To what extent are businesses aware of their social responsibilities? Can businesses be environmentally responsible and still make a profit?

Essay by jacoCollege, UndergraduateA-, July 2004

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Social values of people have been changed, as people are generally educated compared to the past. The increasing amount of pollution and exploitation that exist in the daily life affect quality of life. Their consuming patterns are transforming dramatically due to pollution alertness. As the result, business culture is challenged by this alteration. The main worry that is hoisted by the society is the relationship of businesses with environment which is social responsibility. A term entitled sustainable development has been created. According to World Commission on Economic Development (Bansal, 2001), sustainable development is the merging of the needs of the present and the future. This essay will argue businesses are growing increasingly aware of the social responsibility and that a business can still be environmentally responsible and make profits in the same time.

Facing crisis of resources depletion, businesses are becoming more aware of social and environmental responsibility. This can be observed with the execution of sustainable development frameworks by businesses at different level.

Business awareness of social responsibilities can be evaluated through their different levels of commitments. Hierarchy of ethical behavior (Raiborn and Payne, 2001) demonstrates intensity of business participation in the sustainable development that is broken into four core levels attainments: basic, currently attainable, practical and theoretical levels. Each level is gradually more concern with sustainable development than the previous levels.

At the basic level, businesses accomplish minimal ethically acceptable behaviors which only fulfill legal responsibility which is necessitated by laws. Money spent on environmentalism is viewed as a cost as an investment. (Raiborn and Payne, 2001)

Businesses discern at currently attainable level would accomplish activities above legally mandated and focus on the public image of "environmentally friendly". By doing sustainable development, they thirst for certain short-term benefits, such as cost diminution, revenue enhancement and reputation improvement. (Raiborn...