1: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Do UK Low Cost Airlines Perform CSR Properly?
Business in todayâs work has gone very complex to continue as ever changing external factoer are playing role to force the business change its dimensions. Corporate social responsibility is one of such external pressures that companies cannot avoid (Foster, 2000). Corporate social responsibility is now imposed by the state authorities so that external stakeholders of an organization get proper attention (Campbell, 2007). Therefore, either small or medium or large, every kind of organization has felt the importance of performing their CSR activities in proper way to remain accountable to the external pressure groups.
Having it direct impact on the society and the environment, aviation industry is liable to take on corporate social responsibility as a part of their business operations and therefore, execute their policies and guidelines (gulfair.com, 2015). According to the report of International Air Transport Association (IATA) report, 2.5% of the global CO2 emission is because of airline industry and the percentage will rise up to 3% during 2050 (gulfair.com, 2015).
It has been marked that UK has experienced sudden increase in the business of low cost airlines operating short haul point to point airline services such as easyJet, Ryanair, Flybe etc. Such advancement has enabled many middle or lower middle class people to enjoy air trip and occasional travellers have also got entertained. With the expansion of such low cost airlines, the number of flights increased noticeably in the UK. In the process a great deal of accountability has been created for the low cost airlines to perform their CSR activities properly (exeter.ac.uk, 2015).
The report in hand therefore, tries to explore the issue of corporate social responsibility, the present situation of corporate social responsibility among the low cost airlines operating in the UK and critically analyze their performance. Towards the end the researcher presents the precise view of the study in the conclusion and finishes with some recommendations for the being used by the low cost airlines.
1.2. Literature Review:
Many scholars think that corporate social responsibility is related to some philanthropic works only but this is in fact a misconception. Corporate social responsibility includes not only philanthropic works but also related activities that foster better management of employees and friendly treatment to the environment. Restricting corporate social responsibility to the philanthropic works only can exert negative impact on the employees thinking that their company is extending positive attitude to charity works while they are deprived of getting better work environment or better pay. Again, the external pressure group may think that the company is not showing accountability to the environment (Waldman et al., 2006).
CSR is being meant by some different terms like CR (Corporate responsibility) or SR (Social Responsibility), corporate citizenship, corporate sustainability management and company stakeholder responsibility (Blowfield and Murray, 2008). Apart from these, many researchers have defined CSR from different perspective but the most common aspects included in the definition of CSR are social dimensions, stakeholdersâ interest, voluntary aspect, economic dimension and environmental dimensions (Dahlsrud, 2008).
The most common model to analyze the CSR activities of any organization is the triple bottom line or TBL prescribed by Elkington (1999). According to Elkington, it is not possible to accumulate environment sustainable profitability in a single plan of the financial department rather it can be best done by combining economic, social and environmental objectives.
Figure 1: Triple Bottom Line (University of Maryland 2010)
Every organization has to perform economic responsibility towards the bodies that provide the financial services to the organization by paying back them with the compensation for their monitory and investment. Again, in many cases organizations violate rules and regulations that require fines. These also fall in into the economic responsibility of the organizations (Henriques and Richardson 2004). Examples of economic responsibility includes paying salary and wages, pricing fairly to the products to be purchased by the customers, repaying loan or mortgage interest, paying dividends to shareholders and fees to the directors (Henriques and Richardson 2004). In addition to that, creating employment opportunity for the community people is another item considered as economic responsibility.
Organizations operating in a particular society is required to take on the responsibility of doing business in an ethical way by complying with the rules and regulations of the society and state. Such standards of responsibilities may vary from society to society but the basics are all the same. To perform such responsibility, organizations are bound to safe-guard the welfare of the society through performing moral, ethical, legal and philanthropic activities. Such responsibilities will not focus on maximizing profitability of the organization but must be performed within the financial structure and affordability of the company (Friedman and Miles, 2006).
Business today, has been seriously affected through its environmental responsibility. Last decade is an example where both customers and the organizations have changed their view towards environmental impact of consumption. Environmental responsibility has to be ensured by the decision makers while taking decision. They should not take any decision that goes against the environment (Friedman and Miles, 2006). Further, it has been urged that organizations should consume less fuel and produce less effluents to the environment. Organizations should never compromise on any issue that may harm the future generation to fulfill their needs. Hence, it is the responsibility of the organizations to decide their environmental responsibility of their own and then integrate the same into the corporate social responsibility (University of Maryland, 2010).
Hence, it has been clearly found that CSR is a must do activity for the organization today and none can escape from that. In case any organization failing to comply such responsibility, it may face serious difficulty while operating business in terms of legal actions and subsequent failure of ensuring the achievement of satisfying customers and stakeholders. It is now significant to investigate the performance of low cost airlines in UK regarding their effort towards corporate social responsibility.
