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Business and Environmental Ethics

W. Michael Hoffman
Business Ethics Quarterly
Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr., 1991), pp. 169-184
DOI: 10.2307/3857261
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3857261
Page Count: 16
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Business and Environmental Ethics
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Abstract

This paper explores some interconnections between the business and environmental ethics movements. The first section argues that business has obligations to protect the environment over and above what is required by environmental law and that it should cooperate and interact with government in establishing environmental regulation. Business must develop and demonstrate environmental moral leadership. The second section exposes the danger of using the rationale of "good ethics is good business" as a basis for such business moral leadership in both the business and environmental ethics movements. The third section cautions against the moral shallowness inherent in the position or in the promotional strategy of ecological homocentrism which claims that society, including business, ought to protect the environment solely because of harm done to human beings and human interests. This paper urges business and environmental ethicists to promote broader and deeper moral perspectives than ones based on mere self-interest or human interest. Otherwise both movements will come up ethically short.

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