Business and the Environment “Clean, Green, and Rich” MNCs and the Environment The Chemical Industry Union Carbide: Bhopal, India, 1984 – Toxic gas leak – 3,000 + 2,000 deaths – Estimated 578,000 people affected – Poor safety procedure and maintenance – Poor compensation ($500!) – Poor medical facilitates – Long term damage – No one accountable The Greener Chemical Industry The Responsible Care Program Under Responsible Care ®, the worldwide chemical industry is committed to continual improvement in all aspects of health, safety and environmental performance and to open communication about its activities and achievements. Started by the Canadian Chemical Industry Association, 1985 Responsible Care After the Rio Summit (1992) the number of RC member associations grew from 6 to 47 Components: – Commitment by each company to a set of guiding principles – codes, guidance notes and checklists to help companies to fulfill their commitment (Emergency Response, Research and Development, Manufacturing, Transportation , Distribution, Hazardous Waste Management ) – Indicators against which improvements in performance can be measured. – Open communication on health, safety and environmental matters – -www.ccpa.ca/ResponsibleCare/ Exporting Environmentalism: RC Member Associations The Chemical Industry: Exporting Environmentalism Level playing field Gain a competitive advantage Community and government relations Pre-empt regulations Reduce transaction costs Pressure from transnational markets and associations Examples: Latin America, Eastern Europe MNCs and the Environment SHELL Shell in Nigeria – Development – Corruption/lack of transparency – Few benefits for the local community (1.5% to 3% to 13%) – Environmental impacts – Human rights violations Similar record in Louisiana (US) and South Africa Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Demand rights, social, economic, and environmental justice Lead by Ken Saro-Wiwa Shell “persona nongrata” in Ogoniland Ken Saro-Wiwa sentenced to death and executed Shell sued in NY court by Saro-Wiwa widow and human rights organizations The Greener Side of Shell Triple Bottom Line reporting Industry leader in social policy Industry leader in mitigating environmental impacts Climate friendly policies and technology – GHG emission 5% below 1990 levels by 2010 – Solar panels – Hydrogen fuels cells Partnerships with IOs and NGOs: Examples? http://www.shell.com/ What factors explain the greening of Shell and the chemical industry? Is this Greening or Greenwashing?
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