Corporate social responsibility: environmental concern in New Zealand's wine industry
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a worldwide issue as organizations are under increasing pressure to behave in socially responsible ways. Environmental responsibility as a part of CSR is often connected with sustainability and protection the environment. This is of a significant importance to New Zealand and its 'clean' and 'green' image. One industry having an impact on the environment, and also having a strategic position in the economy of New Zealand is the wine industry. The aim of the research is to understand what motivates and sustains companies' CSR practices. This exploratory study examines (1) what drives the industry to engage in CSR practices, (2) the role of stakeholders in the company's decision making, and (3) CSR practices in the wine industry. A qualitative research approach supplemented by quantitative measures was adopted to answer the research questions. 24 case study organizations (wineries) were studied and 31 managers interviewed. The research found that the most important drivers of CSR practices are personal values, preferences and satisfaction with this profession. This is followed by product quality and customers' demand. Though New Zealand wine companies are also driven by the market; the market still does not value CSR initiatives and companies do not receive a price premium for sustainable or organically grown grapes. Furthermore, environmental regulations belong to important drivers affecting companies' decision-making. However, companies do not consider current New Zealand's regulations as significantly difficult to follow. On the other hand, companies want to preempt future regulations. The research also revealed that the most important stakeholders are owners, shareholders, customers, wholesalers and international businesses. The role of communication and ecolabelling is also discussed. As a result, the study proposes a typology matrix that differentiates organizations' involvement in CSR according to the extent of CSR practices and their drivers. This study contributes to understanding of the New Zealand wine industry status in environmental CSR at the present, the extent of drivers of proactive environmentalism and companies' stakeholders, and the description of a typology matrix of companies engaging in CSR. This contribution is valuable for those interested in CSR, and the future of New Zealand's wine industry.