Environmental Ethics and Sustainability: A Casebook for Environmental Professionals, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Ethics and Sustainability

A Casebook for Environmental Professionals, 1st Edition

By Hal Taback, Ram Ramanan

CRC Press

268 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-07-29
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Description

Environmental Ethics and Sustainability: A Casebook for Environmental Professionals introduces a decision-making model constructed from the viewpoint that ethics are not about the way things are, but about the way things should be.

The first part of the book covers natural human instincts, human attitude, treatment of other species and the natural world, and fundamental concepts in environmental decision making in the public policy arena. It also provides insight and specifics on how to develop an ethics culture in an organization as well as conduct an environmental ethics education program that trains leaders, professionals, and students.

The second part of the book identifies and deals with numerous dilemmas in a case-study format, offers options, tests ethical values, and offers practice to the environmental professionals in making the right choice and evaluating the justification for those decisions.

The authors of this book explore the notion that doing the right thing is not a natural human instinct, and that the techniques needed for resolving an ethical dilemma require training. The book defines ethics as "the difference between what a person has the right to do and the right thing to do!" It details a framework for understanding and resolving various ethical claims and concentrates on providing hands-on practical training for environmental practitioners and students aspiring to become environmental leaders and professionals.

Reviews

"Sustainable value creation requires an ethical framework that guides the strategy and behavior of organizations. This book offers a convincing case for why business must embrace purpose as well as profits if we are to safeguard our planet's natural resources. Through diverse case studies, as well as a holistic survey of ethical theory and practice, the authors provide a valuable framework for how our institutions—and ourselves—can be their best."

––Dipak C. Jain, INSEAD Chaired Professor of Marketing and former Dean of INSEAD, France and former Dean of Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA

"This book is an apt and timely publication, and a compelling reading, especially in this decade of raising moral and ethical decadence. Hal Taback and Ram Ramanan have deftly examined and discussed the complex tapestry of psychological (human behavior), philosophical, religious, economic, social, organizational, and public policy dimensions of "environmental ethics" with a unique and incredible perspective. The expanded and overarching connection of "ethics," as the fourth component to the traditional triple bottom-line (people, planet, and profit) of sustainability is fascinating. The subtle distinction between "ethical" and "moral" aspects for the environmental profession is remarkable. The 51 attention-grabbing real world "on-the job" conflict and judgment-decision case studies are persuasive, tackle the moral-and-ethical dilemmas convincingly, and offer practical insights and solutions to environmental practitioners and students aspiring to become environmental professionals for "doing the right thing" rather than relying on instincts."

––Krish Ravishankar, Director, Worldwide Environmental Affairs & Social Responsibility, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Houston, Texas

"Part of the book might be sustainability 101 for many. The ethical dilemmas in this book is a must read for big and small consultancy firms as well as for business and for NGO's and in a condensed version boards of directors. Some of the examples might be a little "thought-up" - but it is really important to discuss - from the consultant team to the boardroom - ideally through a facilitated discussion between the different parties. We live in a world where we do not share the same purpose - and not all share the same ethics on how to reach the defined purpose of an organization. This book is an important contribution to facilitate a discussion on the dilemmas consultants need to navigate with integrity."

––Helle Bank Jorgensen CEO, B. Accountability and United Nations Special Advisor to Global Compact in Canada

"This book is a good read on a topic that is timeless—ethics. The focus on environmental ethics and hands-on learning make the book valuable for students learning about sustainability and environmental issues."

––Latha Ramchand, Dean and Professor, Finance, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, Texas, USA

"Taback and Ramanan have taken a deep dive into ethical dilemmas that confront professionals in the environmental field, and professional realms beyond. This book will be useful to students, teachers, and practitioners both as a comprehensive overview of business ethics and as a guide to making good ethical decisions in the workplace. By combining theory and practice with thoughtful resolution models, they have taken us a great step in the right direction."

––Ken Block, Business Ethics and Compliance Director for a Major Global Aerospace and Defense Contractor, California, USA

Table of Contents

Section I Environmental Ethics—Genesis and ChallengesNatural Instincts and Learned Behavior

The (Un) ethical Culture

Making Ethical Decisions—Six Pillars of Character

Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion

Environmental Ethics and Public Policy

Human Beings and the Environment

Environmental Economics

Environmental Advocacy and Select Mega-Issues

Environmental Ethics and Corporate Governance

Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Framework for Reasoning to Make Ethical Decisions

