The present paper evaluates Corporate Social Responsibility activities of Dunkin Brand Group. Therefore, the current corporate social responsibility activities undertaken by Dunkin Brand Group are evaluated applying CSR model, theory, and concepts. The main objective of the paper is to assess how effectively Dunkin Brand Group manages CSR activities to respond to the needs of its external and internal stakeholders.
Dunkin Brand Group is an American brand, which operates two quick service restaurants that are Dunkin Donut and Baskin Robbins brands. The company manages franchising, licensing, and development of restaurants across the globe. Currently, the company operates in four major segments, Dunkin Donut US, Dunkin Donut International, Baskin Robbins International and Baskin Robin US. In 2014, the Dunkin Brand Group reported to have more than 11,310 Dunkin Donut stores and 7,552 Baskin Robin’s stores, including franchised stores worldwide.
The Dunkin Brand Group was established by Pernod Richard and is currently headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts. Dunkin Brand Group is ranked among the most preferred brands of United States. Dunkin Brand Group has showed significant grew in the past years due to its franchising model and low pricing. However, the growing awareness of social responsibilities in corporate sector has persuaded business entities to ethically design and structure its business activities. In other words, it is explained that the company’s policies and activities should be ethically aligned with moral and ethical values.
Mission and Critique
Dunkin Brand is committed to engage and improve overall performance and strives to be responsible to serve its guests, customers, employees, communities, franchise, environment, and business partners. The company’s mission is to be an innovative, thrill its customers, enrich stakeholders and to build powerful brand. It is highlighted that the company is engaged to improve overall performance measured by anticipating needs of its customers and global society. The company is inclined to improve its performance by bringing innovative experience for its customers to build brand image.
External stakeholder groups
According to the Stakeholder’s Theory, outside stakeholder groups of the company include suppliers, society, government, creditors, shareholders and customers. Dunkin Brand is inclined to constantly engage to broaden the range of stakeholders to attain sustainable success. The company is focused to perform its activities in accordance to ethical and moral values by regularly communicating to ensure transparency in its business activities.
On the basis of Corporate Social Responsibility Report (2014) of Dunkin Group, it can be noted that the currently, the outside stakeholders of the company includes, Our Guests (customers), Our Planet (environment), Government and Our Neighborhood (community). However, no specific program to address the needs of suppliers and creditors. The company is working collectively with its franchise partners to improve its activities and broaden its corporate social responsibility’s vision. The company is aligned to ensure that each of the activity of the company is aligned with moral and ethical values to address the need of global society.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a self- regulatory mechanism in which a business works for the benefit of the society. Every organization has a moral responsibility to work for the betterment of others and they create policies to serve others and the environment. Dunkin’ Brand has also actively participated in adopting social responsibility and is committed towards the sustainability of the planet. Social responsibility efforts made by Dunking’ brand is also for the interest and needs of the employees and guests. Dunkin’ Brands publish their CSR report, which outlines their policies and evaluates the results of the previous policies.
Dunkin brand is more focused for the sustainability of packaging of products, nutrition, product sourcing, building and the local area. From the corporate social responsibility report of Dunkin’ Donuts it is observed that the brand has launched DD Green Achievement program in which the franchises of Dunkin’ Donuts will build sustainable and energy efficient restaurants. The company plans to build 100 new franchises of DD Green Achievement by 2016. The reporting of this plan will be done in 2016 and the report is also expected to include the reduction target, baselines for energy and usage of water. All these things will be clearly mentioned in the report and the achievements that have in made in that period of time will also be disclosed in the report.
The company also plans to source palm oil that is 100 % sustainable. Dunkin’ Brand intends to work along with its suppliers for 100 % mill traceable palm oil by the end of 2015. Deforestation, sustainable paper and pulp policy are also some of the commitments of this brand which they plan to implement by 2016. As a part of their social responsibility the Dunkin’ brand purchases certified products from authentic suppliers. Since 2004, brand has launched 100 % fair trade Certified Espresso and last year it has launched 30 % Rainforest Alliance Certified Dark Roast Coffee. These acts of the company identify the commitment of the company towards providing its customers with certified products (Annual report: Dunkin Donut, 2014).
As a part of the company’s social responsibility, Dunkin’ Brand plans to examine all the commercially available cups in the market so that they can find an alternative of the foam made cups. The company is currently testing double walled paper cups to replace with the foam cups. The company is also testing # 5 recyclable polypropylene cup in the market.
