Green for Profit or Green for the Environment?

Honda Corporate Social Responsibility

Identify a retail brand that you believe is socially or ethically responsible.

One of my favorite brands is Honda. My very first car was a 2007 Honda Accord and the next car I will purchase is most likely going to be another Honda. According to their website, Honda strives to be a company that society was to exist (Honda, 2017). This is a company that believes they have a responsibility to apply their innovation, influence, and initiative to making communities and the world a better place. Honda states the cornerstone to their company philosophy is “Respect for the Individual” (Honda, 2017). Honda maintains a website page where anyone can view how the company engages in corporate governance, they can view the company’s responsibility statement, their commitment to sustainability, and the company’s political disclosure activity policy (Honda, 2017). According the video “What is Corporate Social Responsibility?” CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is about running a business in a responsible, professional, and sustainable way (Business Wales/Busnes Cymru, 2015). Honda is a brand that is not only famous for their high tech products, but also how the brand has given back to society, communities, and the planet.

How do you believe the company conducts business in a socially responsible way?

As a company, Honda has developed a philosophy that consists of fundamental beliefs. This is not only shared by all associates, but also forms the basis for all company activities and sets the standard for the conduct and decision-making of all associates throughout the Honda Group (Honda Worldwide). Honda’s fundamental beliefs consists of respect for the individual in terms of initiative, equality, and trust (Honda Worldwide). Honda has developed a goal to provide good products to customers with speed, affordability, and low CO2 emissions. Honda has a passionate desire to contribute to the sustainable growth of society, which will allow Honda to continue to deliver excitement through products and services that support personal mobility and a better life in general. Through their diverse array of products, and the processes required to produce, sell, and use them, Honda recognizes they impact society in many ways. This is a company that seeks to be a responsible company and community partner through the development of fuel-efficient, low-emission products, and minimizing the environmental impact of their global manufacturing operations (Honda, 2017). CSR has basically become an obligation for the company, and in order maintain CSR Honda has set the environment, safety, quality, and society as four key themes in order to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.

Has the company ever been involved in any incidents in which they were accused of not conducting business in an ethical or socially responsible manner? If so, briefly discuss the legal issues related to the incident(s).

For a company as large as Honda it is not uncommon for employees to behave unethically. Ideally, in a perfect world Honda would be able to screen every single employee they hire to ensure they behave ethically. However, it can be near impossible for companies to screen every potential employee to ensure their morals and ethics align with the company’s. One instance where Honda was involved in an incident in which they were accused of not conducting business in an ethical or socially responsible manner was when it was discovered that certain dealers where overcharging minority customers. The US Department of Justice filed a complaint against American Honda Finance Corporation alleging the company’s dealers had cause minority customers to pay higher interest rates than white borrowers (Rudin, 2015). In order to remedy this situation, Honda agreed to pay a $24 million settlement to minority buyers, and restructured their division (Rudin, 2015). It is important to note that Honda itself does not make direct loans to customers, but instead authorizes their dealers to mark up its loan rates up to 2.25% (Rudin, 2015). However, regulators had discovered that minorities ended up paying $150 to $250 more than white borrowers (Rudin, 2015).

Do you feel the company is “green” for profit or “green” for the environment?

From my own research I would have to say that Honda is “green” for both profit and the environment. However, it would appear that in recent years Honda is more “green” for the environment than for profit. According to their Responsibility Statement, Honda maintains respect for the individual, human rights, and prime working conditions (Honda, 2017). Honda also maintains a code of business ethics and compliance, environmental stewardship, diversity and inclusion, community involvement, and commitment to their principles (Honda, 2017). Once compelling piece of evidence that demonstrates how Honda has become “green” for the environment is their “Blue Skies For Our Children” campaign. This is the impetus behind Honda’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, as well as throughout the lifecycle of their products (Honda, 2017). The vision that drove this program continues to inspire Honda’s desire to develop more advanced sustainable options and the reduction of CO2 emissions in both their products and manufacturing plants. Honda has also conveyed that they are driven by the commitment to ensure the environment remains healthy for our children’s future.
Overall, Honda’s commitment to ensure a better future aligns perfectly with their vision and the products they develop. Honda is committed to ensuring the individuals who bring the Honda products to life are provided responsible working conditions, and are treated with dignity and respect. As for the environment, Honda is actively searching for ways to recycle materials and conserve resources and energy at every stage of their product’s lifecycle (Honda, 2017). Honda maintains that as a responsible member of society the company’s task is to preserve the global environment and will make every effort to contribute to human health and preservation of the global environment in each phase of their corporate activity (Honda, 2017).

Business Wales/Busnes Cymru. (March 17, 2015). What is Corporate Social Responsibility? [Video File]. Retrieved June 24, 2017, from

Honda. (June 23, 2017). Corporate Responsibility Statement. Retrieved June 24, 2017, from

Honda Worldwide. (n.d.). Honda Philosophy. Corporate Profile. Retrieved June 24, 2017, from

Rudin, A. (November 7, 2015). Announcing the 2015 Sales Ethics Hall of Shame. Retrieved June 24, 2017, from

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