Ethical and Social responsibility in IMI PLC

Introduction

Imperial Metal Industries Limited (IMI) is a well-established company in the United Kingdom dealing with engineering operations. IMI has been in existence since 1862 when it was founded in Birmingham. Although initially founded to deal with metal products, this company diversified its operations to offer other products. The company has been on the London stock exchange for a long time since it was listed in 1966. Today, the company is specialized in various engineering services. Its operations are today categorised into five categories: Severe service, fluid power, indoor climate, merchandising, and beverage dispense. IMI has clients both in the country and also internationally. Its clients include other corporate, industries, governments, and non-governmental organisations. Ethics and social responsibility are critical to IMI. To operate ethically and show responsibility to society, the company has adopted ethical and social responsibility policies for guidance. The commitment to responsible and ethical operation by the company is summarised in their Code of Responsible Business.

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Discussion

IMI claims that their success in their areas of business has been made possible by their values. The values, referred to as The IMI Way, note the importance of providing valuable services to its customer (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p5). The values help the company to follow excellence, innovation and integrity in their operations. Quality products and services, professionalism of workers, and ethical leadership are emphasized by The IMI Way.

Ethics is vital to IMI Company. Ethics are emphasized at all levels of the company.

An ethics policy is adopted to provide guide lined to corporate officials and employees (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p23). The aim of the policy is to ensure that all employees of the company conduct themselves in a responsible manner that reflects the values of the company. The policy also provides standards of conduct across all countries where the company has operations. In the policy, employees are expected not to compromise on the values of the company over their personal interests. Where there are doubts, employees are expected to report to senior officers for guidance. Corruption and malpractice are highly prohibited by the ethical policy. For example, employees are prohibited from giving favours to individuals or relatives. Also, they are prohibited from receiving any favours so as to offer a service of product on behalf of the company (IMI, 2009, par 4-6). They are also prohibited from using the company’s assets for personal or another purpose that is not business-related. Employees are also prohibited from allowing any individual or agent to do anything that is perceived to be at a disadvantage of the company and other employees in the company.

When dealing with clients, IMI employees conduct themselves ethically and professionally. Information of the services provided if freely shared to clients as a social ethical and social responsibility conduct (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p 25). Inquiries from customers and the public are handed with seriousness and details deserved. Employees also ensure that confidential information of the company customers is not discussing outside the context of business relations or to outside parties.

Employees in the company are handled with respect. As an ethical practice, employees are employed on merit and in a transparent environment. Remunerations to the employees are revised frequently to allow employees to live a decent life as they offer services to the company. Communication channels are set in place to allow complaints from employees are handed in a humane manner.

IMI bases its business dealing on fair dealing. The company does not take advantage of its customers or its competitors in its business deals (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p25). For example, the company does not engage in unethical soliciting to business deals at expense of its competitors but respects theirs. On the other hand, the company does not try to take advantage of its customers by use of corrupt or fraudulent activities. For example, the company makes it open to its company on its capability and quality of its products.

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In socials responsibility, IMI considers its products and services as its first social responsibility. Thus, quality products and services are provided (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p22). The quality of products and services offered to its clients are not compromised in spite of external factors. For example, some clients may require services to be provided to them within a deadline that cannot be met. In such a situation, quality of service is given priority. Quality of products and services is vital to ensure the safety and efficiency of products sold to clients.

The company’s social responsibility goes beyond its responsibility to its customers and the quality of products and services; it extends to the general community (Malachowski, R, 2001, p57). IMI is conscious of environmental changes in the world and is making responsible measures to minimize its contribution to the problem (IMI Code of Responsible Business, 2008, p28). The company also contributes to charities to ensure disadvantaged people are provided with essential products. IMI responsible business operations have been consistently been recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability index. Recognition by this body shows that IMI is among the most responsible industrial and engineering in Europe.

