Honda’s Code of Conduct and Corporate Social Responsibility

Subject: Business Ethics
Pages: 2
Words: 619
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor

Introduction

Honda is a Japanese company mainly known for manufacturing cars and motorcycles, although it also provides a wide range of other products. The company professes adherence to the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and has a written code of conduct that, among other things, stresses protection of the environment and fulfillments of societal expectations. Honda demonstrates that it is beneficial for a company to adhere to CSR and stakeholder theory because of the boost in the public image it can provide, if not for purely ethical reasons.

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Main body

As a company, Honda claims to adhere to the principles of CSR and aim to provide positive societal contributions. This attitude manifests in the corporation’s goal of being “a company that society wants to exist” (“Honda Corporate Social Responsibility,” 2021). Apart from recognizing the employee’s rights for fair compensation and safe conditions, Honda stresses its respect to the laws and policies of societies where it operates. In particular, the company vows to respect the laws governing the minimum age for employment in every country where it works as well as export controls and sanctions (“Honda Corporate Social Responsibility,” 2021). The company also professes to “maintain a high degree of trust with all stakeholders” rather than merely its own stockholders (“Honda Corporate Social Responsibility,” 2021). In terms of environmental protection, the company has launched products for waste reduction and reducing the carbon footprint of its manufacturing processes (“Environment,” 2021). With these statements in mind, one can safely assume that proclaiming adherence to eh principles of CSR and stakeholder theory is a staple of Honda’s self-representation as a company.

The corporation’s written code of conduct stresses largely the same ethical obligations that are proclaimed as the general principles upheld by the company as a whole. In specific terms, the ethical code expects the employees to “acknowledge Honda’s basic stance to contribute to society and strive to fulfill our expected roles in the community” (“Honda Code of Conduct,” n.d., 5). In particular, the company expects its employees to drive carefully, thus maintaining safety in their communities, and take a considerate approach to environmental protection (“Honda Code of Conduct,” n.d.). Thus, the specific provisions of the company’s written ethical code correspond literally to the principles outlined as the parts of its approach to CSR.

Honda’s example demonstrates that it is essential for a contemporary company to profess CSR and express respect to all stakeholders – not merely from an ethical standpoint, but from a business one as well. Corporate scandals of the early 21st century dealt a massive blow to the business community’s credibility, and regaining public trust is crucial for large corporations. Correspondingly, Honda heavily emphasizes the importance of trustful relationships in business (“Honda Corporate Social Responsibility,” 2021). Moreover, the 2015 Volkswagen scandal serves as a recent reminder that companies from the automotive industry may suffer greatly from neglecting environmental protection. Obviously aware of it, Honda stresses its adherence to environmental stewardship in no uncertain terms (“Environment,” 2021). The contemporary business environment makes CSR not a gesture of goodwill but a paramount component of re-establishing trust, especially when it comes to the automotive industry and the environment. Hence, adhering to CSR and stakeholder theory is not merely an ethical principle but also a well-motivated business decision.

Conclusion

To summarize, Honda emphasizes its adherence to the principles of CSR and stakeholder theory and incorporates these principles into the code of ethics designed for its employees. Apart from the general claims such as respecting the law and benefitting communities, the company pays much attention to environmental issues. It is a sensible business move for a large corporation in the automotive industry that needs to re-establish trust and present itself as a responsible actor.

References

Environment. (2021). Honda. Web.

Honda code of conduct. (N.d). Honda. Web.

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Honda Corporate Social Responsibility. (2021). Honda. Web.