Case Studies in Business Ethics

You don’t have much time to worry about world hunger and nuclear disarmament when you’re building a business. But that’s not to say entrepreneurs can’t be socially minded on a lesser scale. You’ll see in the following articles that it is possible to do good and do business. Plenty of company owners spend time and money serving the community, cleaning up the environment, and even fighting oppressive economic systems. Their good actions may come back to them in the form of higher than average employee morale, more customer loyalty, and better public relations.

Reputational Compliance

Environmental Challenges

Environmentalism Pays
A California-based winery practices environmentalism in every aspect of its operations — and manages to make substantial profits at the same time.
Ben’s Big Flop
When progressive business thinking gets too far afield of convention, it can have disastrous results. That’s what happened to Ben & Jerry’s co founder Ben Cohen when he launched a company built on helping the environment.
It’s Not That Easy Going Green
Duncan Berry, ardent environmentalist and CEO of Apparel Source Inc., describes the ethical dilemma he faced when he learned that his industry causes massive amounts of pollution.
Environmentally PC
Most people trash their obsolete PCs, leaving them to fester in a landfill for a few million years. One creative company actually recycles them into flowerpots and jewelry.

Getting Involved in the Community

Giving Resources to Create Wealth
One entrepreneur bridges the digital divide by bringing young, disadvantaged minorities into lucrative technical positions.
Helping the Community Profit
First Bethany Bank & Trust’s socially centered policies include matching employee community service with charitable contributions and a commitment to the financial success of women and Latinos.

Making Global Connections

Setting a Global Table
A Philadelphia restaurateur donates profits to charity, networks with socially conscious restaurants in other countries, and enlists her 19,000 customers to work for social change.
Leading the Way to Fairer Trade Practices
Most businesses put profits before social change. Not Equal Exchange. The fair-trade cooperative’s mission is to improve the quality of life of its suppliers.
The Challenges — and the Promise — of Globalization
In a recent book, two Economist writers explore the impact that a more globalized economy is having on the quality of workers’ lives.
Source: inc

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