In your opinion, would CERES exist today if the Exxon Valdez wreck had not occurred? Why or why not? What value does CERES add to the current business environment? Historically, through the years companies, both small and large, have been working for making higher and higher sales, thus, getting higher and higher profits…
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As a result, came the moment when the world realized what powerful structures the industrial era had created – corporations. Surely, large companies have never been the greatest evil of the society. Nevertheless, their influence over people’s behavior (buying habits), government regulations and even environment has risen drastically in the latest decades due to the expansion of globalization processes. For that reason the level of social responsibility each company overtakes in the contemporary business environment is now greatly influencing both the society and the company’s success. Similarly, it is very likely that even if the Exxon Valdez wreck had not occurred, CERES would exist today as an organization that helps companies in developing their environment protection strategies and corporate social responsibility principles. Of course, the wreck became a point at which the importance of protecting the environment raised due to the high publicity of the Exxon Valdez incident. Nevertheless, in addition to such cases as Exxon Valdez wreck, the natural development trends of the global business environment would have lead to the creation of an organization like CERES. Furthermore it is worth noting that greater public concern about companies’ being responsible in their business practices has already lead to the development of the corporate responsibility concept and such international documents as, for instance, the Global Compact of United Nations Organization. In particular, this document “asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption” (United Nations Global Compact). Another attempt to force companies to conduct business in an environmentally friendly manner is the Copenhagen Accord of 2009. It was a result of the Climate Summit, which was the fifteenth conference of the global governments. This agreement was meant to be reached by the world countries in order to reduce human impact on the environment (United Nations 1). However, though the document acknowledges the fact that the temperature rise should be kept below 2 degrees Celsius with the help of emissions reduction, no specific goals were set for the countries to comply with the objective. Another point was that developing countries that are influenced by climate change most of all were to receive financial aid form developed countries in the period of 2010-2012 for adapting to the climate change (United Nations 3). The Accord also encourages the practice of paying developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (Vidal, Stratton, and Goldenberg 2009). It should also be noted that previously developed proposals that called the countries for limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 were abandoned. In addition, the interesting fact is that the United States, who refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, was the major contributor to and strongest supporter of the Copenhagen Accord. The country’s motive for objecting to sign documents like the Kyoto Protocol, the purpose of which is worldwide reduction of greenhouse gas emission, is, most likely economic. The USA is one of the largest environment polluters in the world because of the high level of economy
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