The Legal Environment of Business Egendorf (2005) defines environment as the combination of all living and non-living things found around a group of organisms and it includes all factors, elements, settings that enhance the growth of an organism (p. 23). Environment includes abiotic factors such as water, temperature and light. These factors have an impact in the development of certain organisms and changes in the environment. Living organisms found within the changed environment, have to adapt at the changes or face extinction, a situation known as environmental stress. Every aspect of the environment is important because every species, no matter how small it is, relates with one another.
An important concept of environment is biodiversity which enables humanity to survive and ecology, which focuses on the eco-system (Egendorf, 2005). The ecosystem regulates the climate and water filtration, it provides all living organisms with food and controls soil erosion. Changes in climate and deforestation are serious problems affecting our environment and no effective policy has been enacted to check on the situation. As mankind, it is important to protect the environment against our activities like clearance of forests to search for new habitats. Population growth in the current century has a negative impact on our environment.
As the population grows, man is forced to look into new areas of habitation, thereby clearing forests, the home of animals and plants. This causes a loss in the bio-diversity and if regulated, growth in human population cannot cause such losses (Peet and Hartwick, 2009) and in my opinion, human beings are not better than animals since each require one another for survival. Every specie is important, human beings, plants and animals alike.
We need animals to give us food, and plants to give us oxygen. The most appropriate way to help our environment is to initiate a set of policies that will be followed globally and whose main concerns will be to preserve our natural resources and protect them against the excesses of industrialism. By doing this, mankind will not change the environmental conditions to suit their needs. Friedman (2012) defines environmentalism as a social movement that encompasses all environmental experts who advocate for the preservation of natural resources (p.
52) and the goals of this movement is to prevent bio-diversity loss, reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, advocate for sustainable use of water and other scarce resources and fight for the preservation of existing endangered species. Basing on their goals, environmentalism is a moral imperative whose agenda is to save humanity by protecting the environment. Water, is part of an environment and is an important natural resource since it sustains and supports life of plants, animals and mankind (Friedman, 2012). Every living organism requires water for survival.
Water is an element that even plants and animals will fight for to ensure they acquire it. For instance, trees will go deeper into the soil, through their roots in search of water and wildlife will migrate during periods of drought, to areas where there is abundant rainfall and food. Therefore competing environmental needs, is judged by accessibility to water. There is need for a water caretaker to regulate the use of water for domestic and industrial purposes. Due to population growth, we need to develop mechanism of ensuring that there is fresh water for future generation as currently, the natural resource is being misused.
For example, commercialization of water by governments and other companies may make this important resource unavailable to the poor. The caretaker will ensure the sustenance and efficient use of water resource in this industrialized and highly populated world. Due to increase in population, shortage of this scarce commodity is inevitable, and this can result into wars and a caretaker, while performing his roles, can avoid this situation. Bottled water has found prominence in Europe and United States of America.
It involves collecting water, treating and packaging it in plastic bottles for purposes of selling them for a profit. According to Loucks and Beek (2005), consumption of bottled water is unethical, since water is a natural resource that should not be packaged and sold at a profit therefore, clean water should be available for everyone (p. 23). Water is a scarce commodity and selling it is unethical since a third of the world’s populations live under water shortage due to numerous droughts therefore resources used in their manufacture should be channeled in these drought stricken areas (Loucks and Beek, 2005).
Once water is commercialized, it will not remain a right for all people and thus enhance the exploitation of the poor because they won’t access clean water which is essential for a healthy life. The best way to solve the problem of inaccessibility to clean water is to find ways on how to get clean water in areas struggling with access to this precious commodity. Institutions commercializing bottled water need to work with communities in these areas on the best way of helping.
It is morally right and ethical to provide accurate information concerning bottled water, its health implications and use. This will enable people using this product to operate on a point of knowledge, based on the information at hand. Cross and Miller (2009) observe that the moral obligation of providing information concerning the uses of bottled water is governed by a consequential theory known as theory of knowledge (p. 53). In this theory, once information is passed, the recipient chooses on what to believe. For example, when environmentalist hold a crusade against consumption of bottled water, it is for the people to decide on what is better, conserving the environment or supporting its degradation through consumption of bottled water. The reasons against use of bottle water emanates from the principles of deontologial theory.
This is a non-consequential theory that defines ethics as the principle of moral conduct governing the operations of our lives (Peet and Hartwick, 2009). It further explains that our ethical behavior is derived from the environment and therefore, directors of companies selling bottled water should follow moral principles on the use of water.
Morality in this aspect involves respecting the needs of every individual in access to clean and safe water. The unethical behaviors of people running these companies are guided by the environment, i.e. the need of making money. Deontologial theory is right in asserting that the environment shapes the ethical behaviors of individuals. It is therefore morally right for states and organizations to create a universal charter that outlines the rights of all individuals in accessing clean water (Viessman, 2009). These rights should be universally accepted and a policing body formed to monitor the implementations of these human rights in regard to use of water.
This institution should be funded adequately by all governments operating in earth. It should be equipped for research and a separate court created to prosecute international crimes involving water wastage and any other related criminal activity. This institution should have a diplomatic status, and its officials recognized as diplomats and therefore, enjoy immunity in countries they are stationed so that they may perform their functions effectively. In conclusion, everyone has a responsibility of protecting our environment and governments should not be trusted in its preservation because they are mainly concerned with economic and political growth at the expense of preserving our natural resources.
Individuals should take it as a responsibility and support environmental organizations in this important task. This is for the future of our children, grandchildren and other generations to come. In water management, rivers, lakes and oceans should be conserved. For example, Lake Victoria in Kenya, the second largest fresh water lake faces extinction due neglect by the Kenyan Government resulting into an attack by sea weeds.
Therefore, environmental conservation is for us all and not for specific people or institutions. Bibliography Cross, F. B., & Miller, R. L. (2009). The legal environment of business: text and cases: ethical, regulatory, global, and e-commerce issues (7th ed. ). Mason, OH: South-Western. Egendorf, L. K. (2005). The environment. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Friedman, L. S. (2012). Environmentalism. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. Loucks, D. P., & Beek, E. v. (2005). Water resources systems planning and management: an introduction to methods, models and applications.
Paris: UNESCO. Peet, R., & Hartwick, E. R. (2009). Theories of development: contentions, arguments, alternatives (2nd ed. ). New York: Guilford Press. Viessman, W. (2009). Water supply and pollution control (8th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.