Essays on Environmental Degradation - Rio Tinto Unsustainable Business Practice Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Environmental Degradation - Rio Tinto Unsustainable Business Practice" is a great example of a business case study. Environmental degradation in my own understanding can be defined as the environmental deterioration through resources’ depletion like soil, water, and air; ecosystems’ destruction as well as wildlife extinction (Johnson et al. , 1997, p. 583). From this point of view, I remember reading about the unsustainable business practices carried out by Rio Tinto, which had experienced a commodity boom during the 2008 global recession. This boom was steered largely by the growth of China and India, which generated the extraordinary demand for precious stones, mineral resources as well as coal.

i think this was sarcastic considering that while other companies were disabled by the financial crisis, mining companies continued doing better than the general market, as consumer sectors that depend heavily on demand from industrialized economies endure challenges to recover. Nearly all mining companies surfaced from the 2008 crisis with balance sheets that were robust, but this failed to deliver for employees considering that mining is the most dangerous industry across the globe. My environmental degradation case study is based on Indonesian Grasberg Mine, based in West Papua that exhibits the Rio Tinto project on mining that went intolerably wrong (Richard, 2010).

Grasberg Mine as I noted was a joint venture between Rio Tinto (the biggest shareholder) and U. S. based corporation called Freeport-McMoRan. I also realized that the Grasberg Mine is the biggest single producer of both gold and copper in the world, and has the biggest recoverable copper reserves as well as the biggest single reserve of gold across the globe. Grasberg Mine has resulted in huge environmental destruction in West Papua attributable to the Illegal waste dumping of materials such as toxic metals, into the river system.

while going through WALHI reports, a leading environmental group in Indonesia, it came to my attention that Grasberg Mine has by now disposed of more than one billion tons of mine dumps into the nearby river system, leading to increased concentrations of copper in the West Papua rivers (Richard, 2010). WALHI projection that Grasberg Mine will dump roughly 3.5 billion metric tons of tailings, in spite of the fact that waste disposal into rivers is explicitly banned under Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) sends chills down my spine.  


Animals Australia, 2013. Animal Experimentation. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2014].

Catalano, J.T., 2011. Nursing Now!: Today's Issues, Tomorrow's Trends. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: F.A. Davis.

Foëx, B.A., 2007. The ethics of animal experimentation. Emergency Medicine Journal, vol. 24, no. 11, pp.750-51.

Gilmore, R. & Legler, J., 2011. A Sign of Our Times? A Case Study on Moral Reasoning. Teaching Ethics, pp.141-48.

Johnson, D.L. et al., 1997. Meanings of environmental terms. Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 26, pp.581–89.

Pollock, J., 2011. Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. New York: Cengage Learning.

Ray, 2011. Ethical Culture: Deontological Perspective for Case Study. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2014].

Richard, 2010. Rio Tinto: A Shameful History of Human and Labour Rights Abuses And Environmental Degradation Around the Globe. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2014].

Tiberius, V., 2014. Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction. New York: Routledge.

Torres, C.A.C. et al., 2012. Four Case Studies on Corporate Social Responsibility: Do Conflicts Affect a Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy? Utrecht Law Review, vol. 8, no. 3, pp.51-73.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us