Tuesday, April 6, 2010

10. Review and write about corporate ethics

For this blog I chose to focus primarily on Exxon Mobil. I found a good amount of research on their ethical issues relative to the environment. I started my research by reviewing Exxon's official website. I was surprised to see that the site includes a whole sub-section on "energy & environment." Under this tap, upper management attempts to answer any questions regarding climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Regarding climate change, the website says that "Meeting the enormous energy demand growth and managing the risk of GHG emissions are the twin challenges of our time." It seems obvious to me that Exxon is fully aware of the large issue of climate change. According to there website, "Over the past thirty years, we have supported major climate research projects at a number of major institutions. Currently we are supporting the scientific, economic, and technology research at Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Charles River Associates, the International Energy Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Research & Development Programme, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Texas, among others." Exxon seems to be taking some sort of initiative to help improve climate change and help contribute to research on the issue. However, this does not change the fact that Exxon has done very little to develop alternate forms of energy that will be less harmful for the environment. They continue to drill for as much oil as possible to meet the rising worldwide demand for oil. In my opinion, the best ethical solution for Exxon would be to set aside a portion of their profits and create a renewable energy division in the company. Exxon is a huge corporate company that earns disgustingly high profits each year. According to wikipedia.com, Exxon Mobil's net profit in 2006 was 39.5 BILLION. Keep in mind, that was just in 2006. With rising pump prices, I would venture to say that their profits have gone up in the past three years. How nice would it be if they set aside a couple billion per year and put that money towards developing alternative sources of energy. I understand that oil and consumers purchasing oil is Exxon's business, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Company's must learn to "re-invent" themselves sometimes in order to keep up with the times. If Exxon was able to commit ten billion dollars to research for renewable energy sources in the next few years, there is no way that our genius scientists will not come up with something that will change the world. Making global changes requires time and money, Exxon has tons of each. If they REALLY wanted to help out the environment and be an ethical corporation, they would set aside their ego's and create a program like the one I am describing. Unfortunately the majority of these major oil company's are owned by greedy billionaires who would rather sit in their mansions and count their billions of dollars worth of yearly profits. One day one of these companies will understand that they have the ability to generate large profits while also help save the world from devestating climate change! One day....

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