Chapter 4


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Chapter 4

  1. 1. Chapter 4: Ethics and the Environment
  2. 2. After reading this chapter students should be able to <ul><li>Explain the different types of pollution and resource depletions </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how ethics affect how firms respond to concerns about the environment </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Protecting and preserving the environment is an emphasized mindset for the 21st century firm but is not necessarily the position of the modern firm. </li></ul><ul><li>Some resources firms use for free, such as air, are not always protected in favor of making profits for the firm. </li></ul><ul><li>Firms must make decisions on how to utilize resources and discard waste while maximizing profits. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction continued <ul><li>Environmental issues raise ethical questions for businesses and for society such as how should firms balance the demand for goods and services with prolonging the health and life of the earth? </li></ul><ul><li>Managers are faced with short term needs and long term implications regarding resources. This chapter explores the ethics surrounding environmental protection and our obligations to future generations for a healthy earth versus the need for continued economic growth </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pollution and Resource Depletion <ul><li>Environmental damage is damage or harm done to the environment that threatens the welfare of all living beings. </li></ul><ul><li>Threats to the environment come from two sources: pollution and resource depletion. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pollution and Resource Depletion continued <ul><li>Pollution is the undesirable contamination of the environment by the manufacture or use of commodities. </li></ul><ul><li>Resource depletion refers to the consumption of finite or scarce resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution is a type of resource depletion as contamination of air, water and land diminishes their beneficial qualities. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Air Pollution <ul><li>Air pollution is a mixture of solid particles and gases in the air. </li></ul><ul><li>Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. </li></ul><ul><li>Ozone, a gas, is a major part of air pollution in cities. When ozone forms air pollution, it's also called smog. </li></ul><ul><li>The two main sources of air pollution are automobiles and manufacturing plants. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Water Pollution <ul><li>Water pollution occurs when a body of water is adversely affected due to the addition of large amounts of materials to the water.  When it is unfit for its intended use, water is considered polluted.  </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of water pollutants exist: point source and nonpoint source.  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Point sources of pollution occur when harmful substances are emitted directly into a body of water.  The Exxon Valdez oil spill best illustrates a point source water pollution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A nonpoint source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes.  An example of this type of water pollution is when fertilizer from a field is carried into a stream by rain, in the form of run-off which in turn affects aquatic life. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Water Pollution, continued <ul><li>The major sources of water pollution can be classified as municipal, industrial, and agricultural. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Municipal water pollution consists of waste water from homes and commercial establishments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture, including commercial livestock and poultry farming, is the source of many organic and inorganic pollutants in surface waters and groundwater.  These contaminants include both sediment from erosion cropland and compounds of phosphorus and nitrogen that partly originate in animal wastes and commercial fertilizers.  Animal wastes are high in oxygen demanding material, nitrogen and phosphorus, and they often harbor pathogenic organisms.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial water pollution exist in the forms of petroleum, radioactive substances, and heat.  Petroleum often pollutes waterbodies in the form of oil, resulting from oil spills.  The previously mentioned Exxon Valdez is an example of this type of water pollution.  Radioactive substances are produced in the form of waste from nuclear power plants, and from the industrial, medical, and scientific use of radioactive materials.  Specific forms of waste are uranium and thorium mining and refining.  The last form of water pollution is heat.  Heat is a pollutant because increased temperatures result in the deaths of many aquatic organisms.  These decreases in temperatures are caused when a discharge of cooling water by factories and power plants occurs. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Noise Pollution <ul><li>Noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today. </li></ul><ul><li>Noise from road traffic, jet planes, jet skis, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes, to name a few, are among the audible litter that are routinely broadcast into the air. </li></ul><ul><li>Noise negatively affects human health and well-being. Problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction and lost productivity, and a general reduction in the quality of life and opportunities for tranquility. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Toxic Substances <ul><li>Hazardous and toxic substances are defined as those chemicals present in the workplace which are capable of causing harm. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In this definition, the term chemicals includes dusts, mixtures, and common materials such as paints, fuels, and solvents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The hazard of a chemical is the practical likelihood that the chemical will cause harm. A chemical is determined to be a hazard depending on the following factors: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>toxicity: how much of the substance is required to cause harm, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>route of exposure: how the substance enters your body, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>dose: how much enters your body, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>duration: the length of time you are exposed, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>reaction and interaction: other substances you are exposed to, and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>sensitivity: how your body reacts to the substance compared to others. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Resource Depletion-Depletion of species <ul><li>Depletion of species is the destruction or non renewal of plants and animal species to the point of extinction. There are three major causes of species depletion: habitat loss and degradation, exotic species, and over exploitation. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Resource Depletion-Depletion of Fossil Fuels <ul><li>There are three main types of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. </li></ul><ul><li>All three were formed many hundreds of millions of years ago. They are called &quot;fossil fuels&quot; because they have been formed from the fossilized remains of prehistoric plants and animals. </li></ul><ul><li>After food, fossil fuel is humanity's most important source of energy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coal is used mainly to produce electricity. It provides light, motive power from electric motors and many electronic devices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil provides mobility for cars, planes, trains, trucks and boats. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural gas is used primarily to produce heat for buildings, hot water, and industrial processes. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Resource Depletion-Depletion of Fossil Fuels continued <ul><li>Fossil fuels provide around 66% of the world's electrical power, and 95% of the world's total energy demands (including heating, transport, electricity generation and other uses). Coal provides around 28% of energy, oil provides 40% and natural gases provide about 20%. A concern is that the fossil fuels are being used up at an increasing rate, and that they will soon run out. If these fossil fuels were to run out now there would not be a suitable replacement for them that is equally as efficient at producing the same amount of energy. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Resource Depletion-Depletion of Minerals <ul><li>According to Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes, you can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, enzymes and amino acids, are required for our bodies to function properly. These nutrients are dependent upon minerals. Minerals are predominantly obtained from the food we eat, and the mineral content of that food is dependent upon the mineral content of the soil it grows in. Therefore, depleted soils create mineral deficient food. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ecological Ethics <ul><li>Ecological ethics, also known as green ethics, is currently at the forefront of government and business interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Because the parts of the ecology depend on one another, a disruption in any part of the system causes problems in the other parts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, suppose there were no larger fish because fisherman harvested the fish before more could be spawned. Then there would be no fish to provide fish waste for the organisms that depended on the fish waste. Nor would there be no larger fish to control the population of the smaller fish. The lake would then have an overabundance of smaller organisms which could lead to a contamination of the lake. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Ecological Ethics (continued) <ul><li>If you think about the ecology of business systems, business firms need the natural environment to be in balance. And not just agriculture-based businesses either! Businesses need water, electricity, minerals (yes that copper and iron in your computer are minerals), humans (yes humans), are all needed. </li></ul><ul><li>And they also need new resources to replace those that are not replaceable such as certain minerals (once all the coal, gas, and oil is gone, it is gone…there are usually no natural substitutes). </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, the environment is affected in many ways by commercial activities. Unless managers recognize the interrelationships and interdependencies of the ecological systems within which they operate, we can not hope to deal with the problems of pollution and depletion. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Pollution Control and Conservation <ul><li>Conservation refers to the saving or rationing of natural resources for later uses. Conservation looks primarily to the future and the need to limit consumption now to have resources available for tomorrow. </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution control is one form of conservation. By minimizing waste we need less land for landfills thereby conserving land for homes and businesses in the future. The depletion of scarce resources is a futuristic event. The depletion will be felt by posterity and not by present generations. Resource depletion forces two main kinds of questions on us: why we ought to conserve resources for future generations, and how much should we conserve? </li></ul>