Image from: clearingthefogradio.org
When it comes to climate change, corporations must take responsibility for their actions especially those which have proven to be very harmful in terms of sustainability. Corporate social responsibility is known as “the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life,” this implies a focus on stakeholders who can influence the financial or competitive position of the firm, leaving little or no resources directed to serve the interest or marginalized stakeholder groups” (Banerjee, 2008). Although there are regulations put in place, corporations find loopholes in the rules that, in the end, earn them more money while not actually taking the responsibility they should be required to but just because something is ethically right or wrong does not mean that the big wigs will not find a way around it. Hand in hand with this idea of responsibility is the process of regulating the environment and its resources. Studies show that although regulatory teams have adopted cooperative strategies, owners and employees of corporations find them to be highly punitive. Because of this, there is an increased likelihood of “unintended negative consequences,” including being less likely to act on regulator suggestions for improvements or provide information to the regulator (Rorie, et. al, 2015).
The main point that is being made here is that large, major corporations are not properly doing what they can to reverse climate change. There is so much power within these organizations that could be used to inform and to influence others’ decisions on how to go about creating a sustainable way of life rather than continuing to destroy the Earth we live on. We need to get back to our roots and approach this problem with changes in mind and not just ways around it. In order to jumpstart the environmental movement we need to turn away from market-based solutions and encourage positive media coverage while holding corporations responsible for strictly following new regulations that could be implemented to encourage and enforce renewables rather than fossil fuels. Innovations can be made and communities can be greatly improved if corporations start doing their part and taking responsibility.
Banerjee, S. B. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1).
Rorie, M., Rinfret, S., & Pautz, M. (2015). The thin green line: Examining environmental regulation and environmental offending from multiple perspectives. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 43(4), 586-608.