Aviation industry is going under a crucial change in recent years as the fuel prices go high while the government has tighten the rules and regulations to control the level of carbon emission (Ravich, 2010). As big firms possess greater solvency to deal with such pressure situation, the researcher has decided to investigate the low cost airlines how they are performing their corporate social responsibility.
Ryanair has emerged as a low cost airline in the UK and they have been successful throughout their operation in downsizing the cost with the view to offering exceptionally low price to the customer. Every time they are being attached by criticism of their misleading advertisement, poor customer care and environmental impact they have shown aggressiveness to defend themselves (businessrespect.net, 2015). However, their CSR has been analyzed below:
Ryanair has used the cost leadership strategy to capture the market share and in the process the company has also maintained its profitability. The airline has history of aggressive responses to criticisms over misleading adverts, environmental impact or poor customer service and these means Ryanair would react to any criticism on its CSR issues either by avoiding similar issues in the nearest feature or by trying to justify the company’s stances on such issues (ukessays.com, 2015).
It has been reported in several sources that Ryanair is not among those companies who great respect towards their employees and customers. Ryanair customer service has been the worst, employees level of satisfaction is very low and the overall corporate culture is very weak (BBC News, 2014).
Ryanair is the greenest airline in Europe as per the efficiency to use fuel to carry passengers per mile and carbon footprint. Among 20 top airlines, Ryanair stood in the first position for using only one third the fuel used by the last position holder American Eagle (corporate.ryanair.com, 2015).
easyJet: easyJet is another low cost airline in the UK with its presence in 600 routes in 30 countries (corporate.easyjet.com, 2015). How easyjet is doing in performing its corporate social responsibility has been analyzed below;
easyJet is maintaining its profit growth and able to compensate its stakeholders wherever it is committed to do so. Profit for the year 2014 increased to 12.80% from 11.2% in 2011. With the increase of profitability, easyJet has been successful in maintaining its position in minimizing profits as well (Annual Report, 2014).
easyJet has a customer charter to ensure safety, attention and proper treatment to its passengers and suppliers. easyJet has installed a volcanic ash detection system to its aircrafts to the it can avoid such risky routes. Apart from that, easyjet has a special assistance advisory group to listen the customer voice regarding their experience with easyJet and provide advisory opinion to solve the issue (corporate.easyjet.com, (2015a).
easyJet has planned to purchase new 100 aircraft with the technology to reduce the consumption of jet fuel and cut down the level of carbon emission (corporate.easyjet.com, 2015b). easyJet has been in a partnership with UNICEF named âchange for goodâ that has raised about Â£2.1 million to help the children in Syria facing the risk of conflict (corporate.easyjet.com, 2015b).
Flybe: Flybe Group PLC is a UK based budget airline that has headquartered in Exeter International Airpoprt, Devon, England. It has operations in 180 short-haul routes in 65 European Airports to carry 6.7 million passengers (budgetairlinewatch.com, 2015). Flybeâs CSR activities have been analyzed through TBL model as under;
Flybe was suffering to maintain its profitability and during past few years but finally secured profit in 2014. As the company promised to reduce costs, it has successfully achieved as the company promised to reduce costs, it has successfully achieved As the company promised to reduce costs, it has successfully achieved Â£47m cost savings (flybe.com, 2015).
Flybe was awarded as âThe Most Environmentally and Socially Responsible Budget Airlineâ during 2008-2009. Flybe offers competitive compensation packages to its employees who also take part in social activities like raising fund for the cancer affected people (flybe.com, 2015a).
Flybe is hard to reduce carbon emission per seat as its aircraft are very much energy efficient. Again, Flybe has multi-billion dollar investment in eco-labeling system in 2007 and therefore proves their attention towards the environment. The company has reduced its carbon emission by segregating its flights into three categories such as Internal (0-500km), Near EU (501-1500km) and short haul (above 1500km) so that they can control their fuel consumption and noise (flybe.com, 2015b).
The discussion clearly indicates that even though budget airlines are to minimize their costs they have taken initiatives to perform their responsibility to the economy, society and environment. May be the rate of involvement is not so high as expected from them but it feels good that the low price has not been a problem for them.
The report has investigated in detail about the theoretical as well as the practical scenario of the corporate social responsibility among the low cost airlines in the UK. The theoretical viewpoint indicated that corporate social responsibility is not just doing philanthropic works rather it has got additional dimensions like working for the economy, being fare to the society and being fare to the environment. Hence, organizations must consider economy, society and environment jointly while they plan for doing something good as corporate social responsibility. The main concern for the researcher as on the budget airlines in UK since aviation industry went through many significant changes in the recent years.
