A current challenge in the business leadership is to ensure high profitability while deploying environment friendly technologies. This means that corporate decisions must have minimal impacts on nature and its inhabitants. In most cases, business environmental ethics and corporate decision-making have been at conflicting sides because companies have to ensure profitability. In addition, business environmental ethics act as an impediment to profitability. The underlying principle is that human life is invaluable and business leaders cannot make decisions involving human life basing on economic calculations (Panwar, 2006). This paper represents a case study on business environmental ethics of Flamingo plastics, which is a small company that manufactures plastics for general purposes.
The main objective behind business environmental ethics is to align the corporate interests with environmental ethics. This can foster the concrete solutions to the impeding problems of environmental crisis. This can be achieved through innovation and effective decision-making so that the company can operate successfully amidst the stringent environmental policies. Therefore, business enterprises must put into consideration the environmental and human impacts during strategic decision-making. Despite the conventional perception that environmental ethics serve as blockade to profitability, corporations have the responsibility of customizing their technologies and products to be environmental friendly. A typical example is the Green Movement strategy that requires companies to adopt technologies and produce products that are both environmental and human life friendly (Porter, 2006).
In the context of flamingo plastics, the emission levels of the company are above the allowable limits. Research on the area indicates that if the company does nothing to reduce the emission levels, aquatic life in the nearby lake will be affected. In addition, the consumption of fish from lakes and rivers that receive the toxic wastes from the company is bound to be declared unfit for human consumption. The only option that the company has is to implement a new technology that can reduce the levels of emissions and the levels of toxicity in the wastewater to the nearby water bodies. The constraint is that the adoption of this technology and subsequent maintenance costs has significant impacts on the profitability of the company (Enderle, 2006). The company’s environmental compliance manager ignored the adoption of new technology on grounds that it will render the company unprofitable.
This case is considered as an ethical dilemma because the decision-making procedures of the company have no value for the environment and human life. Instead, the company considers its financial success at the expense of environmental degradation and peoples’ lives of the nearby region. In this case, it was the responsibility of Flamingo Plastics to scale their operations in such a manner that adopting the new technology would not jeopardize the financial position of the company. The decision that the company took was purely based on the company’s interests. In addition, the company did not put into consideration the needs of the nearby community regarding their reliance on the nearby water bodies as sources of water and food products such as fish.
The decision had a number of long term and short term effects to the company. Some of the short-term effects include a negative impact on the company’s reputation and corporate image. In addition, the company lost the trust from the local community members. Some of the long term effects of this ethical dilemma include a threat to the closure of the company it continued violating environmental policies.
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