It is something like a Bungee Jumping business. Those who try it they are aware of the danger but stillthey try it. In case if somebody dies in Bungee jumping will it be fare to call the Bungee jumping businessunethical.
I don’t think so. It’s people choice.It is something like an airplane crashed in bad weather then who is to be blamed is it pilot because he isunable to control properly. Is it bad weather to be blamed? Is it flight manufacturer to be blamedbecause they should have put some safety indicators? Or is it passengers who knows that flying isdangerous but still they chose to fly for there convenience and if something bad happens they blame toflight operator? Or is it the flight operator company who should have cancelled the flight due toweather? Can we blame one or everyone is to blamed equally for this unethical choice. The floor is opento debate what is ethical or unethical move and it varies from situation to situation.Another incident of Coca Cola in India is its bottling plant in Kala Dera. Coca Cola started its bottlingplant in Kala Dera in 2000 and within a year the villagers started observing that there is a decline in thegroundwater level.
For a village like Kala Dera the main livelihood is farming and forfarmer’s loss ofgroundwater is a matter of concern. Also in a village like Kala Dera the loss of groundwater alsotranslates that the women have to walk additional 5 to 6 kilometers to get the water. So the entirecommunity came together and demanded for the close of bottling plant in the village. Kala dera gets theinternational support also. One of them is from University of Michigan. The university mandated thatCoca-Cola agree to an independent assessment of its operations in India if it ever wanted to do businesswith the university.
The assessment conducted by TERI and result is released in 2008 which validates that Coca-Colaapproached its operations in India from a “business continuity” perspective and ignored the impacts onthe community.The assessment clearly shows that Coca Cola could no longer use the groundwater of Kala Dera also fewrecommendations was made with regard to the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Kala Dera, which is asfollowing:1. Get the water from aquifer that is not stressed.2. In low-stress season the water should be stored.
3. Relocate the plant in a new area where water is in abundance.4. Shut down this facilityAt the very least, Coca-Cola could have stopped extraction of water after knowing the results of theassessment.
But the company has chosen to continue its operations and contributed in the misery ofthousands of people of the village of Kala Dera.Central Ground Water Board had declared the Kala Dera area as “Overexploited” in 1998. But still Coca-Cola decided to locate its bottling plant in Kala dera ignoring all the facts. The question arises that whythe Coca-Cola did started its operations knowing very well that water problems already existed in KalaDera? Before locating the plant in Kala Dera the company is supposed to conduct the Environment ImpactAssessment but Coca Cola has refused to share the result of this impact assessment stating that thereare legal and strategic confidentiality reasons. The company states that there voluntary participation inthe TERI assessment reflects how committed they are to transparency and continuous improvement.Now If Coca-Cola was really committed to transparency why did they refused to share the EnvironmentImpact Assessment report.
And regarding commitment to continuous improvement Coca-Cola shouldstart with implementing one of the four recommendations made by the assessment in regards to theCoca-Cola bottling plant at Kala Dera.In its letter to University of Michigan after assessment, the company states that their plants on anoverall basis are meeting stringent internal standards. But on the contrary one of the shocking findingsof the assessment was that of the six plants of India surveyed, in not one did the plant meet the Coca-Cola company standards for waste management, known as the TCCC standards. What is the point ofhaving Coca-Cola company standards if not a single plant meets them?In the same letter, the company states that “Coca-Cola bottlers are complying with all the standards ofIndia government and regulatory agencies.
“Once again, Coca-Cola lied because the assessment found that none of the Indian government andregulatory agencies standard is met in any of the six plant in India. The assessment states that thetreated effluent discharge at the plants “mostly met the effluent discharge requirements”.The TERI team also found that the rainwater harvesting system of Coca Cola is not in good conditions. InRajasthan many people and community use the rainwater harvesting from long ago. But Coca Colastarted it after the campaign against the company started growing. In fact Coca Cola also claimed thatthey do five times more rainwater harvesting where they don’t have any measuring system installed tomeasure the amount of rainwater harvesting.In the Kala Dera case if I have to take any decision then knowing the fact that Kala Dera was declaredoverexploited by Central Ground Water Board I would have selected some other location for theoperation and tried to compliant with all the standards which is good for company as well as society.
Also in this case company individually could not be blamed government is also equally responsible.When Coca Cola was starting its operation in Kala Dera why government did not stopped them or tookstringent action against them.In both incidentsfiduciary principleis applicable where it is the duty of company to think and work forthe benefit of both the party i.e. society and company.Also the company did not follow thetransparency,fairness,citizenship principle.There are two types of thinking process i.e.
teleo anddeonto. Teleo thinkers focuses on consequences.It is a result driven approach where the decision makers think of only the benefit of certain decision.
Now this teleological thinking is further divided into two parts. Theegoist teleological approach and theutilitarian teleological approach..
In egoist approach the thinker will only focus on the benefit of theirdecision to themselves only and not on others whereas the utilitarian approach will focus on the benefitof others. The deonto means duty they focus on the process rather than consequences.Deonto is divided into twoparts. The first type believe that it is his right to do certain thing or take certain decision whereas thesecond type believes about the justice. The later one always do what is right without thinking about thebenefit or loss.So in Coca-Cola case the company behavior is teleological and to be more specific egoist teleological.
Iam taking this stand because company after knowing all the facts at some places ignored their duty andat some places only thought about the profitability and balance sheet of company. In case of Kala Derathey thought that Kala Dera would be cost effective for their business and hence they continued itsoperation. In case of offering unhealthy drinks they did not spent much on R&D and tried to make thatbeverage healthy instead of they just continued to offer the unhealthy stuff. In case of pesticide issuethey had a double standard stand and that’s why there was the inconsistency in quality of the beverageoffered in US and India.
In all case Coca Cola thought just as a businessman who did not followed thebusiness ethics