UKâs budget airlines like Ryanair, easyJet, Flybe etc. has been evaluated from the perspective of Triple Bottom Line model and it was found that most of them are working to ensure that they do care for the environment and they wants to do so many things in future that will make their effort even stronger. However, some of them are not quite serious on the social and economic aspects of the CSR rather they only concentrate on the environment. Therefore, it can be suggested that companies should be involved with CSR that ensure successful performance of economic, social and environmental responsibility. Such thing will also make them popular among the customer and therefore lead to profitable business context.
Annual Report, (2014), Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/~/media/Files/E/Easyjet-Plc-V2/pdf/investors/result-center-investor/annual-report-2014.pdf [Accessed on, 24 April, 2015]
BBC News, (2014), Ryanair makes loss as low fares and weak sterling hit, Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26013111 [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Blowfield, M. and Murray, A. (2008) Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
budgetairlinewatch.com, (2015), Available at: http://budgetairlinewatch.com/?page_id=87 [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
businessrespect.net, (2015), CSR Ryanair attacked for “puerile and childish” payment policy, Available at: http://www.businessrespect.net/news.php?CompanyID=255 [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Campbell, J. L. (2007) Why would corporations behave in socially responÂsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review, 32, 946â967.
corporate.easyjet.com, (2015) At a Glance, Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/about-easyjet.aspx?sc_lang=en [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
corporate.easyjet.com, (2015)a, Corporate Responsibility, Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/corporate-responsibility.aspx?sc_lang=en [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
corporate.easyjet.com, (2015)b Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/corporate-responsibility/reducing-carbon-emmissions.aspx?sc_lang=en [Accessed on 2 4April, 2015]
corporate.ryanair.com, (2015), Sustainability, Available at: http://corporate.ryanair.com/about-us/sustainability/ [Accessed on 23 April, 2015]
Dahlsrud, A. (2008) How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, issue 15, pp. 1-13.
Elkington, J. (1999). Triple bottom-line reporting: Looking for balance. Australian CPA, 69(2), 18.
exeter.ac.uk, (2015) CSR and Low Fare Airlines, Available at: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/slt/ourresearch/csrandlow-faresairlines/ [Accessed on 22 April, 2015]
flybe.com, (2015), Available at: https://www.flybe.com/corporate/investors/2014/annual-results-2014/FY14-Flybe-Group-plc-Full-year-Results-Presentation.pdf [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
flybe.com, (2015)a Why Work for Us, Available at: http://www.flybe.com/corporate/careers/why-work-for-us.htm [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
flybe.com, (2015)b, Available at: https://www.flybe.com/corporate/sustainability/eco_labelling_scheme.htm [Accessed on, 2015]
Foster, R., (2000) Leadership in the twenty-first century: Working to build a civil society. National Civic Review, 89(1), 87â93.
Friedman, A. & Miles, S. (2006). Stakeholders: theory and practice. Oxford University Press.
gulfair.com, (2015) Corporate Social Responsibility, Available at: http://www.gulfair.com/English/aboutgulfair/Pages/CorporateSocialResponsibility.aspx [Accessed on 21 April, 2015]
Henriques, A. & Richardson, J. (2004), The triple bottom line, does it all add up? Earthscan. Available at: http://books.google.com/books?id=JIiHcXcLSHAC [Accessed on 20 April, 2015]
Ravich, M., (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility -Talk about the good work being done by firms in touch with their triple bottom line. Available at: http://www.justmeans.com/Airplanes-Algae-Sustainability-in-Airline-Industry/8530.html (Accessed on 23 April, 2015)
University of Maryland, (2010). Triple Bottom Line. Available at; http://www.sustainability.umd.edu/content/about/what_is_sustainability.php [Accessed on 23 April, 2010]
Waldman, D. A., Sully, M., Washburn, N, & House, R. J. (2006). Cultural and leadership predictors of corporate social responsibility values of top management: A GLOBE study of 15 countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 37: 823-837.
2: Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Social Media Marketing, another Way of Cost Cutting for the Low Cost Airlines in UK.
Marketers either being a service or production oriented concern, always face a tough challenge to operate the marketing function (Parsons and Maclaren, 2009). Again, the researchers have also claimed that there has been a negative trend in marketing by the companies occurring due to unhappy customers who are not fully judged and predicted by the firms (Poiesz and van Raaji, 2007). The matter of hope is that companies are thriving to find out some alternative resources and the extensive use of social media in marketing which in return may work a tool for bringing back the loss of pride of marketing (Parsons and Maclaren, 2009).
