Is Puma Inc. an Ethical Company?
Business ethics simply can be defined as the application of business values in the business practice of a company (Seawell 2010, p. 2). For a multinational company, business ethics is one of the critical aspects need to be taken into account in business decision-making processes. Failure to give attention on ethics may bring consequences on company’s reputation (Meyer & Jebe 2010, p. 159). The company is expected not only to pursue its own profits but also contributing to the environmental and social welfare of the community where it operates (Svensson & Wood 2008, p. 308).
Puma Inc. (Puma) is a multinational sporting goods company which designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. The Puma and its subsidiaries have operated in more than 50 countries (Puma 2012, p. 156) and employed more than 11,000 people worldwide (Puma 2013). The company’s supply chains are supported by 540 factories (Puma 2012, p. 44), which is mostly in Asia (Puma 2012, p. 43), and its products have been distributed to more than 120 countries (Puma 2013). The company is the seventh ranked athletic apparel company in the world in term of revenue in 2011 (Schulz 2012).
As a multinational company, Puma strive to be the most desirable and sustainable sportlifestyle company in the world (Puma 2012, p. 9) and contributes in creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come (Puma 2012, p. 15). To meet these goals, the company claims that it has referred its business decisions to the four values of PUMAVision (fair, honest, positive and creative), implemented PUMAVision’s programs, which are PUMA.Safe, PUMA.Peace and PUMA.Creative, (Puma 2012, p. 10) and set its own code of ethics as well as its supplier’s code of conduct to be applied. Regarding these commitments, this essay examines Puma’s business activities, which will be focused on environmental and social aspects. The purpose of this essay is to assess whether Puma can be considered as an ethical company in conducting its business activities.
Global warming, water pollutions and droughts are some environmental problems facing by human beings recently. Besides because of humans’ behaviour toward their environment, there is no doubt that factories also take part in polluting it. Thus, they morally oblige to involve in addressing these environmental problems and preserving and protecting the environment from further destruction. Business should take part in giving the solutions instead of being a part of the problems (Hoffman 1991, p. 137).
As part of its commitment to contribute to creating a better world, Puma implements a program named Puma.Safe Ecology, which is focused to environmental issues (Puma 2012, p. 15). It acknowledges that all aspects of its operations need supports of natural resources, such as fresh water, clean air and land, and more or less bring impacts on them (Puma 2012, p. 37). Thus in its code of ethics, the company is...