Sadat (IT) Academy
Dr. Gary H. Jones
ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
"A time existed when corporations used the environment as a free
unlimited resource. That time is ending, interms of international
public awareness and increasing legislative control. The magnitude of
environmental abuse, not only by industries but also by human
activities and nature's processes, has awakened an international
awareness to protect and save the environment. At risk is the
most valuable stakeholder, the planet earth itself. Depletion and
destruction of air, water, and land are at stake in terms of natural
resources. Consider the destruction of the rain forests in Brazil; the
thinning of the ozone layer above the earth's atmosphere; climate
warming from carbon dioxide accumulations; the smog in Mexico City, Los
Angeles, New York and other major world cities; and the pollution of
the seas, lakes, rivers, and groundwater supplies contaminated from
toxic dumping. At the human level, environmental pollution and damage
cause heart and respiratory diseases and lung and skin cancer."
(J. W. Weiss, Business Ethics,
Specific Problems (not
to memorize, but to be aware of):
Causes of Environmental Pollution
(be aware of):
- Water pollution
- Industrial air pollution
- Ozone layer depletion
- Global climate change
- Oil spills
- Hazardous waste releases
- Habitat destruction
- Species extinction
1. A growing consumer affluence (wealth). More
consumption, and waste.
2. Increasing materialistic cultural values. Consumption instead
of conservation. "Me first" attitude.
3. Increasing urbanization. More concentrated pollution.
4. Population explosion. From 1900 to 1990 the global
population grew from 1.2 billion to 5.5 billion!
5. New and uncontrolled technologies. More convenience,
more waste, more harmful chemicals.
6. Industrial activities. Depletion of natural resources,
environmental abuse and destruction.
The Ethics of Ecology
(care of the environment):
1. Organization's responsibilities go beyond the production of
and services for a profit.
2. These responsibilities involve helping to solve important social
problems, especially those that corporations have helped to create.
3. Corporations have a broader constituency (stakeholders) than
4. Corporations have impacts (effects) that go beyond simple
5. Corporations serve a wider range of human values than just
economic considerations alone.
Human Rights, Justice, Duty
and the Environment:
[Beyond simple the simple Cost/Benefit of Utilitarianism]
Questions for Business Executives:
- Future generations have a right
to a livable environment.
- Justice requires that we hand
over to our children a world that is not in worse environmental
condition than the one we received from our ancestors.
- Corporations--and the present
generation--have a duty to provde a livable environment to our children.
1. What are the true and long-term costs [to the
2. Have you made hazardous waste risk analysis a part of your
strategic planning process?
3. Does your information system include consideration of
4. Have you made it clear to your managers and employees that
your company is serious about caring for the environment?