Social media marketing is a great stage where companies can engage with the customers in a relationship that enables them to know how customers feel about their product, that else would make them even happier, what can be brought next to make them more loyal and what changes need to be initiated to ensure better satisfaction of the customers. Customers also think that social media marketing has made buying decision so easy as they can check online review of the products they intend to purchase (Van Doorn et al., 2010).
UK has already seen the emergence and further development of the budget airlines. These airlines are capturing more and more market shares gradually from the giant airlines. Low cost airlines accounts for almost half the market share and it is on an increasing trend (telegraph.co.uk, 2014). One significant is to be noted for the low cost airlines that nothing is permanent and they might lose their advantageous position anytime when customers start feeling negative regarding their service. Making strategic move through social media can certainly help these budget airlines to gain further advantage or sustaining cost leadership (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). It is basically depends on how UKâs budget airlines use social media marketing to reduce marketing expense and boot up profit.
This report is basically prepared to analyze the role of social media marketing to change the corporate policies and control the expenses. Evidences have also been collected from different sources to analyze the current picture status of using social media marketing by the budget airlines. The ending paragraphs formulate a gist of the overall report and effective suggestions for the low cost airlines regarding the use of social media as a tool to reduce costs.
2.2. Literature Review
2.2.1. Marketing Strategy and Cost Benefit of Social Media
Marketing has strategically significant values as marketing function is concerned with creation and delivery of superior value to the target customers. Markers should always keep in mind that they should deliver the value according to the wants and needs of the target customers and in the process if any change is required then they must also install that one. Changes may either require by the internal policy or the external influence. Therefore, marketing strategies should not be rigid rather a flexible one to be customized at times (Roberts and Alpert, 2010).
Success in the marketing strategy heavily depends on the core competencies of an organization. In fact, the ability to create better value for the customer is a source of competitive advantage when supersedes the costs of delivering the value (Rangaswamy, 2010). Social media is a powerful tool for delivering such value to the customers (Rangaswamy, 2010). Sometimes, customers have different understanding of value. The same value may not satisfy the same customer when delivered at a different context. Customers have gone unpredictably whimsical to change their mind that controls their taste and desire. If such customers can be analyzed through engagement of social media then certain company can enjoy the competitive advantage in a greater extent (Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2004).
As a new source of competitive advantage, social media marketing can reduce the cost of providing customer service as customer would not require using a toll free number to get assistance from the customer executive since they get solution for the common problem through FAQ answers. Again, companies would not require to conduct costly marketing research to analyze the reaction and behaviour of the customer regarding a certain product since it can be easily done by keeping record of online review done by the customers (Hoffman and Fodor, 2010).
It is true that words of mouth (WOM) marketing is far more powerful than any other form of marketing since it directly connects one customer to another which also enhances the extent of trust and dependency (Brown et al., 2007). Social media is just a modified version of such WOM and it has been found that customers feel much more comfortable with such media to like, share and talk about their favourite items online (Brown et al., 2007).
Company top management are somehow divided into sub groups that think and view the use of social media in their marketing strategy. Some of them think that it will be sustainable to use social media for marketing their products, some of them think that social media is a tool for making the difference in business while some others think that it can bring long term advantage (Mckinsey, 2007).
Companies can however, measure how popular they are on the social media by measuring their Net Promoter Score (NPS) which indicate how likely a customer will promote the products of the particular brand (Reichheld, 2006). NPS is expressed in a percentage that is obtained by subtracting the percentage of detractors from that of promoters (checkmarket.com, 2015).
Social media is completely free tool for distributing product features to the potential customers as marketers can create free pages on facebook and promote their products. Very little investment is needed to promote the advertisement and therefore reach millions of customers in no time (mavensocial.com, 2014).
Therefore, it has been clearly discussed above that researchers make investigation regarding the marketing strategies with attention to the use social media in action by the businesses and ultimately found that customer engagement is far higher in social media than any other form of communication. The result is a competitive advantage for those companies who use social media to promote their product and in the process save millions of pounds.
The literature suggested that social media marketing has created some new opportunities for the marketers in the new era of information technology and therefore somehow the bad time for marketing seems to come to an end. However, the following section is aimed to analyze how low cost airlines have used the social media to promote their service and achieve more cost advantage.
Ryanair is not reported positively as customers most often expressed their dissatisfaction for the poor customer service. All such negative impact has affected Ryanair and they have somehow manage to hire their new marketing chief who has promised to increase the presence of the company to ensure better customer service through the website and build loyal customer base though social media (theguardian.com, (2014). However, there is not such effort from the company to extensively use the social media and reduce their marketing cost so that they can boost their core competitive advantage of cost leadership.