Corporate Governance and Integrated Reporting

Environmental Ethics Training for Leaders and Professionals

Building an Environmental Ethics Training Program

Conducting an Environmental Ethics Training Program

Educating Students and Leaders in Environmental Ethics

Section II Environmental Ethical Dilemmas—Case Studies

Environmental Dilemmas—On-the-Job Conflict Situations

Client Attorney Directs Consultant to Not Report Findings

Plant Operates Substantially beyond Permit Levels

Boss Purposely Overestimates Client’s Price for a Contract Task

Contractor Holds Back Completed Report for More Money

Expert Witness Hired to Create Reasonable Doubt

Colleague Seeks Help to Stop Supervisor’s Suggestive Remarks

Plant Manager Demonstrates Compliance with Incorrect Agency Lab Data

New EH&S Director Has to Bring Plant under Compliance and Keep It Open

Agency Employee Moonlighting as Private Consultant

Firm Sponsors Clients on Exotic Speaking Engagements

Young Professional Learns the Downside of Not Blowing the Whistle

Supervisor Uses Company Resources for Book Not under Company Auspices

Production Manager Installs New Furnace in a Hurry without Proper Permit

Equipment Supplier Offers Incentive to Make an "Objective" Recommendation

Campaign Manager Advises You to Oppose Environmentally Sound Project to Win Election

Reporting a Toxic Solvent Leak under a Production Deadline

Reporting Previously Unpermitted Equipment in a Permit Renewal

Resampling Discharge to Override Upset Condition Sampling Result

Boss’s Subterfuge Puts You "on the Spot"

Big Boss’s Friend Expected to Get the New Consulting Contract

Contract Term Prevents Consultant from Revealing Problem

Client Believes You Overreacted

Your Client’s Adversary Modeler Makes Error in Your Favor

Industry Survey Data Point Eliminated to Fit Desired Profile

Agency Contract Modeler Uses Excessive Conservatism

Consultant Debates Bait-and-Switch Option to Win Bid

Environmental Dilemmas—Judgment/Decision Situations

Company’s Environmental Release—Where Does the Buck Stop?

Consulting Firm Client Fails to Report or Remediate Site Soil Contamination

Agency Staff Suppresses Data to Justify Unreasonable Strict Standard

Firm Has to Surface Competitor Deficiency without Bad-Mouthing

Recruiter Wants You to Bring Your Customers and Key Staff

Governmental Official Offers Funding Help in Return for Start-Up Partnership

One Firm Wants to Report Another Firm’s Exceedance to Protect Public Health

Client Attorney Directs You to Disregard Your Additional Contrary Findings

Client–Attorney Privilege—Exempts Only Imminent Threat of Harm to Persons

Expert Has to Balance Client Confidentiality and Medical Need of the Affected

Firm Faces Welfare Extortion via Disingenuous Protest from Interest Group

Plant Manager Installs Emission Control Equipment without Proper Permit

Consulting Firm Bills Client at a Higher Senior Rate for Junior-Level Work

Firm Offers Country Club Membership for Procurement Officer

Employee Notices Dishonest Use of Company Resources by a Colleague

Hazardous Waste Is Accidentally Sent to a Municipal Landfill

Risk Communication—Numbers but No Panic

Agency Inspector Ponders—To Cause a Plant Closure or Not

TV Reporter Pressured to "Get the Dirt" on Local Industry

New Data Blows Industry’s Agreement with EPA

Should Consultant Use a Bounty Hunter Provision on Client?

Environmentalist Blockade of Offshore Incineration Ship

Doing 55 mph Only When the Cop Is Around

Biased Agency Subordinate Stonewalls a Project

Permitting Engineer Softens NSR Rules to Help Local Industries

Glossary

Appendix

Index

About the Authors

Hal Taback, PE, BCEE, QEP, REA, is president of Hal Taback Company of Carlsbad, California, a Southern California environmental consulting firm. He has over 40 years of professional practice in regulatory and engineering issues related to reducing risk from toxic air pollutants and hazardous waste and other compliance. Mr. Taback holds a master of science in aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a bachelor of mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester. He has over 140 publications in the environmental field. His papers on ethics have been published in EM Magazine, Environmental Auditor, Engineering Times, and Southern California Environmental Digest.

Dr. Ram Ramanan, PE, CEng. BCEE is a Fulbright Fellow with over 40 years of corporate (ExxonMobil), consulting (AECOM & ICF), and academic (IIT Bombay) experience in the management of sustainability and environmental issues. Ram is an industry associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and serves as Education Council Chair and Director on the International Board of A&WMA. Ram holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BS in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Ram has published and/or presented 40 papers worldwide.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW034000
LAW / Environmental
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science