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Face Up To Corporate Social Responsibility And Clean Up Your E-Waste

Sep 12, 2008
Since the early 1990's activists have rallied against corporations and forced them to take stock and pay more attention to the wider effects of their business practices. From their sweatshops to their carbon footprint, in the last 2 decades companies have found it increasingly difficult to escape the responsibilities of their day to day activities. The evils of global capitalism have come with a determined sense from the citizens of the earth to ensure the guilty companies accept the consequences of their trading. The general public are more aware of the harm irresponsible business's can do to people, communities and the environment, and as a result they are in a better position to chase up the organisations and hold them accountable.

The day to day activities of companies and multinationals have a wide ripple affect throughout society. Directly this can include customers, shareholders, employees, stakeholders and immediate communities, in a wider sense this can involve the global environment. There are endless ways corporations can take responsibility for their trading consequences and there are some serious issues that need to be hastily addressed.

A massive problem that continues to grow is that of e-waste. The waste of many multinationals is colossal and e-waste especially is a pressing dilemma. Companies and consumers are producing over 50 million tonnes of e-waste every year, and of course this electrical matter isn't biodegradable and requires sophisticated techniques to be disposed of properly. If it isn't, toxins and carcinogens are released into the surrounding air and ground immediately poisoning the environment. With the speed at which technology goes out of date and the extent to which companies rely on so many electrical goods to function it is obvious why this is currently the fastest growing recycling issue facing the western world.

Unfortunately however it is not the western world that receives the e-waste, frequently third world countries are left with landfills of our technology trash.
CSR (corporate social responsibility) are companies that advise companies on how to be conscientious of their day to day activities. These are beginning to develop effective methods of advising corporations on how to decrease their negative effect on the world around them. This coupled with the implementations of directives such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment) are a good step in the right direction. In addition the UN started the initiative StEP, Solving the E-waste Problem in 2007, officially recognising the scale of the e-waste quandary. It is ours as well as the multinational corporations' responsibility to clean up after our e-waste. If we fail to do so we are damning this earth for decades to come.
About the Author
John McE writes articles on a number of subjects including corporate responsibility and e-waste. For more about CSR see Arc Vision
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