Aer Lingus has been extensively promoting its SocialJet brand through the use of fuselage picturing facebook and twitter accounts. The motive behind such innovative thing was to increase their customer service opportunity through the use of social media. In fact, Aer Lingus has taken these aircrafts on lease to make up the prime demand during the summer. None of the companyâs own jets were used to promote such social media as they think that their customers have positive emotion for the traditional look of their aircrafts (marketingland.com, 2013).
The company has taken certain initiatives to become a social media based airline service provider but no such analytical data are presented in any format that can eventually look back and forth to satisfy whether Aer Lingus has been enjoying costs cutting from the use of social media to generate marketing efforts.
EasyJet is going to be the first low cost airline that offer full booking facility in its social media. EasyJet has a plan to plug in a search and booking system into its existing holiday planner application that is being attached to its fan page. Customers will be able to easily select their destination and even invite the friends to join them in a trip (tnooz.com, 2015). So far, EasyJet has the same opportunity available to its customer visiting its website but this is for the first time it has expressed their desire to provide the customer the same facility to the fans visiting its facebook page. It all happened after it has noticed considerable actions from the customers at their facebook fan page and Twitter. Hence, easyJet has provided an indication that they are going to use the free use of facabook at the best and whoever knows it might completely transfer its search and booking system into social media from its website where they are investing more now because they think that they are getting more responses from its mobile app which is downloaded 100,000 times in every 10 days (marketcommunity.com, 2014). Therefore, it can be inferred from the information that easyJet has a greater plan to use social media not only for marketing purpose but also for the purpose of operating day to day business which is surely going to help them reduce overhead costs and boost up their ability to be the cost leader.
Flybe initially faced certain problems in handling customer complaints and queries because of employee shortage or unskilled employees. Most often they used to redirect their customers to send an email regarding their queries which were later attended. Considering the importance of real-time customer service in the aviation industry, Flybe went on the use social media to handle the customer service issues. Flybe instructed its call center partner Sitel to manager is facebook and Twitter accounts and report back to its own marketing department (landing.comversocial.com, 2015).
Therefore, it is obvious that most of the social media are being used by the low cost airlines operating in the UK at this moment. However the use of social media is limited to information search and expressing opinions only. Only a few as taken this issue so seriously and has planed to work out a solution to use it extensively for reducing the cost of traditional marketing activities.
The whole report has concentrated on the use of social media for reducing costs of marketing activities. At the first hand, the researcher tried to gain information about the marketing strategies attached to the social media and the some theoretical background in favor of social media for the unique benefits derived by the marketers. As the report went on in detail, the researcher has found that social media can be used an innovative tool for marketing any kind of product or service as the advances of internet technology has experienced unprecedented achievements. The investigation of the practical context among the low cost airlines revealed that presence in the social media has been ensured by most of the budget airlines. Some of them are taking a full advantage of such free of cost opportunity to reach a large amount of potential customers. However, it is also found that some other companies are not still taking this issue with much more importance rather just as a regular obligation. However, none of the airlines except easyJet has been found use a comparison of social media marketing and traditional marketing to enhance their ability to cut down costs and sustain in the market as low costs airlines. Therefore, UKâs budget airlines are advised to use social media with a view to reduce their costs of marketing and gain even more competitive advantage.
Brown, J., Broderick, A. and Lee, N., (2007), Word of mouth communication within online communities: conceptualizing the online social network, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2-20.
checkmarket.com, (2015), Net Promoter Score (NPS) â Best practice, Available at: https://www.checkmarket.com/2011/06/net-promoter-score/ [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Hoffman, D. and Fodor, M., (2010) Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing?, MIT Sloan management Review, Vol. 52, no. 41-49.
landing.convrsocial.com, (2015), Available at: http://landing.conversocial.com/flybe-thank-you?submissionGuid=d5c1a5ee-d76b-4015-ab03-13ee820fcf35 [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Mangold, W. and Faulds, D., (2009) Social Media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix, Business Horizons, vol. 52 no. 4. 357-365.
marketcommunity.com, (2014), EasyJet: Use Digital Advertising to create great offline moments Available at; http://www.marketcommunity.com/Content/articles/MARKET-70—Digital-Advertising/Use-Digital-Advertising-to-create-great-offline-moments [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
marketingland.com, (2013) Aer Lingusâ #SocialJet Promotes Facebook, Twitter Accounts On The Fuselage, Available at: http://marketingland.com/aer-lingus-socialjet-promotes-facebook-twitter-accounts-on-the-fuselage-55956 [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
mavensocial.com, (2014), Reduce Marketing Costs with Social, Available at: http://mavensocial.com/reduce-marketing-costs-with-social/ [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
McKinsey, (2007) How businesses are using Web 2.0: A McKinsey global survey. McKinsey Quarterly, Available at: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Marketing/How_businesses_are_using_Web_20_A_Mckinsey_Global_Survey_1913_abstract [Accessed on 18 April, 2015]
Parsons, E., and Maclaren, P., (2009) Contenporary issues in Marketing and Consumer Behavior, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Poiesz,T., and van Raaji, W., (2007) Strategic Marketing and the Future of Consumer Behavior: Introducing the Virtual Gaurdian Angle, Chellenham:Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V., (2004) Co-creation experience- the next practice in value creation, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 18, No. 3, 5-14.
