Corey Koberna BFA Communication Design Thesis Spring 2014
Corporate Ecological Orientation: Responsibility, Incentive, and Regulation
Human activity now affects almost every ecosystem on the planet, leaving many to question whether the environment can continue to support a growing economy and whether we can simultaneously protect the ecosystems that support all living organisms (Siemens 2008). The purpose of this paper is to discuss how ecological protection can and should shape corporate behavior and policy. More specifically, this paper aims to highlight the significant incentives corporations have to conduct their business practices with the environment in mind. Examining both regulatory punishment and reward for compliance is key to understanding these incentives. I will be discussing the subject through a few specific case studies, as I move toward macroscopic philosophies of and methods for the ecological orientation of corporations.
It is my hope that by discussing corporations as legal entities that should be expected to conduct business responsibly, I can begin to examine their socio-political relationships with the environment. The core philosophical argument of this paper comes down to environmental accountability, responsibility, incentives and ethics. I will construct a vivid picture of the political landscape that threatens the environment in its current state and unveil motivations for corporate ecological orientation.