Society develops rapidly, more and more corporations pay attention to the relationship with their multiple constituent groups instead of merely making profits, which demonstrates that stakeholders’ interests are more than before. There is no doubt that the majority of successful businesses consider the benefits of stakeholders, so does Apple. The stakeholder theory mainly believes that recognising the importance of creating wealth as well as maintaining a good relationship with its multiple groups is a more effective and efficient approach to a well-managed corporation (Pfarrer, 2010). Apple is an American multinational technology company headquartered in California that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics (Williams, 2015). This essay will explain how Apple maintains a relationship with its multiple stakeholders, what kind of corporate social responsibilities Apple implement and how Apple succeeds in realising the sustainability. Therefore, this essay will first identify the impact of social sustainability. Second, it will illustrate the effect on environmental sustainability. Finally, the economic sustainability will be demonstrated with examples.
Firstly, from a business perspective, social sustainability occurs when the formal and informal processes; systems; structures; and relationships actively support the capacity of current and future generations to create healthy and livable communities. It is defined as fair, including income distribution, gender equality, employment (Partridge, 2005). Apple takes an accommodative approach to take cognisance of its ethical responsibility by caring more about its stakeholders: communities and employees. Hence, the social responsibility can be achieved because Apple not only leads in production but also focuses on charities, education and healthcare. For example, Apple mainly relies on its own facilities to create renewable energy, and it also donates 130 million dollars to AIDS patients. Therefore, Apply has established a close relationship with the global fund institutions (Lashinsky, 2017). During the recent years, Apple has created an alliance with members of the society to show the sustainable development of society. What the Apple does represents the philanthropic responsibility because communities’ quality of life is dramatically enhanced. Based on the stakeholder theory, Apple has a very positive attitude towards employees; it has built a cafeteria for its employees, providing multinational food. Also, for those experienced employees, companies are even willing to reward their apple products, like iPhone X, MacBook Pro (Horn, 2012). Hence, the social responsibility can be achieved because employees’ essential human rights are well protected, and the welfare burden of the government would be dramatically lessened (Gemma, 2006).
Secondly, Apple has also realised the environmental sustainability. Environmental sustainability is the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be maintained briefly then they are not sustainable (Maurice, 2001, p. 77). The first aspect to point out is that they give up using mining. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: ‘we pledged to end its reliance on mining and make all its products only from renewable or recycled sources. To ask less of the planet, we are asking more of ourselves.’ (Fiscor, 2017). From the stakeholder theory, Apply to realise that they are part of the environment and must achieve the environmental sustainability instead of just creating wealth. Apple used mercury-free materials instead of PVC materials for mobile phones and use renewable stainless steel materials and packaging materials; these materials are made from 100% of the forest, bamboo, waste sugarcane and recycled paper from Apple’s management (Davidson, 2013). It is also using ninety-nine percentage recycled and sustainably sourced paper for its packing (Mcgrry, 2017). Thus, every time we can see some subtle changes on the updated iPhone package, like the previous iPhone 6S, the adjustment was made, in which the plastic disk used to place the accessories was synthesised and became more concise. (Smallwood, 2008). The other aspect is that Apple focused on reducing carbon emissions. In 2015, it can not only began to work directly with supply to find ways to reduce energy use, such as replacing outdated or inefficient heating, cooling and light, but also to promote continuous improvement, establish technological capabilities, and raise awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency (Guglielmo, 2012). Until the end of 2016, the company carried out 34 energy audits for some suppliers and implemented energy training plans, and trained 19 suppliers (Stand on Climate Change Not an I-Tune Favorite, 2009). As we can see, the companies which work on the environmental sustainability all achieve considerable successes and make a substantial contribution to the environmental protection.
Moreover, Apple takes its economic sustainability. Economic sustainability is inextricably linked to both environmental and social sustainability. The limits to growth demonstrate this. Economies will not be sustainable if natural resources are used beyond the limits and if society continues to depend on phenomena that drove growth in the past (Meadows, 1972). However, the iPhone is the most successful product in Apple’s history even in the history of the world. Since the introduction of the iPhone in June 2007, Apple has sold more than one billion units around the globe. The performance of Apple stock has almost directly tracked that of its smartphone (Rose, 2016). It has been reported that the special takeout functions may not sound very exciting, but the Steven Jobs thinks that the online shopping is the next important thing. He felt that he could let the designer turns to design websites menus. The most significant evidence is the revenue of online booking services in the United States has reached 4.4 million dollars in 2013-2015 years (Hesseldahl, 2008). Also, Apple launches an application software that enables customers to pay orders online, allows them to get products immediately without queuing up (Taylor, 2016). Apple creates a practical and economical supply chain which can save more time and make more profit. In a few short years, Apple has received a 65 per cent return, and the scale of the factory has risen to 2.9 per cent (Fontevecchia, 2011). The fact shows that Apple put the interests of the whole society in front of its investment and establish a good relationship with other businesses around the world by leading them to the business innovation. In a word, economic sustainability is relatively hard to achieve.
To conclude, these studies consistently show Apple’s contributions and achievements in social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability. Firstly, Apple not only focuses on products but also pay attention to charities. Furthermore, Apple creates renewable energy to society and has a very positive attitude towards employees. Finally, Apple provides an online store to customers. The most important is all of them based on stakeholder theory. These approaches helped Apple to achieve success.