Ramaswamy, V., (2010) Competing through co-creation innovation at two companies, Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 38, no. 2, 22-29.
Reichheld, F., (2006) The ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Roberts, C. and Alpert, F., (2010) Total customer engagement: designing and aligning key strategic elements to achieve growth, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 19, No. 3, 198-209.
telegraph.co.uk, (2014) From budget to business: how the low cost airlines are winning us over, Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11059009/From-budget-to-business-how-the-low-cost-airlines-are-winning-us-over.html [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
theguardian.com, (2014), Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/02/ryanair-new-face-hopes-social-media-help-change-take-off [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
tnooz.com, (2015), EasyJet taking social media seriously as Facebook booking engine comes a step closer Available at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/easyjet-taking-social-media-seriously-as-facebook-booking-engine-comes-a-step-closer/ [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Van Doorn, J., Lemon, K., Mittal, V., Nass, S., Pick, D., Pirmer, P. and Verhoef, P. (2010) Customer Engagement Behavior: theoretical foundation and Research, Journal of Service Research, Vol. 13, no. 3, 253-266.
3: Environmental Sustainability:
- Environmental Sustainability, an Unavoidable Issue in the Aviation Industry.
The worldâs climate has gone under significant change during the recent years and the climate specialists think that excessive amount of carbon in the environment is causing the problem. Aviation industry is also causing the great deal of carbon emission in the atmosphere. Again, noise pollution is another big issue for aviation industry that can hardly be controlled. It is urged strongly the companies must comply with the environmental sustainability issue prescribed by the government so that in future the environment remains greener and healthier (eurocontrol.int, 2015).
Today, with the advancement of the information technology, customers also express their preference towards the environmentally friendly products and services. As it has been seriously reported that we are to behave carefully with the environment and we must not hurt the environment with any of our action, business organizations those having impact on environment from its operations should also show responsibility towards the environment. Such actions will not only increase their brand image but also motivate some prospective customer to become loyal customers (ecolab.com, 2007).
Growing number of low cost airlines mean growing number of passengers and increasing number of flights. If such growth rate continues to climb up the airline passenger will be doubled in 2030 and therefore the environment will face greater impacts like global warming and climate change. Again, another serious problem is the greater the number of flights, the busier the airports will be which means a huge amount of noise for the surrounded people who work around (news.co.uk, 2002).
The report in hand is divided in two different sections, the first one focuses on the environmental sustainability issues identified by many researchers and agencies that express their concern for the environment and a sustainable future while the second section discusses on how the low cost airlines are working to perform their responsibility towards the environment and make it sustainable since the issue is a bit serious in the recent years. Towards the end the report provides a comprehensive picture of the overall condition and suggestion for the budget airlines.
3.2. Literature Review:
The main focus of environmental sustainability is to maintain the ecological balance in the environment (Butle, 2009). Some other researcher have indicated that environment is nothing but a complex relationship between nature, human being and the economy and therefore, only looking toward the environment is not enough for the organizations who claim for being environmentally friendly (Moffat, 2010). Therefore, a true combination of these three can ensure that an organization is doing well in terms of sustainable environment. Nevertheless, the need for environmental sustainability should stem from the core business strategies devised by the top management with a view to ensuring the minimum impact on the environment (Morelli, 2011). In the same study, Morelli (2011) talked about 15 greater areas of ensuring environmentally sustainable condition in the organization. These 15 principles are further summarized into 5 broad categories as stated below;
All the organizations need to operate their business operations in such a way that do not harm the environment today and in the future also. The production and designing process should be arrange in such a way that fosters the economy, preserves the environment and respects the human elements working for the organization. Creation of new employment is another issue the organizations should really think about and work on as more unemployed people means more pressure on the economy and a disaster on the environment. Customers and suppliers should also be treated with ethical standards that eventually create a positive mind set up for the competing organizations. Strategies made at corporate level should consider the environment sustainability and at all stags commencing from the acquisition of raw materials to the finished goods needs to be planned in such way to ensure that principles (Moffat, 2010).
While selecting the raw materials organizations must make sure that it will not exert a negative impact on the biodiversity of the nature. Sources of energy and power must be chosen or used with proper care for the environment. In fact, the firms need to pick the energy sources that are organic and have the feature of renewability. The main aim in this regarid is that it should not make any possible damage to the environment at present or in the future (ecolab.com, 2007).