Dunkin Donut is also viewing its menu as they are planning to provide healthy and nutritious foods to its guests. The company wants to maintain its great taste of food and beverages and also add dietary needs which are better for the consumers. The company plans for a DDSMART menu for its customers which will include the proper amount of calorie, sugar, sodium and saturated fat thresholds. The company plans to reduce its content of sugar to a greater extent by 2017.
The company is not only focused towards its products and services but also cares for the neighborhood. Dunkin Donuts passionately helps people in the neighborhood one at a time. In The United States, from 2011 to 2014, it is reported that the franchisees of the company has donated more than $ 20 million to the non- profit groups. The company along with Baskin Robbins has formed a community called Dunkin’ Donut & Baskin- Robin Community Foundation (DDBRCF) which raised an amount of $3.2 million in 2014.
The growing competition, dynamic market places and increasing consumer needs have persuaded business entities to address the needs of global society. The growing complexity in the business environment has increased accountability for the business organization to be transparent, including ingredients, reporting and foods. Besides, the increasing complexities to expand CSR activities and programs, in different countries by anticipating climatic change, such as global warming and green house emission. The Dunkin Brand Group is taking steps to overcome these challenges in order to develop stronger and sustainable relationship with its stakeholders.
One of the major global challenges, includes, deforestation, global warming and other pollutions. Therefore, the companies are inclined to make use of advanced technologies and equipments to improve performance. The Dunkin Brand Group is a member of Ceres, which is a non-profit organization. The company is focused to improve and expand its operations by adopting sustainable practices. For its key ingredients, such as cocoa, coffee, dairy, and palm oil, it has developed sustainable sourcing strategies. The corporate organization is also responsible to participate in environmental issues and projects. Dunkin Brand group is working with the World Wildlife Fund to attain new welfare goals of United States 2014, as well as it is also working with Environmental Defense Funds (EDF) that is constantly engaged to develop strategies and opportunity for efficient and effective energy management facilities.
Moreover, the Dunking Brand Group is also inclined to ensure that each of the ingredients it uses is healthy and safe for its customers. It includes the use of gluten-free donuts, minimum use of BR flavor and month flavors, and reduces sodium use in its product. However, the restaurants operating under the group have not yet introduced the health; low fat and low calories product range its restaurants. The additional, healthy product line is important because of increasing obesity and other health risk associated with high-calorie intake. Despite, Dunkin Group aimed to reduce the Green house gas emission by using energy efficient equipments and lightening in the restaurant. The company is inclined to develop strong and effective communication with its suppliers to develop sustainable relation. However, there are no particular plans or programs for the company to participate or support agriculture or cultivation of most used commodities, like coffee, cocoa, dairy etc.
The organizations should ensure to develop flexible working environment, culture and conditions to ensure effective engagement of employee. The performance of employees significantly impacts organization’s performance and brand image. Hence, it is important for the organization to develop its working environment to keeps employees motivated. Therefore, it is important for the organization develop strong relationship with organization by building strategic relationship, education, training and development, health and safety concerns, communicating, healthy work environment and culture.
Dunkin Brand Group is inclined to overcome the issues of diversity in its workplace by promoting equal racial, ethical and gender role and rights. Dunkin Brand Group is inclined to value and respect each of its employees. The group constantly revise its code of business conduct and ethics by providing training, diversity and inclusion policy. Currently, the company has developed relationship with number of professional organizations, such as Association of Latino Professionals of America, Women Foodservice Forum, Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, United Service Organization and NAACP. Dunkin brand group is focused to look ahead for health and wellness of its employees, by providing a number of benefit plans for its employees.
Annual report: Dunkin Donut. (2014). New York: Dunkin Donut.
Baker, H. K., & Anderson, R. (2010). Corporate Governance: A Synthesis of Theory, Research, and Practice. New Jersey: John Wiley and Son.
Caroll, A. B., & Shabana, K. (2010). The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practic. International Journal of Management Reviews (12), 85-105.
Chasan, E. (2014). Hyatt CFO: Bringing Sustainability into Corporate Culture. Wall-Street Journal .
Dunkin Brand Group: CSR Report. (2014). Massachutts: Dunkin Brand Group.
Lee-Davies, L. (2010). Corporate social responsibility and stakeholder approach. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics , 4 (1), 277-281.
Mallin, C. A. (2013). Corporate Governance. Oxford : Oxford Univeristy Press.
Turker, D. (2009). Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility: A Scale Development Study. Journal of Business Ethics , 85 (4), 411-427.