Indoor Climate Group, one of the members of IMI, incorporates ethics and corporate responsibility in its operations. The vision of Indoor Climate Group is to be the best customer focussed knowledge and innovative provider of hydronic solutions (Indoor climate group 2008, p2). To do so, the company aims at providing services and products that go beyond the basic requirements but looks at short term and long-term effects of the products to customers and society at large. Thus, the group tries to use knowledge and innovation to bring new business ideas in a reliable manner and fair prises. As a social responsibility, the company evaluates the environmental, health, energy efficiency, and social effects of its products. Five policies are adopted to provide guidelines for the quality of products. The primary guideline is concerned with the use of an optimum design in an indoor climate. The optimum design ensures that energy is used efficiently and in a cost-effective manner (Indoor climate group, 2008, p5). This approach aims to ensure that there is a sustainable society for the future generation. This approach is important when considering that resources used in indoor climates are scarce while demand for the same increases with time.

The company has made steps in conserving the environment as a corporate responsibility measure. The company has an environmental program that guides it in policymaking that is concerned with the environment. Materials chosen for use by the company are chosen with their effect on the environment in mind. The materials chosen are those that have the least effect on the environment and those that promote a better environment. Products supplied by the company are not harmful to the environment. In production, care is made to ensure that harmful components are not released into the atmosphere or released to watercourses. Also, the company makes effort to minimize the amount of carbon dioxide released to the environment.

The Health and safety of products provided to the client is ensured as social responsibility (IMI Code of Responsible Business 2008, p18). As an engineering company, the safety of products and services is very important. For example, Indoor Climate ensures that it take preventive measure to avoid health and safety risks. The Health and safety of the company’s workplace is ensured by providing employees with safety equipment and thorough training.

At Cannon Equipment, a subsidiary of IMI, energy efficiency and the use of recyclable materials are emphasized. Energy is a very important factor in the overall cost of a company. The scarcity of energy in the world calls for efficient use of energy. Cannon Equipment designs equipment that provided the needed service to customers but saves on energy. Recycle of equipment is considered to be very important in Cannon Equipment. Thus, the company ensures that most of its equipment could be recycled or reused with minimal effect to its efficiency. Most of the materials handling carts and other equipment made by the company are made of still to take advantage of its ease to be recycled.

Apart from indirect contribution to society, IMI and its subsidiaries make a direct contribution to the community. The company recognizes established charities and organizations and contributes directly to their welfare. Preference is made to those charity groups and organizations that are close to the company (IMI 2009, par 7-8). For example, in 2008 the company contributed a total of 254,000 pounds to various charities. Some charities that are supported by the company include Care for Children, CIDA Foundation, and DebRA. Care for Children is responsible for relieving hardship, illness, and distress in abandoned children. CIDA provides education sponsorship to needy students while DebRA provides healthcare to people with generic skin diseases. Through contributing to charities, the company relates to the problems of disadvantaged people.

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Conclusion

The ideals of responsible business are being emphasized in the business environment today. Business ethics entails not only the internal operation of a business but also how it deals with other business partners’ competitors. Corporate citizenship emphasizes the need of a business to consider itself as a member community it operates in and contribute positively to its growth. Imperial Metal Industries Limited has made steps to ensure ethical operations and social responsibility. In ethics, the company is guided by its ethical policy. The company emphasizes fair deals while dealing with its customers and competitors to ensure that ethical principles are protected. IMI and its subsidiaries have made progress to its ethical and socials responsibility. Areas of great success in ethical conduct are fair deals and quality services. IMI is ethically responsible for its operations making sure that ethical codes are followed by all employees and the company in general. In social responsibility, the company has made great steps in ensuring health and safety, environmental conservation, and energy efficiency in its products.

Reference List

IMI Code of Responsible Business 2008, “The IMI Way”. Web.

Malachowski, R 2001, “Business ethics: critical perspectives on business and management”. New York: Taylor & Francis.

IMI 2009, “Our business”. Web.

Indoor climate group 2008,”Responsible Business: Indoor Climate Group”. Web.

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