Legal Aspects Of Social Responsibility: Business, Government, And The Environment
Pollution is a by-product of everyday living. Business and everyone else must be diligent and aware of what causes certain conditions and what can be done to hold them within tolerable limits. Any list on major categories of pollution would contain at least: air pollution, water pollution, chemical pollution, solid waste pollution, noise pollution, visual pollution, and odour pollution.
Each of these main categories of pollution then has many subcategories under it. Moreover, the various forms of pollution are placed primarily in one category it does not mean that it has no impact on another category (for example, solid waste pollution has an impact on water pollution if the solid waste is dumped into the water).
Three social forces cause the tremendous increase in pollution:
* Pollution Growth and Relocation. The population increase and the movement of people from the countryside to more central locations has intensified the environmental problems.
* Technological Growth. It is a direct and indirect creator of pollution; through its expanded manufacturing facilities and increased energy consumption it directly creates air, water, chemical and noise pollution; through the increased manufacture of throw-away products, consumer chemical products, and artificial fertilizers it creates secondary increased pollution sources. Therefore, technology must find ways to keep from creating new and worse environmental problems.
* Affluence. The rapid and continuously growing standard of living is another prime cause of the increased pollution.
Someone must pay for a clean environment. It is obvious that in the lung run the customer pays for the improved environment in which he lives, so the question is how the customer should pay for it and which customers should pay for it?
If the government subsidizes pollution abatement in any manner then the entire population will pay for the reduced pollution level through increased taxes. If the business pay the cost of the pollution abatement the customers (through higher product costs), the stockholders (through possible reduce dividends) and possible even employees (through possible reduced wages or smaller wage increases) will pay for the pollution level reduction.
Business has been handling these problems in various ways. Some investors view pollution control expenditures as a drain on resources that could have been invested profitable elsewhere and do not reward the companies for their socially responsible behavior. However, in another study the conclusion was that there is evidence to substantiate the existence of a moderate to strong relationship between the investment value of a company's common stock and its social performance record.
Not all of this deterioration from pollution is accused by business alone but by combination of business, government, and the general public. Involvement of U.S. corporations in pollution control carries with it a requirement and demand for a measurement and reporting system to account for corporate environmental performance.
However, industry is still seen as doing only the minimum required by law, and a negative perception of industry has been fostered by its failure to communicate its efforts in the areas of maintaining and improving environmental quality in air, water, and land.
Summarize, pollution is a complex that require integrated supervision and control.