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Evaluate the environmental impact of Companies

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Evaluate the environmental impact of business A in comparison to business B In this assignment, I will research and evaluate the environmental policies and ethicality of the following companies: Microsoft and Nokia. I will look at the positive and negative externalities of each company which is the consequences of the company's activities experienced by a third party. These may include factors such as pollution and air miles. Environmental legislation is laws to control the impact businesses have on the environment. Under the Kyoto Protocol (See Appendix), for example, industrialised countries agreed to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions. In the UK, Defra is the government department responsible for environmental protection. From this investigation I will come to a conclusion as regarding to the environmental impact of each company. Nokia Corporation is a multinational communications corporation focused on wireless and wired telecommunications. It is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones. Microsoft Corporation is a multinational computer technology corporation that concentrates on the development, manufacture, licensing and support for a wide range of softwares for computing devices. On the Guide to Greener Electronics produced by Greenpeace (See Appendix 1) which ranks the biggest names in electronics on their green credentials, Nokia scored the maximum points with a score of 6.9/10 for 'its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, which spans 124 countries providing almost 5000 collection points for end-of-life mobile phones.'

Middle

However, even a bigger percentage said 'no' when asked whether they take into consideration the effect of making the product on the environment when purchasing from Microsoft. A customer of Microsoft, Mrs. Bell said: "the cost to the country of the environmental damage caused by Microsoft is outweighed by the benefits it brings from improved technology. " This may be an explanation to as why Microsoft appears to focus more on making a profit and the quality and advancements of its' products rather than improvement in its' negative externalities. Regarding to Microsoft's statements on their own environmental policies, they commented that they are 'working actively to protect natural resources'. However, they are vague about their actions. For example, they said on their website that: 'we encourage and support the sustainable use of renewable natural resources.' Which does not state how and what they are doing to encourage and support their words. There are also a lot of repetitions based on the actions they do take and lack of statistics to provide evidence on their improvements. Nokia takes the lead on the Guide to Greener Electronics, surpassing seventeen other IT companies. On Nokia's attitude towards environmental regulation, a representative wrote on the Carbon Disclosure Project of 2008 (See Appendix) that: Nokia actively monitors and supports environmental regulation.

Conclusion

Microsoft can better meet the environment needs of their stakeholders by setting specific emissions reduction targets. Nokia can improve their environmental policies by increasing the use of recycled plastics in their products. Based on the research and studies conducted by environmental protection companies, Microsoft appears to be the one creating the most negative externalities whilst according to the acknowledgments Nokia has received for their environmental protection movements; Nokia seems to have stronger policies to improve the environment. I think Microsoft need to improve their environmental policies the most as the Greener Guide to Electronic shows that Microsoft have numerous aspects in which they can improve on. Their refusal to participate in certain IT companies environmental policies studies prove that they are aware of the fact that they are inadequate in the area of enforcing such environmental policies. However, I also believe that both Microsoft and Nokia could do more to improve their business's impact on the environment. The Gartner study shows that the IT industry is responsible for two per cent of global carbon emissions. The internal stakeholders such as the owners and shareholder should view improving the environmental impact aspect of their company as a chance to shed a more positive light on their company. Mel Francis, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace said: "it is disappointing that such innovative and fast-changing companies are moving so slowly, when they could be turning the regulation we need on global emissions into a golden business opportunity.

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