New Balance is privately owned company, which is the second largest footwear manufacture in the United States and the fourth largest footwear manufacture in the world with annual sales in 2008 of $1.61 billion (Veleva, 2010).
Although New Balance owners did not have an official Corporate Social Responsibility policy there was a strong culture of “Doing the right thing” (Veleva, 2010). New Balance owners along with company leadership did realize that New Balance needed to engage in the next step, which was to develop a strong Corporate Social Responsibility. To do this New Balance promoted their senior corporate communications officer to the social responsibility manager. In addition, New Balance hired a firm outside the company to provide a credible and independent study of were New Balance stood in respects to their Corporate Social responsibility. For this study, New Balance hired a local firm which New Balance new well, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (Veleva, 2010).
Before the Corporate Social Responsibility study, New Balance although “Doing the right thing” did not make their social responsibility efforts public. New Balance’s new goal of “Doing the right thing” was to use the Corporate Social Responsibility study by Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship to improve on their social responsibility and to make their social responsibility public.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Overall Governance (Values, Mission, Principles and Policies)
- Responsible to their employees
- Management is responsive and takes employees seriously
- Employees have a sense of personal accomplishment
- Employees have pride in whit the company is doing
- Senior Management have a strong support for Corporate Social Responsibility
- New Balance makes Corporate Social Responsibility the focal point of their organization’s values and mission were understood
- Commitment to domestic manufacturing
- Owners new that they needed to be more transparent about Corporate Social Responsibility
Products and Services
- New Balance took responsibility for the end of products useful life
- Reduced carbon and toxicity footprint of products
- Includes recycled content and environmentally friendly materials in all footwear
- First among peers to eliminate polyvinyl chloride from all footwear
- New Balance retail group implement a “green” store design
- Majority of initiatives proved to have clear business cost savings, reduced cost, and increased productivity
- Initiatives subtle benefits include worker safety and morale
- Footwear division has robust environmental program and great restricted materials program
- Compliant with European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical substances) regulation
- Domestic factories have a reduction in volatile organic compounds program to emulate
- 60 hour workweek enforcement for Chinese suppliers
- New Balance...