Pollution and Profit
Claire Doyle is the environmental compliance manager for a small plastics manufacturing company. She is currently faced with the decision whether or not to spend money on new technology that will reduce the level of a particular toxin in the wastewater that flows out the back of the factory and into a lake. The factory's emission levels are already within legal limits. However, Claire knows that environmental regulations for this particular toxin are lagging behind scientific evidence. In fact, a scientist from the university had been quoted in the newspaper recently, saying that if emission levels stayed at this level, the fish in the lakes and rivers in the area might soon have to be declared unsafe for human consumption. Further, if companies in the region don't engage in some self-regulation on this issue, there is reason to fear that the government — backed by public opinion — may force companies to begin using the new technology, and may also begin requiring monthly emission level reports (which would be both expensive and time consuming). But the company's environmental compliance budget is tight. Asking for this new technology to be installed would put Claire's department over-budget, and could jeopardize the company's ability to show a profit this year. 1. Clearly state the problem/dilemma in this case
2. Identify the stakeholders in this case
3. Develop 3 different alternatives, and evaluate each with pros and cons 4. Recommend which alternative Claire should choose, and explain why
1. The problem/dilemma in this case is that Claire is faced with the decision as to whether or not she should spend money on new technology that will reduce the level of a particular toxin in the wastewater that flows out back of the factory into the lake. She is torn between whether or not she should buy new technology and be environmentally friendly or if she doesn’t, face the consequence of going over budget and legal problems.
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