresh organic foods and other upscalespecialty foods that they offer in the other stores. Located mostlynear campuses, new grocery stores offer an entirely “new insightinto the next generation of consumers” and thus creating awarenessto the new customers. Additionally, the company usually holds acan-can sale twice every year for the sale of canned goods.


Shoprite has usedmany different slogans in the past years some of which are beingused to date to market their sales. Based on the slogans whichultimately define the missions of the firm, it is evident that thecompany follows a particular set of ethics and is sociallyresponsible. One of its previous slogans was “This is yourneighborhood. This is your Shoprite”. The sole purpose of coming upwith this slogan was to promote and support the activities of thesurrounding community. The slogan is still used in currentlymanufactured trucks. Regarding the basic ethical approach that thecompany seems to lean based on its mission. It is evident that itsupports the standard right approach as well as the fairnessapproach. It offers all individuals equal opportunity to access thestores, and their activities depend on how good an action is. As aresult, the company has gained the support of the community andconsequently enabling it to expand its stores to many other states.


As declared by theBoard under section 72(4) of the Companies Act, the Shoprite Holdingsestablished a social and ethics committee which is responsible foroverseeing all the social problems in all its branches as well asensuring that all the activities that take place in its environs aremorally right. Other than that, the committee makes sure that thefirm carries out its operations in a manner that enables it todevelop or even review the existing policies, practices, andgovernance structures that are responsible for how best the businessapproaches an emerging challenge. Shoprite’s social and ethicalcommittee, besides monitoring the codes of best practice and otherlegal requirements, reports to the relevant stakeholders during theannual general meeting. Another responsibility that rests on thecommittee is that it has to inform the board all the ethics andsocial matters that are in any way related to the firm.


The social andethics committee focuses on the company’s wellbeing in manydifferent aspects. Among them include employment and labor, healthand public safety, the environment and the impacts of undertakings,goods and services, the relationships between the firm and itscustomers, including advertisements and compliance, and the economicand general social development of the enterprise. More so, thecommittee focuses on the strategies of promoting equality in the firmand the prevention of discrimination, the discouragement of humanrights violation, prevention of fraud, and the contribution that thecompany makes to the community in which its activities take place.The committee meets twice every year, and to make their work easier,they have expertise in each of the relevant fields. For instance,during the committee meeting held in the 2014/2015 financial year,the firm was concerned mostly with the labor policies and practicesthat govern its employees, the employment equity plans that arerelevant to the organization, the trends in corruption as well asenvironmental, health and safety performance of the workers.

Question4 partly done

According to thepast reports sent to the top management of the firm, there have beenno cases of non-compliance. Given that the operations of a businessand the ultimate success all come down to culture and trust, it isalways advisable that an organization cultivates on some criticalvirtues that will enhance its development. Cooperation and honesty,both of the company workers as well as with the adjacent community isan essential towards ensuring the success of any firm. Among othervirtues that Shoprite values since they substantially constitute toits growth are dependability and availability. The integration ofculture and ethics in the development of the firm is seen whenShoprite interacts with the community thus gaining their support(Byron &amp William, 4).

Sustainable businessinitiatives can be related to either social or cooperate aspects ofthe company. Despite environmental sustainable initiatives working toachieve the protection of the environment as well as improving theworking conditions of the workers, they have also been proven to becrucial business strategies. By taking part in environmentallysustainable practices, companies like Shoprite have been able togenerate more cost savings and eliminate excessive wastes. In thecurrent society, people have opted to adopt the “going green”slogan and thus eco-friendly business have the advantage of favorablepublic opinion regarding their operation, and expansions and theircustomers prove to be loyal (Savitz 248).


ShopRite has alsoensured that its suppliers follow some procedures which ensure thatthey provide safe, quality and merchantable product. It hasprioritized the fact that its suppliers should have an insurancepolicy as they do business in a risky environment. It has subjectedsuppliers who provide package products to USDAs labeling law. Theorganization has stressed that suppliers label all coveredcommodities and maintain a verifiable audit trail for the sake oftransparency. When the organization intends to introduce a newproduct in the market, before it is supplied, it has to be reviewedby its manager who notifies the supplier of the decision whether tosupply or not. The organization also requires that its suppliersprovide samples, which will be inspected to make sure that they meetmerchantable standards. Furthermore, if there is a change in cost,packaging, and size, it should be communicated to ensure that thereis accountability. The organization follows all these procedures toensure all products that were acquired were procured within the lawand are suitable to be consumed by public without posing a threat(Wakefern Food Corporation).


