The Natural Environment as a Stakeholder

The Natural Environment is a Stakeholder of Business Actors:  Based on what you see in the first 4:40 of the Pittsburgh video, how is the natural environment a stakeholder of business actors?  Remember – stakeholders affect and are affected by a business actor’s activities.

Solely based on the video of the history of Pittsburgh, it is evident that the natural environment is very much a stakeholder of business actors. As it has been established, stakeholders affect and are affected by business actors activities. The natural environment can be included in both variances of this definition. Firstly, it is clear to see that the environment is affected by business actors in Pittsburgh before the coalition was formed. Smoked produced by steel factories created substantial air pollution, obviously negatively affecting the environment. This negative externality is substantiated by the business actors themselves, therefore making the environment a stakeholder. In addition, the environment also affects business actors. For Pittsburgh specifically, the severe flooding forces business owners to establish flood control tactics and relocate, creating additional costs. This directly reveals the effect the environment can have on business actors.

Challenges to the Idea of the Natural Environment as a Stakeholder :  Based on the two sections in the Mother of Slow Food video, what are the limitations to the argument that the natural environment is a stakeholder of business actors?

A major limitation to the argument that the natural environment is a stakeholder of business actors is derived from the actions of the business actors themselves. It is the idea that business actors do not acknowledge the environment as a stakeholder because the natural environment inherently would then be classified as a stakeholder of everyone. Anything anyone does, for the most part, has an effect on or can be affected by the environment. As a result, businesses refuse to discern between the natural environment and the environment in which they produce. This relates to the Mother of Slow Food video because fast food companies and even average people don’t differentiate between normal food and “slow food.” Especially to big businesses, what they are producing is food that is essentially the same as Alice Waters “slow food.” This aversion to the acknowledgment of the environment as a stakeholder fuels the tragedy of the commons, as businesses are acting in their own self-interest.

Other Examples Like This?:  As a future manager facing complex environments, where do you see this debate over the degree to which the natural environment is a stakeholder coming up in the future?  

There is certainly an ongoing debate regarding the degree to which the natural environment is a stakeholder for business actors. This debate has had a significant impact on the implementation of sustainable innovations into various business facilities and practices. More recently, the emphasis on the environment as a stakeholder has lead to legislation restricting certain business practices or products. This would force me, as a future manager, to adapt and adhere to these regulations and anticipate any future regulations that may surface as a result of this debate.