Corporate Responsibility





Corporate Responsibility


Technology companies face diverse environmental challenges. Energy is necessary for the manufacture and use of different technologies. The form of energy used is a concern for most environmentalists. Some types of energy, such as those depending on the use of fossil fuels, cause significant damage to the environment. The production and use of technology can contribute to air, water, and land pollution. Therefore, companies have to consider the form of energy they will use in the manufacture of their products, and in their offices and business operations. Different metals are used in the production of technology. Some of these resources are non-renewable, and others are hard to renew.

Technology companies release waste which lead to environmental degradation because of their non-biodegradable nature. Such waste can also be an occupational hazard for the workers (Smith, Sonnenfeld and Pellow 107). Many technology companies struggle with how they will dispose off waste. Some people end up throwing technological gadgets away along with other rubbish, and this contributes to landfills. Some companies have taken the initiative of recycling such waste. Technology in some countries develops at a faster rate than in others. In such countries, new technologies become obsolete at a faster rate. Some technology companies solve this problem by donating the old technologies to other countries that need them. This way, they are able to reduce the amount of waste in their countries and at the same time help other countries with much needed technological devices.

Corporate responsibility involves the company’s efforts to make positive contributions to the society above what the law requires of them (Blowfield and Murray 7). The level of responsibility that a company exercises is reflective of its power and wealth. Multinational companies such as Microsoft have different responsibilities. Smaller companies may choose to focus on one area in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. The level of social and environmental impact that a company makes determines the areas it will choose to focus on in its CSR efforts. Microsoft is a technology company. It redefined its objectives when it transformed to a devices and services company. Its CSR efforts cover different areas including monetary donations to nonprofits, youth empowerment initiatives, technology related initiatives, and environmental protection and conservation projects.

Role of CSR in the Company

The company’s CSR efforts have enabled the management to engage with the employees. CSR activities involve the cooperation of the management and the employees. The company’s employees make financial donations, and they volunteer their time, effort, and skill for different causes. The company matches what the employees have contributed financially. Last year, this initiative contributed more than $100 million, which was donated to 18,000 different nonprofits around the world. Its decision to involve the employees has benefited many individuals and groups. The workers get a chance to participate in the different initiatives, and they feel that they are making meaningful and positive contributions to the organization. The company began the first employee giving campaign in 1983. It has continued making such contributions over the years.

Microsoft uses CSR for different reasons. Its focus on the youth is a way of seeking new opportunities. The company is interested in youth development and empowerment. Most technology companies hire youthful employees who come up with fresh new ideas that can be used to move the company forward. Microsoft realizes the importance of youth empowerment. Many young people have potential, but they lack the opportunities that are necessary to move ahead in life. The company launched Microsoft YouthSpark, which is a global youth initiative. The company managed to help more than 100 million youth in 100 countries (Microsoft 23). The program will connect different youths from around the world and give them opportunities to get a better education. It will also help the youths looking for employment and those intending to be entrepreneurs.

The different youth initiatives and programs involve the use of Microsoft software, hardware, and other technologies. The company not only gets to help young people, but it gets the chance to introduce its products and services to new markets by doing this. Thus, the company gets new products for its market and fresh ideas by interacting and engaging with young people around the world. The company’s focus on the youth is a way of addressing future issues. Microsoft youth initiatives and programs have helped people in different continents. It is concerned with the future of the young people, most of whom are unemployed. It gives them an opportunity to enhance their lives and improve their families and countries.

The company’s CSR activities directed towards the environment are a way of correcting unscrupulous practices. Many companies are realizing the environmental impact they have. The nature of business operations, including materials and processes, largely determine an organization’s environmental impact. Thus, some companies CSR efforts will tend to focus more on environmental issues. Other companies may not concentrate much on the environment, but they realize the importance of addressing the current environmental changes. Microsoft is concerned about the environment, and this is reflected in its efforts to address climate change. The company had set a goal of carbon neutrality, which it was able to achieve in 2013. It intends to improve the environment by using minimum energy and reducing carbon emissions, increasing accountability as well as purchasing and using green energy.

The company has found ways of rectifying corrupt practices. It has introduced carbon fees for its business units, and this has increased accountability in different areas. All the business units are responsible for their carbon emissions, and they are liable to pay a fee depending on the impact they make. This has enabled the company to develop new methods and products that will reduce its carbon footprint. For instance, the company has reduced air travel for business purposes and introduced free transport for its employees. It has adopted technologies that have resulted to less use of energy and water. By focusing on improving different environmental concerns, the company is addressing future issues geared towards addressing dwindling resources and environmental degradation.

The company was able to get new opportunities and markets by donating technologies to many diverse organizations in different countries. The company donated Microsoft technology to more than seventy thousand organizations and in 2013. It donated software programs and hardware devices to many nonprofits around the world. More than one hundred countries received Microsoft software programs. The company introduced new programs in Indonesia, Austria, and Vietnam.

Many companies have increased their interest in CSR activities. They are spending more money on different initiatives aimed at helping and making a positive impact in their societies. This is because they have realized the value of CSR to the community and to business profitability. CSR reputation is necessary for improving customer relationships (Adhikari). Many people want to be associated with companies that are concerned with the society. They are satisfied with companies that make the effort of solving the prevailing problems facing them. Therefore, many companies do whatever it takes to ensure that people become aware of their CSR efforts. The company reports detailing such activities are often detailed, and they show the positive impact that the company has made. They include specifics such as the people who benefited from the different programs, the amount spent, and the number of years that the company has operated the initiatives.


            Microsoft focuses on different sectors and issues in its CSR initiative. The company has found new ways of engaging with the employees through its CSR activities. It engages with individuals and groups in different communities through its different programs and initiatives. It is concerned with the environment and the youth. At the same time, the company aims at collaborating with other organizations, which help other people in different ways. Hence, it cooperates with many different nonprofits around the world. The company’s CSR efforts have had a positive impact on business operations. Many people have become aware of its efforts to improve the lives of others. The company has increased its presence in many areas and has created new markets and opportunities in the process. Some of its CSR efforts have lasted for many years. This shows that the company is not just interested in CSR as a public relations or marketing activity. CSR efforts will likely benefit the company in the future. The company’s decision to minimize the use of energy and water, enhance accountability on matters relating to carbon emissions and implement other environmental conservation measures will benefit it in the future. It will reduce its environmental footprint and at the same time save on costs.


Many firms have implemented corporate social responsibility activities. Most of them end up spending a lot of money in the process. Many companies are selective of the CSR activities they intend to pursue. They select the programs and initiatives carefully. In the end, they also hope to benefit from them in some way. Some people consider CSR to be a legitimate business, which offers a competitive advantage for the company (Werther and Chandler 8). Although this is the case, companies spend a lot of money and other resources in their CSR activities. In many cases, they may never get a chance to profit from their investment. This shows that some companies are indeed concerned with their communities. They regard the reputation they get from other people highly, and this motivates them towards doing more for the society. Many companies consider environmental issues pertinent, as they contribute to their escalating costs and can affect the company’s financial performance. Environmental management is a strategy for many businesses and many of them choose to include any such efforts as part of their CSR.

Works Cited

Adhikari, Richard. Microsoft Tops Corporate Social Responsibility Rankings. 10 April, 2013. Web. 20 March, 2014

Blowfield, Mick, and Alan Murray. Corporate Responsibility. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print

Microsoft. Citizenship Report. 2013. Web. 20 March, 2014

Smith, Ted, David A. Sonnenfeld, and David N. Pellow. Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2006. Print

Werther, B. William, and David, Chandler. Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders in a Global Environment. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2010. Print

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