For over threedecades, Shoprite has been very active in both environmental andcommunity initiatives and they consider environmental sustainabilityas the “right thing to do.” To minimize the impacts of theiractivities on the environment, the company has taken some steps,though with the support of the community. First, Shoprite hassignificantly promoted grocery bag waste reduction for the past manyyears. The stores provide three bag options, that is, plastic, paperand reusable canvas and advise their customers to recycle the bags tohave a broad assortment of reusable bags.

Additionally, thecompany advocates for the recycling of the grocery bags. They thusplace recycling bins outside their stores so as to ease thecollection of the plastic bags and reduce the amount of trash sent tothe landfill. Moreover, the recycling process saves the company thecost of producing new bags for their customers. The Shoprite Companyoperates their recycling center in New Jersey, a facility which isset to run sixteen hours every day for six days a week and recyclesshrink wrap, corrugated cardboard as well as plastic bags (FAIRFIELDEARTH DAY CELEBRATION).Recently, the facility was expanded and advanced to recycle wirebound wooden crates, floral containers, and Shoprite gift cards.


Shoprite came upwith a program that aimed at educating the community on recycling, aprocess which they broke down into three steps. The first phaseinvolves the collection of and processing of the recyclables. All theproducts that can be recycled are collected through drop-off centers,curbside programs or refund programs and later transported to afacility for sorting. The second step, manufacturing, involves theuse of recycled materials as raw materials for manufacturingindustries. This reduces the amount of water used and also saves onthe use of energy. After production, people can then purchase therecycled goods to help close the cycle process. Among the most commonproducts that come from recycled products include cereal boxes, eggcartons, trash bags and paper towels among others.

As a measure ofenvironmental sustainability, Shoprite publishes an environmentalmagazine called the Shoprite Earth news which aims at informing theircustomers and any other concerned people on how best to become“green” by reducing the amount of water and energy that they use,making compost manure lessens the waste from their homes and anyother ways that help to conserve the environment both for theirwell-being and that of the future generations. Also, the firmannually conducts the “Shoprite Earth Day Challenge” which callsupon volunteers to clear litter at all the local beaches and parks.

Through their grocergardens, Shoprite educates people on the many strategies that maketheir gardens as eco-friendly as possible. They believe that makingtheir gardens more sustainable will, in the long run, help both thegarden and the environment at large. One of the simple steps towardsachieving an eco-friendly garden has been to come up with a betterway of watering the garden. According to Shoprite Holdings, wateringthe garden during the coolest part of the day allows more water toinfiltrate into the ground before it evaporates into the atmosphere.As a result, one can save as much water as possible which is a corestep towards ensuring a sustainable environment. They also advocatefor the application of mulch in the gardens so as to conserve themoisture in the soil and consequently save the amount of water used.Mulching also inhibits weeds which may deprive the crop of water andother essential nutrients.

Other than mulchingand watering their gardens during the coolest part of the day,Shoprite educates their customers and the general public to achieveeco-friendly farming through the application of organic manure. Theymostly advocate the use of compost manure from kitchen waste andother materials like twigs and leaves. Composting allows the farmerto make use of materials that they would rather throw away and helpsin the creation of humus which boosts soil fertility. Materials suchas coffee husks can also be used to enhance the fertility of the soilby adding nitrogen, calcium, and potassium into the ground and shouldthus not be disposed, but rather employed in the gardens.


Detail assessment ofdifferent firms has indicated that there exists an intricaterelationship among ethical, social and environmental issues about theoverall performance of business (Savitz 133). Ethical practices likeaccountability and offering genuine products to customers contributesignificantly to the success of the firm (Byron and William 6). Inthis context, the integration of ethical, social and environmentalresponsibility has helped the company to boost its sales and expandits stores. Besides working to improve the well-being of thesurrounding community, Shoprite goes a step further to educate thepublic on the best ways to enhance their lives.

Overly, the futureof the organization seems to be based on the ethical, social and theenvironmental standard practices that it takes place in. Forinstance, the fact that the firm incorporates the public in itsoperations like participating in education forums and challengesmeans that they have the public on their side. The public supportenables them to expand their stores all over the world, and thecollaboration creates a good relationship between the two.Additionally, the top management of Shoprite has been able toorganize for the best products and services for their customers.


