O2 urges rivals to stop providing chargers with new phones

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Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/17/o2-rivals-chargers-new-phones

Friedman’s theory states that a corporation’s social responsibility lies within making as much money as possible while conforming to society’s ethical standards. However, is it ideal for a firm to go beyond regulations and taking voluntary measures to positively impact society?

In 2013, O2 took the initiative to reduce electronic waste by selling their HTC One X+ without a charger. According to Friedman’s theory, such acts of social responsibility would incur a cost to the corporation’s stakeholders. In this case, the corporation would be spending its customers’ money; customers who do not already own a charger would have to spend more and purchase one separately.

However, the article also mentions that 82% of the customers are actually supportive of the “greener option” after being provided with information regarding the environmental issue O2 is tackling. This coincides with Freeman’s stakeholder theory, which highlights the importance of the tying together interests of different stakeholders. In this case, O2 has successfully aligned their customers’ interests with their own through educating them.

Furthermore, sustainability is becoming an increasingly popular concept, allowing O2 to benefit in the long-run through good brand image as the community begins to change it’s “way of life” and mindset in the future.