Vertucci – July 16 – Natural Environment as 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.

The natural environment is a stakeholder of business actors, and this connection is witnessed by examining the history of Pittsburgh. Firstly, Pittsburgh was established along the riverside. The easy access to the river allowed businesses to transport their goods, demonstrating how the natural environment can positively affect businesses. In contrast, nature can be a negative stakeholder; the rivers flooded often which affected the industries located on the edges of the rivers. In addition to rivers, the city of Pittsburgh was in possession of the natural resource, coal. The direct effect of having an abundance of coal was the creation of an industry. After years of mining coal, the environment became inhospitable due to the weather conditions that did not allow smoke to disperse; therefore, businesses also can influence their natural environment. In both positive and negative ways, natural environments are stakeholders of 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?

The opposing argument to Alice Waters’ philosophy is that there are limitations to providing “slow food” for everyone. The main issue is that healthy, organic food is expensive, and not everyone can afford to spend time and money on making the slow food. Instead of slow food, people can purchase processed foods at a much lower cost. There has been no decrease in the sale of processed foods in connection to Alice Waters’ promotion of slow food. Therefore, the food that the natural environment provides does not strongly affect the businesses in the food industry.

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? 

Through this lesson, I have learned that the natural environment directly affects and is affected by business actors. In the future, I believe changes are necessary for companies to make because there is only one earth. The resources that are in the natural environment need to be rationed. For example, rainforests cannot be completely stripped of trees and fossil fuels cannot be used up, unless sustainable resources are used as substitutes. Additionally, corporations need to make changes regarding pollution. Fishing gear left behind by fishing businesses are endangering sea life, and oil or trash (particularly plastic waste) dumped by large corporations are polluting bodies of water as well. The business actors are causing these issues and I can imagine action will need to be taken in the (hopefully near) future.