According to thepast annual reports, there has been no case of non-compliance fromthe enforcement groups regarding the firm. This means that theenterprise conducts its activities in an ethical manner. There hasbeen no record of harm to any individual or a group of people as aresult of using Shoprite products. All their current practices are areflection of ethical, social and environmental responsibility withtheir sole purpose being to enhance the well-being of the communityin which they operate.


Despite all theinitiatives to achieve ethical, social and environmentalresponsibility, the firm has faced some challenges in its operations.Among the biggest challenges regards the use of electricity as thesource of power. In the past years, the organization has implementedmany strategies in an attempt to reduce the consumption. On thecontrary, the average cost that they pay for electricity escalated byapproximately 4% between the year 2011 and 2012 resulting in a 34%increase in their electricity bill. To avert this situation and tocut their power cost, Shoprite started developing and attendingconsumption benchmarks in the different stores that it operates.Other than that, it has employed a team of equipment manufacturersand experts to evaluate closely the possible technologies andinitiatives to reduce the energy spent on refrigeration and lighting.


Regarding carbondisclosure, it is recommended that the organization should come upwith a specific carbon reduction target with which to work on.Following the protocols that were set by the Carbon DisclosureProject, the firm was supposed to complete its first carbonassessment footprint, something that is still pending. Therefore, itis suggested that they complete the footprint assessment to maketheir accuracy and its carbon disclosure easier given the fact thatit hopes to increase its scope by opening more stores in the future.


There is no doubt that ShopRite is a large organization which has abig role in the future as it can influence how people value the waragainst climate change and production of organic food which has beenadvocated by medical practitioners. I believe that ShopRite whenadvertising its products should ensure that it reminds people theimportance of protecting the environment through responsible living.In the social aspect, the organization can keep on giving grants andadvocating for positive behavior through training programs that equipyouths at risk of becoming social misfits with skills that motivatethem to pursue their respective career. The organization to improvetheir image should keep on advocating for the ten “old culturalvalues” of Byron.



Thus, Shopritehas adhered to the Byron’s ten “old cultural values” by beingresponsible for providing quality products and good customer servicesthus earning the customers trust. The organization has tried to keeptheir activities known to the public by providing information onwhere they source their goods and services also being transparent intheir prices. Employees are fairly remunerated, rewarded for theirefforts and given equal chances to air their grievances. Furthermore,the organization has provided favorable working conditions to theiremployees, and they have been allowed to be members of trade unions.Also, the organization has put in place channels which allowemployees to participate in decision-making through giving theirsuggestion. Moreover, employees are trained through workshops andtraining programs. The organization has committed its efforts tomaking sure that it provides good and services to the clients at theexpected time and location. Likewise, the organization does anythingin its power not pollute the environment by advocating for actionsthat promote responsible use of the environment and encouragemanufacturing of eco-friendly products. To sustain the future for thecommon good of the society, the organization has participated inprograms that sensitize people on the issues of climate change on howto act responsibly towards future generation. This has been donethrough the stakeholders and top level management delegating theirauthorities to senior employees who can effectively carry out theseduties. The above nine principles show how much Shoprite loves itsemployees and the society (Byron 6). Thus Shoprite organization hasproven to socially responsible organization adhering to all ethicalissues that matters to the society.

Work cited

Larmer, Robert. Ethics in the Workplace: Selected Readings inBusiness Ethics. New York, N.Y: Wadsworth. Print. p. 322-325.2002.

Byron, S. J., and J. William. &quotThe Power of Principles: Ethicsin the New Corporate Culture.&quot. p. 1-10. 2006.

Savitz, Andrew. The triple bottom line: How today`s best-runcompanies are achieving economic, social and environmentalsuccess–and how you can too. John Wiley &amp Sons. p. 129-306.2013.

Hirshon, G. &quotCompanies: Shoprite Holdings.&quot FinancialMail 1. p. 123-146. 1996.

FAIRFIELD`S EARTH DAY CELEBRATION. &quotShopRite’s“Green Team” Makes Every Day Earth Day – Fairfield`s Earth DayCelebration.&quot&nbspFairfield`sEarth Day Celebration. Fairfield`sEarth Day Celebration, 30&nbspApr.&nbsp2016. Web. 14&nbspJune&nbsp2016.&lt

Hughes, Claretha.&nbspImpactof Diversity on Organization and Career Development.Hesrhey: Business Science reference,&nbsp2015. Print.

Wakefern Food Corporation. &quotCurrentSupplier Guidelines.&quot&nbspWakefernFood Corporation. Wakefern FoodCorporation, n.d. Web. 14&nbspJune&nbsp2016.&lt