The wider world section 5

environment,ethics and the government

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Ethics in Business

  • All businesses have to follow legislation and failure to do so will result in their being prosecuted but this is NOT the same as unethical behaviour.
  • Being legal means operating within the law; being ethical means doing what is right.
  • Ethical behaviour covers every aspect of business, including who a business buys supplies from, how it treats its employees, how it acts towards its competitors, the impact on the environment and its local community.
  • Being ethical may mean being less profitable. 
  • High ethical standards= good consumer image = high sales and profits= high ethical standars - continuing in a circle. But this isn't often the case.
  • A pressure group can be described as an organised group that seeks to influence the government policy, legislation and business behaviour. e.g. Green peace (environmental), Amnesty International (which campaigns for human rights).
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  • If a business behaves in a way that a pressure group disagrees with the media may turn against the company.
  • Pressure groups can embarrass companies and damage their image.
  • When products display teh fairtrade mark it means that it meets international fairtrade standards and disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.
  • These include farmers receiving a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and fair working conditions for estate workers.
  • Producers also receive the fairtrade premium an additional sum to invest in social, environmental or economic development projects.
  • This means the farmer has been paid fairly and the additional money has been invested in community projects such as education.
  • Many people support the idea but are unwilling to pay the higher prices.
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Environment

  • Environmental issues can have both short-term and long-term effects on a firm.
  • Short-term, the environment can be an important stakeholder issues. In the developed world few staff are willing to work in unpleasant or dangerous conditions.
  • Longer term firms need to help overcome the challenge of global warming. Reducing emissions could damage the economy.
  • Natural energy resources are being used up and energy companies have to look at alternative fuels for the future.
  • Global warming could change harvests and could also raise sea levels and bring more extreme weather.
  • Farmers must adjust crops to changing climates.
  • Every business should try to be as efficient as possible so they are ahead and recycling waste should be a normal practice
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  • Traffic congestion - heavy traffic may mean customers won't make the trip to the business during certain times of the day - they could open earlier and stay open longer or provide public transport or operate on internet shops.
  • Noise Pollution - heavy fines- Manchester airport have paid for triple glazing for residents who live near the airport and use a system for checking noise levels.
  • Air pollution -  by lorries and power stations but the law sets strict limits on how much they can emit - looking at greener fuels.
  • Water pollution- such as rivers and streams are fined and can damage their image or cause problems to health if it enter our drinking water.
  • Recycling-  the EU must recover 60 per cent of all packaging waste by December 08- more offices need to use recycling facilities for printer cartridges and cut down on paper uses.
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Economic Issues affecting trade

  • How much you are paid would depend upon the minimum wage, your skills, experience and what hourly rate competitors were offering you. Under EU law you would be entitled to regular breaks and a minimum of ten hours between shifts and annual holidays.
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