Environmental Issues and Business Ethics

Environmental Issues and
Business Ethics
Team activity: who can
think of the most
environment issues?
Example: climate change
How many did your team get?
Possible Issues for Lathom’s
• Air pollution from methane gas – causing
greenhouses gasses and therefore global
• Manure disposal – could be an excellent crop
• Looking closely at animal feed to prevent nitrates
(through manure) leaking into the ground
• Flushing urine down drains with high pressure
jets could pollute the nearby rivers.
Cows and flatulence
• Farming is responsible for about 14% of the world's
greenhouse gases.
• A large amount of these emissions come from
methane, which, in terms of its contribution to global
warming, is 23 times more powerful than carbon
• The world's 1.5 billion cows and billions of other
grazing animals emit dozens of polluting gases,
including lots of methane.
• Two-thirds of all ammonia comes from cows.
• They belch more than they emit flatulence – fact!
Link includes 6 min audio
Cows and manure
• There is the potential to
convert manure into
biogas which can
generate electricity, or
(with a little
modification) and fuel
How consumers have responded to pressure for
greater environmental responsibility
• Consumers can use their
power to protect limited
natural resources
• Customers choices drive
the marketplace
• See the Directgov website
(click the ie pix) for
greener funerals,
weddings, travel, home,
garden and leisure.
Link to direct.gov
Consumer responsibility
• Reduce
– Less packaging
• Reuse
– Milk bottles and bags for life
• Recycle
– Blue and brown bins
There are lots more that
you can add to this list.
Create a table with three
columns and lets put
some detail in...
Watch this slideshow to see many examples
Of where packaging has been reduced.
Result of consumer responsibility
• Reduction in demand
for raw materials
• Using recycled materials
to make new products
uses less energy and
fewer emissions
• Reduction of waste
going to landfill
How business has responded to pressure
for greater environmental responsibility
Cadbury’s environmental
• In 2008, we launched the
award winning Eco Egg
range; yummy Easter eggs
wrapped simply in foil. The
range includes Cadbury
Treasure Eggs, with a 68%
reduction in packaging and
the Cadbury Egg Heads,
with a 39% reduction.
• Water is a scarce
commodity and we have
looked at ways to reduce
water consumption across
the business.
M&S Plan A
• “The five pillars
represent the key areas
where we believe we
can tackle the biggest
challenges facing us as a
• These five areas are:
Climate Change, Waste,
Sustainable Raw
Materials, Health and
being a Fair Partner”
Environmental policy
To avoid the risk of
dangerous climate change,
it is generally accepted that
it will be necessary to limit
the concentration of CO2
and other greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere.
This will require substantial
reductions in global
emissions over the coming
Unilever’s Environmental policy
• Environmental
responsibility underpins
our activities wherever
we operate, such as
product and packaging
innovation, promoting
greater use of recycling,
teaching children and
contributing to
Climate change – co2 emissions and
global warming
• Climate change is the
term used to explain
the changing weather
patterns the earth is
• Because of climate
change, the UK is
seeing hotter summers,
milder winters, higher
sea levels and
increased flooding.
Climate change – co2 emissions and
global warming
• Human activity is
contributing to climate
change through the
production of
greenhouse gases.
• These gases - particularly
CO2 - are being released
into the earth's
atmosphere, where they
form a layer, which
prevents heat from
escaping, causing a
warming effect.
Climate change – co2 emissions and
global warming
• Businesses can help to tackle
climate change by reducing
the levels of greenhouse
gases they produce.
• Some businesses, particularly
those that are energyintensive, will have
requirements to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions as
a result of the UK's
commitment to the Kyoto
• How are extra greenhouse
gases produced?
Extra greenhouse gases are
produced through activities
which release carbon dioxide,
methane, nitrous oxide and
ozone CFCs
(chlorofluorocarbons). These
activities include:
• Burning coal and petrol,
known as 'fossil fuels'
• Cutting down of rainforests
and other forests
• Animal waste which lets off
Global warming what could happen?
If Earth gets hotter, some of the
important changes could
• Water expands when it's
heated and oceans absorb
more heat than land, so sea
levels would rise.
• Sea levels would also rise due
to the melting of the glaciers
and sea ice.
• Cities on coasts would flood.
• Places that usually get lots of
rain and snowfall might get
hotter and drier.
• Lakes and rivers could dry up.
• There would be more droughts
making hard to grow crops.
• Less water would be available
for drinking, showers and
swimming pools.
• Some plants and animals
might become extinct because
of the heat.
• Hurricanes, tornadoes and
other storms which are caused
by changes in heat and water
evaporation may get more
How can the consumer help stop
global warming?
There are ways you can help cut greenhouse
gases and help stop global warming. They are
simple things, but can make a difference if
everyone does them!
