The question of profitability always arises when businesses are pressured to conduct themselves ethically. It appears that abiding to the set rules and regulations is costly to the organizations. However, there is a dire need for businesses to act ethical especially when the environmental needs are concerned. Currently, as Hoffman et. al. puts it, the planet earth is literary speaking to mankind due to the anthropogenic damage that it is facing. The sea is littered with raw sewage and medical waste. The ozone layer is perforated due to the excessive use of flurochlorocarbons. The forest cover is rapidly reducing at the rate of one football pitch per second, and most unfortunately, more species of flora and fauna are becoming extinct while an equally high number are becoming endangered (520). So, there arises a question of business involvement in the rampant deterioration of the environment. Apparently, all the environmental degradation that is experienced today is relatable to one business or the other. The oil spills in the water bodies, heaps of plastic bags, and roaring machines in the forested areas are all the undoing of a business somewhere. There are three pertinent questions that need urgent answers as the global community tries to resolve the ensuing environmental crisis. The position or obligation of the business in helping the current environmental problems must be answered. Secondly, there should be established a proper relationship between the business community and the government especially when faced with the problem of environmental degradation. Lastly, there should be a rationale to be used for making and justifying decisions to protect the environment (Hoffman at.al.521).
Businesses are mandated by law to abide with the environmental regulations. The business should play a key role in the provision of long lasting solutions to environmental pollution. In fact, any business should have a corporate responsibility policy to ensure that all waste that emanates from the organization is disposed of in the correct manner in accordance to the environmental regulations. The businesses are in fact the major contributor of environmental degradation. For instance, a bread manufacturing company will in one way or the other contribute to environmental destruction. If the company used plastic paper to package its product, the said material in non-biodegradable, and it will end up in the environment as waste. If, on the other hand, the business uses biodegradable packaging material, it means that it will utilize vegetation to make its wrapping material. In such a case, the business can solve the environmental crisis in two ways. One, it can ensure that the amount of product wrapped in one plastic paper is not small to prevent utilizing many pieces of the paper. Secondly, the business can participate in planting of trees and reforestation to replace the vegetation used in the manufacture of degradable paper bags.
Businesses should complement the efforts of the government in ensuring environmental conservation. They should promote the activities of the government that are directed towards reforestation, policy implementation, and creating public awareness. In fact, the businesses, in their own volition, should strive to sponsor advertisements that create awareness to the public on the need to preserve the environment. Business should also encourage their customers to use biodegradable bags when doing their marketing. Both the manufacturing and retailing organizations should abide by the national environmental regulations on proper waste management. One of the ways through which businesses compromise the efforts to conserve the environment is through political manipulation (Hoffman et. al. 524). In an endeavor to cut production and corporate responsibility costs, businesses have in the past influenced the passing of legislations aimed at curtailing some environmental unfriendly practices. The businesses should instead refrain from mingling with law makers and let the law take its natural course for the benefit of the population. Organizations should also own up their mistakes and comply with court injunctions that prompt them to take responsibilities of their actions. They should also pay taxes to the government as a way of enabling the latter to execute its environmental conservation plans.
There are numerous reasons to explain why the environmental regulations are necessary. The single most important rationale for environmental protection is the posterity. There will be generation to occupy the earth after the present one is gone. If the environment is destroyed by the people living in the world todays, those to come later will not have any protection from the hazards associated with environmental degradation. The global climate change is real today. Areas that ever experienced drought before like California are bone dry, meaning that there is every reason for reforestation and cutting on carbon footprint (Mann & Peter 3858).
In conclusion, businesses should be at the center of discussion when it comes to environmental conservation. Indeed, they should complement the efforts of the government in protecting the environment through abiding by the environmental laws and conducting themselves ethically. They should, in particular, create awareness on the need to protect the environment, physically engage in forest cover restoration, and package their products in a logical manner that promotes minimal utilization of non-biodegradable material.
Hoffman, W. Michael, Robert E. Frederick, and Mark S. Schwartz, eds. Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.Mann, Michael E., and Peter H. Gleick. "Climate change and California drought in the 21st century." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.13 (2015): 3858-3859.
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