Time has changed and where we live today is what may be called as a “global consumer society”. People are striving in the fast lane to make their hassle bustle life a bit relaxing, convenient and luxurious by purchasing and manufacturing equipments and then disposing them off. This is where businesses and industry play an important role in degrading our environment, utilizing our resources to produce those artificial things and utilities for one’s convenience, which leads to ominous results. Presently, the most highlighted issues about the macrocosm is the menace to our natural habitat by our commercial sector.
The essay will analyze how they affect our environment, their responsibilities to protect it and also it is the duty of government to take measures for it.
According to Fieser, J. (2010) the biggest threat to the environment is inflicted by Commercial enterprises and businesses rather than any other domestic activity. Factories produce toxic waste and dump it without remembering about the side effects, thus polluting the soil and water.
Similarly deforestation has been done on a large scale with them during the development of new industries, not considering the fact that they disturb the natural habitat. The majority of these offenders are from the third world countries also known as the underdeveloped countries, as they ignore being environmentally responsible while competing with industrialized states. Likewise, due to deficiency of alternatives available in such countries it makes it hard for them to maintain a balance between energy conservation and economic progress. All of this results in environmental degradation by business sector.
Many examples of such cases could be brought up with this discussion. For instance, a Union Carbide incident in OHIO (1960’s) where two chemical and metal plants were manufactured in a valley trapping it with the ash clouds and air pollution, not only did they result in endangering the surroundings but caused different respiratory diseases among the locals. In spite of being responsible for all, the company refused all public discussions and ignored governmental requests for the plant’s inspection, another similar big incident related to nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and Chernobyl in which radiations were released to the local community and a steam explosion in the plant also let out tons of radioactive material in the atmosphere killing several and injuring thousands, all of these incidents are a proof of irresponsibility shown by the respective industries.
Although, agreeing that the main motive of businesses is to make profit for their investors and that the consumers only prefer buying stuff which is cheaper instead of being Eco friendly – as environmental standard production of products raises their cost. They should be familiar with the social responsibilities they have on themselves, which is best described by Haynes, T. (N.d.). “Social responsibility is a moral theory that says any organization is obligated to act for the benefit of its society”, It is a duty that everyone has to perform to maintain balance between ecosystem and economy. Yet, still some companies work with the ideology that- what is best for the environment is not always financially best for them -which is wrong. Some, also think that they are not legally bound to care for the government as there are no such laws which asks them to do so. Another argument form these business enterprises is ” that caring for the environment rests with the consumers not us, if they are not interested in favoring businesses running an Eco- sustainable policies then there is no point reforming such policies on them”.
Let’s not forget that environment is common to everyone, no-one possesses it and everyone is equally responsible for it, so far no one is bound to accept the responsibility for a common thing, the point being drawn is that no private organization should be responsible for the commons. As alleged, by James W. (2007) “Responsibility for the commons rests primarily with political communities of citizens through their governments, and their duty is to do justice”. Hence, the government should secure the sustainability of the surroundings and to introduce law which promote ecologically friendly advancement which would eventually bind all businesses to be more socially responsible. Also, it will encourage other sectors to contribute their part in fighting against the threats to our environment. The office of government is also important when it adds up to some critical topics connected to the environment such as global heating and loss of biodiversity which is done by deforestation and utilizing of natural habitat for new growth projects. This could be forestalled simply by opting alternatives for the arrangements, i.e. using old sites to build new industries and encourage recycling – government is the only physical structure that could enforce them to behave thus.
Though, businesses should be socially responsible, but the governments do play a broader and important role in protecting our environment because it is their duty to assure justice to everyone, be it an organization or our environment and they should not wait till severe problems are faced after all is done. It is conclusive that government practices hold a major part in protecting our environment, even if businesses do try to be socially responsible they cannot make out a great deal compared to what government bodies can act- and they should perform whatever is possible if they want a pleasant and sustainable environment to live in.
Fieser, J. (2010), Business ethics: section three.
Hayens, T. (N.d.). Social Responsibility and Organizational Ethics.
Kalinda, B. (Ed.). Social Responsibility and Organizational Ethics. (2001). Encyclopedia of Business and Finance (2nd ed., Vol.1). New York: Macmillan References.
James, W. (2007), Conserving the environment:Guideline #10 for government and
Citizenship. Online available from URL http://www.cpjustice.org/PJR2007Q2/EnvironmentGuideline10
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