Re-cycle glass bottles, jars, newspapers and
magazines and tin cans. Save them and take
them to local re-cycling centres.
Re-use plastic shopping bags and envelopes,
don't get new ones
Persuade you mum or dad (or whoever does
the gardening) to have a compost heap.
Put a brick in a plastic bag into your toilet
cistern, then the toilet will use less water
each time you flush. Don't worry that's
plenty of water to get rid of...
Use paper on both sides. Try and buy
products that don't use much packaging.
Give unwanted gifts and clothes to a charity
Only fill the kettle up with the amount of
water you need to boil that time.
Don't leave the TV or video on standby.
If you get lift to school in a car, take your
mates along for the ride.
Ask whoever does your washing to use the
machine at 40 degrees, this helps conserve
Switch lights off when you're not in the room
Get a clockwork mobile phone recharger
Cycle to places!
Have showers instead of baths.
How many are you already doing? Who is the greenest in the class?
Ways a business can be more
environmentally friendly
• As a group brainstorm
as many ways as
possible that you think
a company can go
• See if you can beat the
list on the next slide.
Going green....
1. Recycling ink cartridges
2. Producing goods with less packaging
3. Using solar energy
4. Switching to energy saving light bulbs
5. Using a smaller font (less paper)
6. Using web based technology – less paper
7. Becoming a paperless office
8. Online marketing
9. Switching off lights at night (shop windows)
10.Using recycled batteries
11.Buying vehicles of the business with less co2
12.Using conference call instead of travelling to a
13.Encourage staff to cycle to work or car share
14.Switching to a wind turbine *see next slide as it
appears in the case study
Wind turbine (appears in the case study)
Producing your own energy could be cheaper
than buying it from energy companies. In
addition, you can also sell any excess energy
you generate to energy companies, using
Feed-in Tariffs
Wind turbines can have a life of up to 22.5
years but need service checks every few
years to make sure they work efficiently.
A 2.5kW system will cost around £14,900 to
buy and install.
You also have to consider conservation and
planning issues, such as the visual impact
and noise. You normally need permission
from the local authority to install a system.
Social costs and benefits of business
• Air pollution – you may
need to invest in lorries that
emit less co2
• Water pollution – it is illegal
to pollute rivers, streams,
sea etc
• Soil pollution – you may
need to invest in removal of
toxins that leak into the soil
Reducing your energy use can save you money.
Reducing your use of raw materials can cut
your costs, minimise your waste and lower
your waste disposal bills.
Reducing your water use can cut your water
bills and also lower your waste water disposal
Recycling equipment and materials could make
you money and save on disposal costs - you
may be able to sell old equipment or parts to
subsidise the cost of buying new ones.
Taking steps to prevent environmental damage
will reduce the risk of having to carry out
potentially expensive repairwork in the event
of an environmental incident. (BP)
From Business Link
BP – oil spill
• April 20 2010 BP drilling
explodes kills 11 people
• 39 millions tonnes of oil
spill into the sea
• Massive impact on the
environment - birds
• Fishermen now becoming
ill- blaming the dispersing
• Cost BP £3.1 billion to
clean it up
What happened?
(The fix)
Environmental issues and the
opportunities for business
1. Communication
– Opportunity to
genuinely engage with
consumers on green
issues. People want east
straightforward ideas
that can make a positive
green contribution.
Sainsbury's video 6 mins
Environmental issues and the
opportunities for business
• Government
– Huge opportunity for
Government - the
countries biggest
consumer – to make
millions of smaller
greener buying decisions
– Spends over £220 billion
a year on goods and
Environmental issues and the
opportunities for business
• Waste
– An opportunity to save
costs by minimising
– An oppprt7unity to gain
sales by redesigning
packaging – helping the
consumers to go greener
One simple solution
How many types of costs
Can be saved?
• Living and working in ways that do not jeopardise
our current and future social, environmental and
economic resources
• social and environmental practices that protect
and enhance the human and natural resources
needed by future generations to enjoy a quality
of life equal to or greater than our own.
Sustainable Development Commission
Ethical business behaviour
• Includes working towards the ending of child
labour, forced labour, and sweatshops, and
looking at health and safety, labour conditions
and labour rights.
• The branch of ethics that examines questions of
moral right and wrong arising in the context of
business practice or theory
Bitesize ethical behaviour video 5 mins
Ethical business behaviour
Sheet to
In Word
Primark child
Labour –
• Ethical trade means that
retailers, brands and their
suppliers take responsibility
for improving the working
conditions of the people who
make the products they sell.
• Most of these workers are
employed by supplier
companies around the world,
many of them based in poor
countries where laws designed
to protect workers' rights are
inadequate or not enforced.
Ethical Trade Initiative
ETI – the last decade

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