Strategic Management: Altria

Scenario:
When working in the area of strategic management, you will often be asked to look at what appears to be a strategic initiative on the part of another company and speculate as to what the strategy behind the initiative really is. In other words, what is the company really trying to do and why? You will find that you have to use your knowledge of business and strategic management to penetrate the rhetoric and determine what is really behind it.
Explore the Altria website (formerly Philip Morris): http://www.altria.com/responsibility/4_6_environmentagriculture.asp

1. Characterize Altria's commitment to the environment?
2. Do you think this commitment will offset the environmental issues with the tobacco company? Provide support for your opinion.
3. What are Altria's real strategic reasons for these environmental initiatives?

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...yees cognizant of how each and every one of them affects reputation on a daily basis. Reputation must be central to the corporate identity, not merely clever image advertising and manipulative public-relations ploys." (Alsop 2004)
While the commitment to the environment is admirable, the company's product line will always be a black cloud that no matter what positive actions the company takes, the black cloud will linger.

2. Do you think this commitment will offset the environmental issues with the tobacco company? Provide support for your opinion.

I do. The brand is doing all it possibly can, from a strategic plan standpoint, to eliminate significant amount of waste. In addition to the goals from within the company, the company is also trying to educate the public, as cigarette butt waste was the third largest waste item removed from our oceans.
The brand advises the public that "We work with litter reduction organizations, individuals and other groups to increase awareness that cigarette butts are litter, to support education campaigns that encourage adult cigarette smokers to dispose of cigarette butts properly, to encourage the installation and maintenance of public place receptacles, and to promote the use of portable litter devices. " (Altria 2009)

Participation and education such as this advises the public that the company, while a company that produces and promotes an unhealthy product, is a company that is concerned with the ramifications its product has on the environment and the planet as a whole.
"The public has a show-me attitude and won't easily absolve a company of reputation flaws. People are waiting to see companies demonstrate more goodwill toward their customers, employees, and local communities. In a survey by Cone, a public relations firm, more than ...