Global Business and the Environment
In the advent of unprecedented pace and complexity in the upsurge of globalization, environmental concern has escalated precipitating the call for an ethics oriented approach to businesses. The realization that most ventures are evidently impacting on the environment in a more negative way, the business world has had no option rather than join the rush to alleviate the impacts of environmental degradation. Climate change, ocean depletion, increased toxic levels in water, drought and floods point out to the many consequences humanity has to encounter, all because of their negligence of the environment. Business ventures can be classified on the basis of their ethical orientation into three categories; ranging from the most committed to the least committed.
The most committed make difficult choices, opting to incorporate policies that recognize the need to reduce the impact they have on the environment and their results are always visible. Others engage in 'green-washing' which is a marketing strategy imploring their businesses as environment conscious whilst in reality they do nothing to the environmental end (Holmes, 2003). Finally, majority of global businesses have totally ignored the environmental concern and even their policies suggest nothing to the awareness of the impact of their activities on the environment. The ethical orientation of business is informed by their willingness to conform to certain standards. This conformity though has been quashed by the shortsightedness and capitalist approaches which orchestrate the push for profits even at the expense of the environment, the human resource and internationally set standards of trade.
The trend of nonconformity can be narrowed down to the lack of formulation and observance of proper policies. In addition, the quest for huge profits margins blurs the environmental concern and even dictates negligence (Fox, 2007). On the other hand, laxity of the national governments in ensuring conformity to internationally recognized environmental ethics is an area of potential concern for the governments which should have at interest the enormous matters of national interest and environment is up there in the list of priorities. Whereas environmental issue and specifically it's the preservation is a trivial issue, the responsibility is vested on an ethical approach and only sours when coercion has to be immersed (Fox, 2007).
This orientation informs the regional standards as governments formulate policies and ensures compliance to the environmental ethics. However, the ethics should never pose a problem for willing and committed businesses who should maintain their observance with minimal extrinsic pressure. The fact that the governments have the responsibility over the environmental concerns has however impacted negatively more so for the developing nations which have been unable to fully implement all of them and also due to the influence of the developed nations whose governments have to enforce difficult policies on them. In addition, multinational business ventures do not comply with the policies ostensibly due to the lack of concern for nations that are not their motherland and also in their pursuit of lofty profits.
The nobility of the calling of environmental conservation is unquestionable. Thus, the responsibility does not lie within a single entity in the societal continuum but all persons have maximal responsibility. Therefore, individual companies and managers ought to do their part without raising their heads to see what the other persons are doing. At the same time, compliance to the international standards of proper garbage and waste disposal is the responsibility of all companies and governments should not license business ventures without clearly outlined environmental conservation policies (Holmes, 2003). In addition, companies bending the rules to suit their profits targets should have their licenses revoked and their operations put to a halt till such a time when they will portray respect for the environment. Finally, cognizant of the fact that there are no boundaries of responsibility in environmental conservation and everyone is held accountable, collective responsibility should be elicited by all parties in the global business arena.
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