Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility of Manufacturing Industries Along Iligan Bay: A Discourse Analysis

Authors: Venus Parmisana (Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology, The Philippines)
Speakers: Venus Parmisana
Strand: Critical Linguistic Anthropology
Session Type: General Session


“Iligan City in Northern Mindanao, Philippines, has benefitted economic affordances from its industrial companies for decades. However, attendant to the city’s industrialization are environmental impacts indirectly or directly caused by the industries’ operations. To publicly declare how companies minimize perceived environmental impacts, they engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs that address environmental issues. However, literature shows little evidence of environmental concerns reported in company websites. This paper problematizes the voluntary nature of CSR in the Philippines and describes how companies might or might not have incorporated environmental aspect in their CSR. Specifically, the paper answers these questions: (1.) What environment-related concerns do companies report in the websites? (2.) What discursive processes linguistically construct environment-related concerns? (3.) How do the stakeholders perceive the companies’ environmental CSR programs? and (4.) What model can be formulated for Corporate Environmental Responsibility?

The study employed qualitative-descriptive triangulation method in examining online text data comprising website features and three environmental reports each from the eight manufacturing industries. It also utilized the stakeholders’ (n=158) self-reports in survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews. Through critical and discursive lens, findings reveal companies’ CSRs are aimed at environmental stewardship through environmental management system. Further, linguistic analysis shows nominalization and passivization in company websites were used to highlight positive actions and soften their operations’ negative impacts to control information. The stakeholders’ perceived companies’ top activities include coastal clean-up, tree-planting and growing, and the use of clean technology in reducing carbon gas emissions. Most stakeholders have sufficient knowledge of CSR initiatives but expressed concerns for environmental impacts of the companies’ operations. In conclusion, most companies revealed on their websites environmental concerns, but standards of reporting CSR seemed unclear. As a pioneering study on environmental CSR of companies along Iligan Bay, this study seeks to raise awareness along a call for policy need for CSR implementation with environmental dimension not only in manufacturing industries but in various sectors of the society. In recommendation, the study’s designed model for CSR analysis may be utilized to further theorize “Corporate Environmental Responsibility” for a better environmental sustainability framework.”

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Discourse Analysis, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Corporate Environmental Responsibility, Manufacturing Industries