Topic: Chemical Industry
Address the following elements in the order listed:
? Corporate stakeholders and response to their issues
? The role of the industry in its social, economic, and political setting
? Domestic and international ethics
? Ecological and natural resources
? Social issues
? Your rating of the industry's overall social responsiveness and it's accomplishments in this area
? Your rating of the industry in relation to the Saint Reo University Core Values, as well as the changes that should be made to be more in line with the Core Values
response is 4,283 words including references
Industry is the foundation of a nation's economy. Whether a nation flourishes or fails is, in large part, dependent upon its industry. Industry employs citizens, and provides products for consumers both domestic and international. Industry pays taxes that provide national infrastructure and public education. Chemical industries play a significant role upon this stage. Chemical industries provide products that make other manufacturing and production processes possible, as well as providing consumer products directly. As chemical industries are key players in the health of a nation, this treatise examines the chemical industry and its past and present impact upon the economy, people and the environment.
The history of the chemical industry began with the first scientific chemist, Antoine Lavoisier, a Frenchman who was killed in the French Revolution in 1794. The next great advance occurred in Great Britain in 1856, with William Henry Perkin's discovery of synthetic mauve. The history of the chemical industry according to Landau and Aurora (1999), focuses on the contributions of four countries primarily: Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan.
During the early nineteenth century, Great Britain dominated the chemical industry in Europe (and therefore the world), relying heavily on the mining production of inorganic chemicals, much of which was used in the textile industries. Perkin's discovery of mauve in the mid nineteenth century opened the door to organic chemicals, which are the main variety produced even today, because they are more versatile than the inorganic sort. At he end of the nineteenth century, England lost the chemical industry crown to Germany, which continued until World War I. During the disarray following the war, other nations were forced to develop their own fledgling chemical industries as Germany gradually rebuilt its shattered chemical industries, and rebuilt its fortunes up until the advent of World War II, when Germany, and its chemical industries, was again razed. At that point, the United States began to increase in world-wide chemical industry stature, and enjoyed unparalleled success and prestige until the latter part of the twentieth century, when Japan began to make its presence felt as a major player. Since that time, nearly every nation has developed chemical industries of their own, depending, of course, upon their access to the natural resources required for this industry.
The stakeholders of a corporation are those individuals who have a vested interest in the functioning and livelihood of the business, and include customers and suppliers, employees and managers, and investors (stockholders) as well as government officials who oversee operations and ordinary citizens.
The key to modern corporate motivation is a company's concern for building rapport with its stakeholders. Government policy makers, customers, environmental groups, investors, and employees constitute major stakeholders and exert pressures on shaping a firm's environmental strategy. To reach out to these groups, companies use public disclosure and consultations about their activities and their impacts on the environment. (Bhat, March 12, 2008)
Stakeholders determine whether to support or abandon a corporation based on industry reports and earnings reports. Transparency in business goes a long way towards establishing a culture of trust, stability and ethical business practices in the minds of the stakeholders. These people form the lifeblood of the corporation, and collectively determine whether the business will survive and prosper, or wither and die. Corporations have become increasingly aware of their stakeholders, and increasingly responsive to their needs and views. Modern businessmen understand that their businesses depend upon the goodwill of their stakeholders, and they strive to maintain good relations with them and with the general public. To do otherwise is economic suicide.
The issues that the chemical industry faces are many and varied. Chemical industries have a trust issue with the public and with government over industry practices. The industry must appropriately address social issues, sustainability issues, environmental issues, safety issues in the workplace and associated with the handling and transport of chemical products and supplies, among others. None of these are small concerns. The Center for Innovation in Management (July 4, 2000) published a report on chemical industries' handling of these issues, and stated that:
Leadership companies are moving towards more collaborative forms of stakeholder engagement despite concerns about confidentiality of shared information, significant demands on time and other resources, and the difficulties some companies experience in addressing broader issues raised by groups concerned with sustainability. (Retrieved from http://www.cim.sfu.ca/pages/research_placer.htm)
Utilization of such strategies as stakeholder advisory committees promises to provide new ideas, new markets, greater efficiency in allocating resources, greater credibility with the public and should assist in diverting and defusing negative media coverage (Center for Innovation in Management, July 4, 2000). Voluntarily establishing stakeholder advisory committees is therefore seen as a significant plus for chemical corporations who have the confidence to engage in transparent practices and dialogue with concerned stakeholders.
Industry responsiveness to stakeholder, government and public issues is not a responsibility to be taken lightly by chemical corporations. Chakraborty (August 10, 2010) commented:
CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Business would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stockholders and all other members of the public sphere. (Retrieved from http://businessthatcares.blogspot.com/2010/08/corporate-social-responsibility-and.html)
Chemical industry corporations which can successfully respond to these vital concerns will be those who survive in the modern world's competitive business market. Those that cannot, will not inspire consumer trust and government permission to continue operations.
Handling chemicals is a process fraught with the possibility for disaster. The world well remembers the chemical spill disaster at Union Carbide's plant in Bhopal, India, where thousands of innocent citizens were killed. While this may be the most egregious example in modern times of a chemical industry real-life horror story, the fact remains that chemical spills and accidents occur on a daily basis around the globe in the process of mining, processing, handling and especially in transporting hazardous chemicals. The fact that most of these accidents are minor, and result in no loss of life, is not reason to dismiss governmental and the public's concerns as unfounded.
Governments and the EU already have strict regulations on consumer and environmental protection, occupational health, chemical processes and transport and the management of chemical substances. But the industry goes further. As well as abiding by existing ...
Model APA formatted research paper on the chemical industry, with reference citations that are Web-based. Paper is for com[parison purposes, for in-text APA citations in quotes and paraphrases, as well as Reference page citations. Model Table of contents included, APA sub-headings, and APA formatted title page.