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Home Depot's Corporate Social Responsibility

Home Depot‘s Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics

Home Depot founded in 1978 has grown to become the world’s largest home improvement retailer and the second largest retail chain in USA based on revenue, and the largest home improvement retailer in Canada. It specializes in building materials, home improvement supplies and lawn/gardening products. As the company grew in size, philanthropy became a formal part of doing business, its owners realized that the program had to move from an ad hoc approach to more structured for greater lasting impact as highlighted in this paper’s outlined sub-topics –;

  1. Introduction: Home Depot beliefs, values and approach
  2. Discussion: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  3. Summary: Ethical Responsibility/Ethical Behavior
  1. Conclusion: Home Depot versus other retailers – Wal-Mart and Sears.

Introduction: Home Depot Beliefs, Values and Approach

Home Depot is founded on the idea that treating employs favorably is a priority, thus the belief that well treated employees serve the company better -Team Depot and more value is placed not only on the bottom line and their investors, but also impacts on the community, employees and their customers. It’s also founded on the importance of corporate community involvement focusing in community issues and concerns. Other than pursuit for social responsibility, Home Depot explicitly states values of excellent customer service, entrepreneurial spirit, respect for all people, build strong relationships and doing the right things, create shareholder values, and rightfully give back to the society, hence corporate social responsibility.

Discussion: Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility has become such an important and popular concept as the consumers have growing expectations of businesses linked to ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities, and the environment. With an ever changing market demand, Home Depot not only produce excellent goods and services and make good profits, it also enhances its relationship with society on major issues and struggles to understand their social responsibilities. Home Depot has identified focus areas in its community responsibility as affordable housing, at-risk youth, the environment and disaster preparedness, response and relief (Government of Canada, 2009).

Summary: Ethical Responsibility/Ethical Behavior

The company has good coverage of its social responsibility efforts as exposed in its values and activities based on business ethics perspective, to layout Home Depot as a company actively seeking opportunities to contribute to collective and individuals in its environment - in other words socially responsible and commitment. Its performance represents "Good" aspects of ethical responsibility or behavior as founded by their Home Depot Foundation in provision of affordable housing - build and repair houses for low-income families and help realize the dream of homeownership, and commit to develop and rehabilitate affordable house; At risk youth programs that provide children with safe nets to engage in learning activities and acquire meaningful life skills; environment protection - assistance provided to non-profit organizations that direct efforts toward protecting our natural systems focusing on forestry and ecology, green building design, clean-up/ recycling and lead poisoning prevention; disaster preparedness and response - associates work to educate customers on how to face emergencies - before, during and after disaster strikes, working with relief organizations.  

Conclusion: Home Depot versus Other Retailers – Wal-Mart and Sears

Sears the ninth largest retailer in the United States based on annual revenue, is a spot behind Wal-Mart which has its supercenters locations open 24 hours a day. Sears was formed in 2005 by a merger of three retailer corporations and operates 3,900 retail locations. While Home Depot is into corporate social responsibility, Sears heavily invests in the bottom line and investor interests through larger off-mall stores - Sears Grand in the purchase of more current Kmart locations, accelerated by the merger.  It’s more into proprietary brands for revenue synergies; Cost saving measures in supply chains and bent on saving its administrative overheads. The closest it has come to (CSR) is via the establishment of a shared customer-focused corporate culture between more to yield improvement in the revenue and the preservation of brands to continue focusing on different customer demographics, without alienation either group. For customer service, it launched a website connecting its customers with local contractors for home improvement projects at a charge of 10% of the contract price for each completed service. It also launched an automobile center franchise program that offers dealers opportunity to operate licensed centres.

Home Depot basks in the glory of CSR and equal corporate sponsorship and diversity, SearsHolding Corporation boosts only sponsorship of individual talents i.e. Formula Drift Darren McNamara Sears/Falken Satum Sky Drift Car; NASCAR Truck Series; Extreme Make over: Home edition; Naming rights; ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television show and Number 10 Gillett Evernham motorsports car all individual benefactors as compares with group/collective response to society issues. While Sears and Wal-Mart have received good ratings (Sears 100% in 2009, 4 years in a row) on corporate equality index as published by Human Rights Campaign in 2009; Best company for working mothers in 2004; Best place to work but all these did not deter it from the controversy of Industrial Workers of the World Campaign protest outside their Kmart stores. Recently, Wal-Mart was also dropped from the Domini 400 Social Index, a leading corporate social investment fund, for failing to adequately address labor issues in its supply chain.

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