New Belgium Brewing: Social Responsibility as a Competitive Advantage

800 Words Mar 13th, 2012 4 Pages
Case 9: New Belgium Brewing (A): Social Responsibility as a Competitive Advantage

1. What environmental issues does the New Belgium Brewing Company work to address? How has NBB taken a strategic approach to addressing these issues? Why do you think the company has taken such a strong stance toward sustainability?

New Belgium Brewing Co. (NBB) is a craft beer leader that embraces sustainability and corporate responsibility. For New Belgium, social, ethical, and environmental responsibilities are as important to the company’s operations as profitability. For New Belgium, business is as much about improving the local community as it is about making beer.

From its inception, New Belgium Brewing has sought to minimize resource
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Social responsibility makes a company more competitive and reduces the risk of sudden damage to the company’s reputation and sales.

New Belgium saw social responsibility as part of a continuing process of building value. Social responsibility helps improve the company’s reputation, and establish long-term relationships with customers and other stakeholders.

3. What are the challenges associated with combining the need for growth with the need to maintain customer intimacy and social responsibility? Does NBB risk losing focus on its core beliefs if it grows too quickly? Explain.

The main reason any company would object to maintain customer intimacy and social responsibility is the associated costs. With social responsibility, a company pays for environmental programs, more employee training and efficient waste management programs. Proponents of social responsibility agree that any expenses to businesses are ultimately covered by stronger relationships with key stakeholders. However, some argue that investment in social responsibility programs may not necessary result in measurable financial results.

Another challenge for companies when considering social responsibility is the possible negative perception of shareholders. Historically, publicly-owned companies had a primary focus of maximizing shareholder value. Now, they must balance the financial expectations of company owners with the social and environmental
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