The paper "The Voluntary Nature of the Environmental Compliance" is a great example of a research paper on environmental studies.
The supporters of corporate environmental responsibility contend that corporations even shortchange their shareholders by putting a small amount of investment in environmental responsibility (Kim and Statman 1). The contribution of corporations is only restricted to their annual corporate environmental reports and nothing practical is carried out by the corporations. Due to the voluntary nature of environmental compliance, corporations prefer to minimize their business cost at the cost of society. In the following parts, after the thesis statement, the relevant facts have been mentioned. Before the conclusion, the analysis part has been included.
It is a moral and ethical responsibility of businesses to ethically and responsibly conduct their business practices as climate change is being experienced globally mainly caused by their irresponsible business practices.
Environmental regulations have increased over a period of time. Allen and Shonnard (71) contend that the aggregate number of federal environmental laws and amendments has increased from 70 in the 1980s to the number of 120 in the early 2000s. Despite environmental regulations, many environment-threatening incidents have taken place. In April 2010, British Petroleum (BP) contaminated a large area of the marine environment along the Mexico Gulf with its biggest oil spill of 10.8 million gallons (Flammer 3). This spill covered a total area of more than 4000 square miles.
Climate change has been observed recently. Surface temperature data for Earth as a whole, encompassing assessments pertaining to both ocean and land indicate an aggregate rise of around 0.8-degree centigrade over a period of 1901-2010; particularly around 0.5 degree centigrade from the period of 1979-2010 (American Metrological Society). Subsequently, the report highlights that globally averaged sea level has increased by 7 inches in the 20th century, with the rise increasing since the period of the 1990s. As a result, an unusual trend has been experienced in climatic activity. In the year of 2010, the heavy rains and the subsequent flooding in Pakistan, India and China were caused by the very higher Sea Surface Temperature providing extra moisture for the monsoon activity in the region (Trenberth 6).
The corporations are morally and ethically bound to comply with environmental laws but they are not legally bound to do so. The above facts indicate that the corporations have not been appropriately understanding and implementing the suggested environmental compliance. Many authors believe that corporations such as BP, Shell and other energy-related companies have remained reluctant to follow the environmental laws particularly in developing countries such as Pakistan, India and China. As the environmental regulations and compliance remain considerably weaker in these countries, these corporations easily get away from environmental compliance even after severely breaking the local environmental laws.
However, some may argue that customers may force corporations to comply with environmental regulations. This remains a daunting task particularly in the developing countries where the consumers are not adequately literate and even they do not know about consumer rights. As the greenhouse gases are mostly contributed by the developing countries, expecting that the consumers should force the corporations would be inappropriate demand. However, when compared with the consumers from the developed countries, this expectation can be reasonable and the corporations might be forced to fulfil their environmental responsibility.
Despite having knowledgeable consumers in the developed countries i.e. United States of America, United Kingdom, and France and so on, the work on the responsible business conducts and practices have not been sufficiently found. There is a reasonable rationale to comprehend this phenomenon. In the developed countries, the corporations might be forced to comply with the environmental regulations but they cannot be legally sued or pushed. As many of them consider that complying with the environmental regulations would mean to increase the cost of doing business. Under the current uncertain economic period, the corporations would be less willing to increase their cost of doing business.
Aggregately, an appropriate way would be that governments should pass environmental regulations binding companies to comply with the relevant environmental laws. By doing so, the impacts of climate change and responsible business conducts would be diminished. Additionally, this does not mean that only governments are mainly required to force the corporations but the consumers and other members of society should play their role by pushing these corporations to comply with the relevant environmental regulations.
The corporations invest too little in environmental activities. The governments should pass environmental laws and regulations and make their compliance mandatory. Besides, the consumers and other members of society should play their role by pushing the corporations to comply with the relevant environmental regulations.
Allen, David T and Shonnard, David R. Sustainable engineering: Concepts, design and case studies. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.
American Meteorological Society. Climate Change: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.
Flammer, Caroline. “Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Reaction: The Environmental Awareness of Investors.” Academy of Management Journal, (2011):1-60. Print.
Kim, Yongtae and Statman, Meir. “Do Corporations Invest Enough in Environmental Responsibility?” Journal of Business Ethics, (2011): 1-15. Print.
Trenberth, Kevin E. “Framing the Way to Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change.” Climatic Change, (2012): 1-8. Print.