Recycling or Further Use:
Business organizations need to be attentive towards the production of waste from the day to day operation and must find out an alternative use of such waste so that they can either be sent elsewhere for recycling or for a place where they can be used further to create some utility. The main idea is that if such waste product directly goes into the environment then it can easily pollute the environment and bring negative impacts. Generally, recycling or reuse of products emit extra amount of carbon into the environment and therefore, companies need to increase their level of caution to deal with such sensitive issues. After finally use, the waste materials must be sent to the effluent treatment to make them harm less for the environment and only then they can be thrown into the environment (Robinson, 2004).
Companies should monitor their use of the earth and subsequently try to make sure that their business operation is not and will not affect the reproduction capacity of the soil. Sometimes, the business organizations look for extra profits and produce more which ultimately create pressure on the suppliers who extensive use the reproduction capacity of the environment. The issue is fairly important for the agriculture based organizations. Proper care of the land capital must be ensured after one season of production. Organizations that use non-renewable resources like petroleum, natural gas should plan for reducing that use and look for a more suitable alternative which is renewable such as bio gas or solar power (Goodland, 1995).
Sometimes Waste is a Must:
The world population is increasing at a high rate and so does the use of non-renewable resources. All of these finally ends up to a large amount of waste which is very hard to minimize. Therefore, every organization is to maintain an alarm system based on some standard level of waste production. For example a certain level of carbon emission should be set permissible and anything over than that must be notified with an alarm and the concerned people should take care of that issue immediately. Production, marketing, transportation every function generates waste and it is the duty of the organization to take care of all these well before approving any product design, its raw materials and life-cycle (Moffat, 2010).
Therefore, it is important that organizations should not only care for the harm they did towards the environment rather they should have a clear plan of what they are going to do and how will it act to save the environment in the future so that it comply with environmental sustainability issues.
The main concern for the aviation industry is the amount of carbon emission into the environment due to excessive use of jet fuel for operating increased number of flights. Since the low cost airlines have contributed to the economy of UK it is been noticed their rate of growth is also very high. So far, it is also found from the reports that the more the number of air travelers the more the carbon emission in the environment. Hence, it is very much logical to perform environment sustainability to protect the environment where the aviation companies should step forward. The researcher thus, investigated the sustainability activities of the low cost airlines operating in the UK and the findings are presented as under.
Ryanair claims to be the greenest airline in Europe but the problem is that it has emit 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 in the year 2012 which is greater than the whole country emission in Ethiopia which has a population of 85 million and a large number of cattle (eturbonews,com, 2013). Therefore, it is really a matter of concern that how an award wining airlines can do such evil to the environment. Even the CEO has condemned the ETS policy for tradeable allowances to the airlines for controlling CO2 emission saying that the climate has changed and it will change further (businessinsider.com, 2013). It seems really unexpected that the market leader of European budget airlines makes such a negative impression towards the superior authority.
EasyJet is the second largest budget airlines in the UK and it is always expected it will bring some responsible acts to deal with the environment. The company is in partnership with United Nations to work for emission reduction projects and encourages its customers to provide their contribution for the same. The company starts its effort to be good with the environment from the use of fuel. It uses the aircrafts that consume less fuel and produce less carbon to the environment. They try to avoid hub operations which emit extra carbon in the nature. Even on the ground they try to be soft towards the environment by using less ground equipment, sending less time for turnaround and going nearly a paperless organization. The little among of paper they use are being recycled. They also promote their no-frill offers as a control over waste. Due to online check in they do not use any printed tickets (easyjet.com, 2015).
In their environmental policy statement Aer Lingus commits to comply with environmental legislation and aviation standards. They also express their utmost effort to use advanced technology and substitute materials for reducing environmental pollution. It is also stated in their policy statement that they make their stakeholders aware of the fact that they should minimize the level of waste production and subsequently review the performance on a regular basis (corporate.aerlingus.com, (2015). Therefore, again another company is committed to do the best practice but in real picture they are not doing that much.
With its extensive publicity of being environmentally friendly, Flybe brought in green fleet which is expected to be 30% more efficient than the aircrafts they use before (flybe.com, (2015). This is clearly an indication that the company is at least doing some positive work for the environment.
At this point it is has been observed that most of the airlines having low cost offers are working or at least promised to work for reducing the carbon emission in the environment. Now, environment is not only affected for carbon but the noise is another issue. Nothing is been initiated on this issue for avoiding any possible negative impact.
