Tag Archives: employees

Chipotle and its quest for sustainable food


Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving and promoting sustainable food. Its high-quality natural food has given it a competitive advantage over competitors in a market that is increasingly becoming more conscious about what they eat. Chipotle has a mission of serving “Food with Integrity” to its customers. Chipotle is committed to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for animals, the environment, and farmers. Chipotle brands its meats as naturally, or “Responsibly“ raised, which entails treating animals humanely without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Many of its other ingredients are organic and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Chipotle has been considered a pioneer in creating and promoting sustainable food chains. Despite its measured success in its food sourcing, Chipotle has been unethical within some of the social aspects of the supply chain, most notably its policies towards its employees. Chipotle has had problems with its hiring process as it is still being investigated over hiring illegal and undocumented workers. They also have several pending class action lawsuits from employees who are systematically unpaid for overtime hours as a result of Chipotle’s policies and practices. Chipotle needs to address these policies in order to have a sustainable food chain, which not only involves the food it serves, but the people serving it. Chipotle has an opportunity to change the industry to become more sustainable. Chipotle raises awareness about the problems within the food industry through advertisement campaigns. These advertisements can help change consumer behaviors to demand more sustainable foods, which will in turn force other restaurants to provide sustainable foods in order to meet this demand. Chipotle and sustainable suppliers can also use their relative competitive advantage to further influence competitors to become sustainable. This will create a market in which more sustainable suppliers are available, which will drive food prices down and quality standards higher. This will create a cycle in which sustainable food chains take over the existing marketplace.

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The Container Store: Stacking Up Ethically


Many retail companies are not known for outstanding treatment of their employees. In more recent years, the media has delivered news stories with companies involved in lawsuits over wage inequalities, discrimination, or poor labor conditions. The retail industry in particular has been receiving a lot of criticism. One think tank recently published a report which states:

Retail is far from the only low-paying sector of the American economy, yet … [it is] one projected to add a substantial number of new jobs over the coming decade, [so] the choices the nation’s major retailers make about employment will play a crucial role in determining the nation’s economic future. (Resnikoff)

While very recent press has indicated retail companies such as Target, Wal-Mart, and T.J. Maxx may increase employee wages slightly in the near future, there are also companies who do not receive considerable media attention but who have, from their very founding, held higher standards regarding treatment of their employees. One such company is The Container Store (TCS). From its website, to its blog, to newspaper articles, books, YouTube videos, and more, The Container Store makes it clear that it aims for a business model encompassing all stakeholders, but employees in particular. In this paper, I will evaluate how the company has upheld this employee-centered model and determine whether it can be considered an ethical company through Immanuel Kant’s ethical theories. Continue reading The Container Store: Stacking Up Ethically

The Four Seasons: Inequality in Luxury Hotels


As tourists walk across the Széchenyi Lánchíd Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, they approach the stunning Gresham Palace. The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace obtains a remarkable site due to the panoramic view of the famous Danube River, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion from the front rooms of the hotel. As you enter this Four Seasons, your eye is drawn towards a glass atrium leading up to the front desk. A crystal chandelier is in the center of this atrium and further addscq5dam.web.1280.720 to the grand interior architecture and design of the hotel. After having the opportunity to walk through the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace and stay in the Four Seasons Firenze, I understood why this hotel chain is one of the most well known in the world. The Four Seasons brand is one of luxury and is a part of one of the most influential industries in the world: hospitality. However, even though this hotel chain is luxurious for customers, the hospitality industry the Four Seasons falls into entails poor employee wages, high employee turnover, and lack of stability. Furthermore, this industry has created mass tourism leading to social discrepancies, economic dependencies, and weakened culture. Thus, is the Four Seasons Hotel Chain ethical for partaking in an industry that has led to such problems? Should the Four Seasons shift their attention from customers to employees in order to address industry concerns?

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“We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.”


Heather Van Dusen, who is the director of  “B-Corps Fellows Program” and the “B-Corps on Campus initiative,” spoke about B-Corps certification and one example she showed was Greyston Bakery, Inc., which interested me and made me want to learn more about the company. Greyston in Yonkers, New York is a for-profit social enterprise that bakes brownies and cookies with a good will. They are famously known as Ben & Jerry’s brownie supplier, which we can say are tasty. Greyston Bakery is a company that has become B-Corp certified and scored a 147/200 on their impact assessment based on their contribution towards social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Continue reading “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.”

CarMax: Redefining the Greasy, Sleazy Used Car Salesman


CarMax was featured on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” with an impressive ranking of 64. It’s diverse and well compensated workforce are among the country’s happiest employees. But how does this fit in to CarMax’s reputation as a whole? Continue reading CarMax: Redefining the Greasy, Sleazy Used Car Salesman

It’s HBO. So Original.


As graduation looms ever closer, I have been searching through various networks, production companies, and cable providers in an attempt to remedy my currently unemployed status. HBO has most definitely been one such network. Over the years, I’ve known high school acquaintances who have gone on to intern at HBO and enjoyed the experience immensely (as noted by never ending Facebook updates and tweets). Even looking further into employee reviews of working a HBO, the company seems to be a fun and creative work place with a level of prestige in the entertainment world.

As of 2011, Business Insider  ranked HBO as the seventh best media company to work for citing that “HBO presents new and exciting challenges for its employees to complete.” More recently, HBO received the seventh place honor for The Most Innovative Company of 2015, according to  Fast Company One of the reasons they have received such recognition is their current project titled HBO NOW, which allows consumers to pay to stream HBO content without having a traditional cable package. The move to reach the enlarging streaming consumer base, makes HBO one of the first television companies to keep up with the digital Jones’s, Netflix and Amazon.

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China Working Conditions Podcast


After listening to the podcast by NPR, I was surprised and somewhat appalled by the conditions Chinese workers manufacture technology products in. Though the speaker, Mike Daisey, certainly had a bias, the working environment and dormitories sound challenging and detrimental to living a happy life. During the speaking portion, where Daisey talks about his findings during his visit to FoxConn, the fact I found most horrific was the installation of suicide nets. Though it seems the suicide rates at Foxconn are about the same as the suicide rate across all of China, it speaks to a serious problem that suicide nets needed to be installed. Continue reading China Working Conditions Podcast