2018-Mock-8: Case Study-1

a. Discuss the ethical grounds of the issue.
The ethical issues being faced here are:

  1. Business Ethics vs Social Responsibility or Economics vs Environmental Ethics

While business ethics teaches to minimise one’s expenditure and spur growth and profit, social responsibility says that every entity whether individual or an organisation, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. In given situation, being a manager and part of corporate entity while I have to try minimising the expenditure of the organisation; but also being a part of society I have show some responsibility towards society and environment.

  1. Intrinsic vs Instrumental Value

Money holds an instrumental value which is in contrast to environmental and social responsibilities which hold intrinsic value. The marine fishes and human population which is dependent on these fishes here have intrinsic value whereas, money which need to be spend on new technology for preventing pollution holds instrumental value. Intrinsic value needs to be preferred over instrumental value in this case.

  1. Public vs. Private Interest

The company’s emission is well within the emission limit so that there is no mandatory requirement to adopt new technology to reduce emission. The new technology will cause an economic burden on the company. But the continued addition of the toxic element to the river will adversely affect the river ecosystem and will also affect the livelihood of the people as the fish would be unfit for human consumption.
b. What would you do? Though the emission levels are within the legal limit, will it be right on your part to suggest the company to go for new investment to overcome the impact?
Being an environmental expert and a manager, I think I am very well familiar to the cost-benefit analysis in this regard. So, I will decide to spend the required amount to upgrade the technology. Yes, according to me the investment made to upgrade the technology is a correct decision. Such investment serves the purpose for long term. This step will not only help the Industry to comply with upcoming mandatory environmental norms, but also to embrace corporate social responsibility and an individual’s responsibility towards environment.
c. You decide to present a proposal to overcome the excessive emission of the toxic. However, your seniors turn your proposal down. Since you are an environmental expert you could understand the severity of the issue. What will you do to convince your higher authorities to take up this project? {250 words, 20 marks}
I will make a presentation that will lay down special emphasis on the harmful effects of the improperly disposed chemicals in water. How such toxic chemicals pollute marine life and kills sea mammals and fish? How toxic chemicals disposed off in water leads to bioaccumulation and biomagnifications? And how these finally damage the human life? Besides, I will also try to explain them the long term cost-benefit analysis of installation of such new technology to manage toxic effluents.
I will also put forward the possible impact on the brand of the company once the public finds out that the emissions from the company was responsible for deteriorating the marine ecosystem. The company would be at the end of receiving intangible losses as the brand of the company would be dented.
I will try to convince that if any other agency brings out the research that the toxic from company responsible for adversely affecting the ecosystem of the lake the government would impose pecuniary fines on the company which will be of huge embarrassment in the market.
Hence it would be wise on part of the company to adopt the technology in interests of both public and company.

Question for UPSC Mains:
You are the environmental compliance manager for a small paint manufacturing company. As part of your official duties, you are supposed to take care of the proposals and investments related to green technology and other environmental compliance practices.  You are currently faced with the decision of whether or not to spend money on new technology that will reduce the level of a particular toxin in the waste water that flows out of the back of your factory and into a lake. While the factory’s emission levels are within the legal limit, you know that the environmental regulations for this toxin are lagging scientific evidence, and if emission levels stay the same the fish from the lake may soon be declared unsafe for human consumption. However, in the present situation the factory’s environmental compliance budget is tight. a) Discuss the ethical grounds of the issue. b) What would you do? Though the emission levels are within the legal limit, will it be right on your part to suggest the company to go for new investment to overcome the impact? c) You decide to present a proposal to overcome the excessive emission of the toxic. However, your seniors turn your proposal down. Since you are an environmental expert you could understand the severity of the issue. What will you do to convince your higher authorities to take up this project? {250 words, 20 marks}

Published: April 20, 2018 | Modified:April 20, 2018

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