Assessed Assignment - Business Ethics
In all means of communication media, business ethic is always a hot topic as it reflects the attitude of a business toward any public issues, especially matters related to environment and the damage to human’s life can collect the most concerns from public opinion. What is good, what is bad, which is right, which is wrong are the main concerns of business ethics. Saying in another way, business ethics is ‘being able to look at your face in the mirror’ (Drucker, 1996). In recent years, since the issue of global warming has become more serious, people start to look back to the past and see what they have done to their environment. The case of Thivai River in Vietnam is a good example. Being extremely polluted by VEDAN Company, Thivai River as well as surrounded area is being destroyed day by day creating a strong flow of anger from local people. The report will briefly summarize the case, its impacts and criticize the involvement of relevant stakeholders, then finally recommend possible solutions in order to improve the situation. The case
The business man’s mission is to make the highest profit from limited conditions; however, many of them would break the business ethics rules and ruin their own reputation. VEDAN company, the object I would like to mention here, is one of them. VEDAN is the top MSC (Monosodium Glutamate) enterprises in South East Asia, established in 1991 with 100% capital of Taiwan (Vedan.n.d.). Its main products are Organic Fertilizer and Feed Additives which are mainly made from CMS (Condensed Molasses Soluble) (ibid). Manufacturing and trading to some main market such as Asia, Europe and America, they quickly gain some reputation in food area. VEDAN is located in Phuoc Thai Village, Long Thanh District of Dong Nai province, Near Thivai River (Vedan.n.d.). Being a well-known company; however, their issues started in very beginning. Since it went to operation in 1994, the surrounded area especially Thivai River were getting polluted. Thousands of complaint letters from people in affected region were sent to the local government but it seems to be in vain. An article on Saigon-gpdaily.com.vn published in October 2008 indicated that in June 1995, VEDAN Company spent about US $ 110,000 (at today exchange rate) for compensation; however, toward the public, this amount of money was paid under the condition of denying responsibility to local people. It is obviously a cunning behavior to cover their dishonest action but the local seem to be satisfied with this compensation. They were silent and the government, too. The case of polluting Thivai River fell into oblivion. By now Thivai was nearly a dead river and in 2006, VEDAN was demanded to be investigated. After 3 months lying in ambush, investigators found out a secret pumping and pipeline system hidden underground which convey untreated wastewater directly into Thivai (vnbusinessnews, 2008). Also in this year, the Environment Protection Agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment confirmed that VEDAN directly discharged waste water through 3 pipes and VEDAN was fined but it repeated its crime (ibid). Even more, according to the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, there were uncovered 16 tanks (included 2 semi-undergrounded) with capacity of 6,000m3 to 15,000m3, which contain dirty water after operating (monre.gov, 2008). In the report of the Protection department of Dong Nai province, in February 2007, VEDAN Company was confirmed to release about 105.6 million liters of liquid dirty water per month. The untreated water has the color parameter is 14 times higher than stipulate and the Parameter Coli form raised up to 2,400,000 MPN/100ml which is higher than the standard 480 times (Tintuc.xalo.n.d.) Two year later, after many denials of the crime, VEDAN was officially taken to court for the pollution it...