There was a time when corporations used the environment as a free and unlimited resource. That time is ending, in terms of international public awareness and increasing legislative control. The magnitude of environmental abuse, not only by industries but also by human activities and nature’s processes, has awakened an international awareness of the need to protect the environment.
At risk is the most valuable stakeholder, the earth itself. The depletion and destruction of air, water, and land are at stake. Consider the destruction of the rain forests in Brazil; the thinning of the ozone layer; climatic warming changes from carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulations; the smog in Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York City; the pollution of the seas, lakes, rivers, and groundwater as a result of toxic dumping; and the destruction of Florida’s Everglades National Park.
At the human level, environmental pollution and damage cause heart and respiratory diseases and skin cancer. The top environmental concerns include climate change; energy, water, biodiversity, and land use; chemicals (toxics and heavy metals); air pollution; waste management; and ozone layer depletion.86 we will preview and summarize some of the issues to indicate the ethical implications.
The purpose here is not to present in great detail either the scientific evidence or all the arguments for these problems. Rather, our aim is to highlight some issues and suggest the significance for key constituencies from a stakeholder and issues management approach and related ethical implications and concerns.
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