Case Study: Not Just Another Outdoor Company
Nau’s approach is entirely new to the traditional business approach. First, Nau chose the suppliers that provide more sustainable fabrics as partnership, and bound each supplier manufacturer and Nau itself by a code of conduct. Secondly, the “web-front” approach allows customers try the product at boutique but purchase online, which can largely reduce the area of the store. Furthermore, 5 percent of the sales revenue has been pledged to charitable organization. Customers can decide where the money goes.
In the classical view, management was only responsible to earn profit for the company, while in this case Nau goes beyond profit-making and also pay attention for the society. Social responsibility can be classified into different stages. Stage 1 is only responsible to the owner and management only, stage 2 and 3 are responsible to the employees and constituents respectively. For Nau’s approach, it responsible for the environment and broader society, thus it belongs to the stage 4, which is the last stage of social responsibility.
Nau’s approach is ethical and responsible. In the environment aspect, Nau is going green. For instance, the partnership with sustainable fabrics suppliers can reduces the waste of clothes. This is the market approach because Nau produces environmental friendly product in response to the preference of the customer. Moreover, each supplier, manufacturer and Nau bound by a code of conduct is the stakeholder approach that each stakeholder has to fulfill the environmental requirements in order to keep the partnership. In conclude, Nau has high environmental sensitivity and goes green by vary ways.
In the structural aspect, Nau has an innovative approach. Customers can try on the clothes at gallery-like boutique and purchase on the Web. This can greatly reduce the operating expenses because the inventory and store area is reduced. Therefore, less energy and material is used for the store. Apart from being green, this kind of sales structure can help the company lower the cost. I believe this is an important operation in Nau. It is because
that the expense of Nau would be high if they perform as a social responsible company with sustainable raw material. Lowering the cost by the “Web-front” approach can help the company balance the revenue and cost. As a consequence Nau can maintain its social responsibility.
In the financial aspect, 5% of the sales amount will be donated to charitable organizations addressing crucial environmental or humanitarian issues. Customers could choose the organization to donate the money. During the process of deciding where the donation goes, customer can understand more about the charitable organization such as the purpose of the organization and the target group to be aid. Besides, Nau’s “aggressively altruism” approach can build a positive public image of the company such that it may lead to rise in the atmosphere of social responsibility, attracting more firms to care about the society and environment.
Despite of the violation of maximizing profits, Nau still make the tough decision to be ethical and responsible. As the belief of Nau: “in addition to generating a profit, companies have an equal responsibility to create positive social and environmental change.” Nau could become the role model in this industry, connecting the customers and producer to the social responsibility.