IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/ijsepp/v38y2011i11p892-899.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Environmental ethics for business sustainability

Author

Listed:
  • Laszlo Zsolnai

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to derive operational principles from environmental ethics for business organizations to achieve sustainability. Design/methodology/approach - The paper analyses different levels on which business affects the natural environment. Individual biological creatures are affected by business via hunting, fishing, agriculture, animal testing, etc. Natural ecosystems are affected by business via mining, regulating rivers, building, polluting the air, water and land, etc. The Earth as a whole is affected by business via exterminating species, contributing to climate change, etc. Findings - Business has a natural, non-reciprocal responsibility toward natural beings affected by its functioning. At the level of individual biological creatures, awareness-based ethics is adequate for business. At the level of natural ecosystems, ecosystem ethics is relevant for business. At the level of the Earth as a whole, Gaian ethics applies to business. Practical implications - A business activity system can be considered acceptable if: its aggregate impact on animal welfare is non-negative;, its aggregate impact on ecosystem health is non-negative; and its aggregate impact on the living planet is non-negative. By satisfying the above criteria, business can performs its duty: not to harm nature or allow others to come to harm. Originality/value - The paper uses principles of environmental ethics to redefine business sustainability in an ethically meaningful way.

Suggested Citation

  • Laszlo Zsolnai, 2011. "Environmental ethics for business sustainability," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(11), pages 892-899, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:11:p:892-899
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/03068291111171397?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Tencati & Laszlo Zsolnai, 2012. "Collaborative Enterprise and Sustainability: The Case of Slow Food," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 345-354, October.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:11:p:892-899. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: http://www.emeraldinsight.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.