The report has analyzed a very crucial issue and found that the impact of being cruel the environment is not only bad for the present generation but also bad for the upcoming generation. Concerns have been raised from different corners of the world to make the organizations aware of the fact that they are not doing any good rather they are leaving a disaster for the next generation to come. The matter to be concerned that companies are claiming for controlling the carbon emission but they hardly prove any unanimously accepted initiative that actually work effectively.
The findings of the report is too much alarming as the low cost airlines operating in the UK are increasing their operations day by day but they only care for the emission of carbon in the environment. Noise created by the aircrafts is a serious issue that not only pollutes the environment but also harms the ability of the human being to lead their life normally. It is well understood that trees are the best source to control carbon. Due to extensive urbanization the world is losing trees. Airlines can come up with innovative ideas like tree plantation projects. This will not only help them perform better responsibility towards the environment rather become truly green organization which is mostly preferred by the customers today.
businessinsider.com, (2013) RYANAIR CEO: Drop The ‘Nonsensical’ CO2 Tax And Let Airlines Save Europe Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/ryanair-drop-co2-taxes-let-airlines-save-europe-2013-6 [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
Butle, Brian P. (2009). Ecological Balance: The Greater Goal of the Environmental Manager. (Graduate Thesis). Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA.
corporate.aerlingus.com, (2015), Environmental Policy Statement, Available at: http://corporate.aerlingus.com/socialresponsibility/environmentalpolicy/ [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
easyjet.com, (2015), Available at: https://www.easyjet.com/EN/Environment/green_on_the_ground.shtml [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
ecolab.com, (2007), World Headquarters. Global Sustainabil ity Principles. Available at: http://www.ecolab.com/CompanyProfile/GlobalSustainabilityPrinciples/Ecolab_GSP_sm.pdf [Accessed on 24 April, 2015].
eturbonews,com (2013), Ryanair Europe’s greenest airline pollutes more than the entire country of Ethiopia, Available at: http://www.eturbonews.com/36960/ryanair-europes-greenest-airline-pollutes-more-entire-country-et [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
eurocontrol.int, (2015), Environmental issues for aviation, Available at: https://www.eurocontrol.int/articles/environmental-issues-aviation [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
flybe.com, (2015), Green Fleet, Available at: http://www.flybe.com/corporate/sustainability/green_fleet.htm [Accessed on 25 April, 2015]
Goodland, R., (1995) The Concept of Environmental Sustainability, Annual Review of Ecological Systems Vol.26: 1-24.
Moffat, A., (2010) The Ceres Roadmap to Sustainability. Ceres, 45-64.
news.co.uk, (2002), The high price of low-cost airlines, Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2327487.stm [Accessed on 24 April, 2015]
Robinson, J, (2004), Squaring the Circle? Some Thoughts on the Idea of Sustainable Development. Ecological Economics Vol. 48: 369-384.
|Criteria||Distinction 70-100%||Merit 60-69%||Pass 50-59%
|Fail 40-49%||Fail 0-39%|
|Evaluation â content and theoretical underpinning||Portfolio demonstrates
originality, innovation and
depth in the content and theory which is comparable to published work .
|In the main the portfolio is insightful and has an appropriate selection of content and theory in key areas identified in the brief.||Key theories and ideas are
included in the portfolio of work in an appropriate manner although not consistently across all tasks.
of content/theory but
some key aspects
missed/misconstrued. Lack of theory in most tasks.
|Does not address the assignment brief. Uses Inaccurate or inappropriate
|Application and illustration||Portfolio consistently demonstrates application of
and contests the published literature through high level of debate.
|Engagement with critical perspectives and solid comparison of authorâs views. Clear evidence
of application and questioning of theory through critical analysis.
|Portfolio is mainly descriptive but meets learning outcomes. There is some critical analysis but mainly explores the issues in general, showing knowledge and application.||A descriptive portfolio which has very little critical analysis. Lack of evidence provide toÂ Â achieve masters level work||No critical thought/
|Presentation and Harvard Referencing||Mostly comparable to published literature in this subject area. Presentation standard of the portfolio is excellent; consistent with academic protocol. Referencing clear, relevant and consistently accurate using the Harvard system||Sound academic writing in comparison to published work showing some potential. Presentation overall of good standard with few errors in grammar and syntax. Referencing relevant and mostly accurate using the Harvard system.||Presentation has limitations including some errors in grammar and syntax Minor inconsistencies and inaccuracies in referencing using the Harvard system||Meaning apparent
but language not always fluent, grammar and spelling is often inaccurate. Presentation is poor in structure and includes errors in grammar and syntax. Referencing present
having many inconsistencies
and spelling poor. Structure and presentation is not of an acceptable standard including faulty grammar and syntax. Â Referencing mainly
inaccurate or absent.