Environmental Protection & Corporate Social Responsibility Essay Example
Environmental Protection & Corporate Social Responsibility Essay Example

Environmental Protection & Corporate Social Responsibility Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (944 words)
  • Published: October 26, 2018
  • Type: Case Study
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The financial performance of a business corporation is crucial for different stakeholders, including potential/existing investors, creditors, employees, and managers. Each stakeholder group has specific information needs and objectives. In order to assess the corporation's financial performance accurately, it is important to provide comprehensive, relevant, and reliable data.

The general public is often overlooked in corporate operations, despite the direct and indirect impact that a corporation's actions can have on them. It is important to note that the general public typically does not have a financial stake in the company. However, corporations are primarily focused on generating profits and often prioritize short-term goals. This essay aims to discuss the current norms of accountability, their shortcomings, and areas for improvement.

Inadequacies of Financial Reports

Financial reports have limitations as they fail


to consider the intangible consequences of a company's actions, although they can accurately assess the value of physical assets.

Consider a scenario where a cosmetics company engages in chemical processes to manufacture and package its products. Unfortunately, the byproducts of these processes are discharged into a nearby body of water such as a river or sea, creating an immense threat to aquatic life due to their highly toxic nature. This hazardous waste not only leads to the eradication of various species but also increases the likelihood of surviving organisms getting entangled in fishing nets and eventually being consumed by humans. Consequently, this has direct consequences for the residents residing close to the company's processing facility.

The impact can occur gradually and vary in intensity over time. These expenses are not included in the company's yearly reports as they are referred to as "externalities".

Who is responsible for the

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costs of externalities?

So, who pays for these "externalities"? In a heavily privatized economy, the patients themselves may have to bear the treatment expenses. On the other hand, if there is a public healthcare system in place, it would be the government's responsibility to cover these costs.

Despite this, the responsible corporation evades any consequences, which serves as just one instance of an externality. Other examples encompass actions such as contributing to global warming, eroding the ozone layer, depleting fertile soils due to industrial production policies, and exacerbating air and noise pollution. Several countries, including advanced ones like the United Kingdom, lack economic systems that ensure business corporations are held responsible for the harm they cause. This clear injustice has garnered more attention over the past decade thanks to determined activists and intellectuals. Finally, these committed activists are now witnessing progress in enhancing accountability standards within governmental regulatory and legislative branches.

Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK

The UK government's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) website states that their vision is for UK businesses to consider the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their activities globally. The CSR advocates for businesses to adopt sustainable growth and development models, offering policies and institutional frameworks to support this transition. The CSR also provides incentives for companies that accept and comply with newer and fairer regulations. The scope of CSR in the UK encompasses environmental protection, health and safety, and workplace rights.

Measures for Redress

The CSR collaborates with other government institutions for policy initiatives, such as the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to initiate projects for sustainable commerce and

environmental protection. Additionally, in association with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, a programme called "The business case for CSR" has been launched to persuade corporate decision makers through rational argument.

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works together with 14 government departments and has initiated nearly 100 projects and programs that are essential for the economic and social well-being of future generations of people.

The Influence of the Environmental Movement on Legislation

In the UK, the environmental movement has impacted legislations such as the Pensions Act (amended in 2001). This act requires trustees of occupational pension schemes to disclose their policy regarding considering social, environmental, and ethical factors in their investment decisions. Similarly, the Companies Act (enacted in 2006) mandates corporations to adhere to a proposed regulatory framework that emphasizes the significance of considering broader matters like the environment and employees for long-term sustainable success.


According to the findings from the Global Reporters Survey in 2006, UK companies were commended for consistently and accurately reporting "all costs and benefits" associated with their business activities. Consequently, the transparency and accountability of UK businesses ranked third among other countries' business communities.

The text emphasizes the growing adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility and the increasing awareness among business corporations to consider their operations from a wider perspective. It highlights the importance of this trend to persist in order to prevent the genuine impacts of business activities from being overshadowed by impressive profits. The text also warns that even a few companies that fail to meet their social responsibilities can undermine all other positive advancements. Thus, it calls for a unanimous change in the collective conscience of corporate decision makers.


The essay used the following official websites as references:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility in the United Kingdom: http://www.csr.gov.uk/ukpolicy.shtml, retrieved on 23rd October, 2007.
  • Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: www.berr.gov.uk, retrieved on 23rd October, 2007.
  • Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA): www.defra.gov.uk, retrieved on 23rd October, 2007.
  • Department for Work and Pensions: <a href="www.dwp.gov.uk">www.dwp.gov.uk</a>, retrieved on +23rd October, +2007.
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