Tag Archives: deontology

3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution


“Imports by airplane have a substantial impact on global warming pollution. In 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables into California by airplane released more than 70,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to more than 12,000 cars on the road.” according to Food Hub. Rather than reducing the impacts of food transportation, with 3-D printing we could eliminate them.

“Imagine being able to essentially ‘grow’, ‘cook’ or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact – everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging,” says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer. “You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc,” he adds.

Continue reading 3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution

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The Container Store: Stacking Up Ethically


Many retail companies are not known for outstanding treatment of their employees. In more recent years, the media has delivered news stories with companies involved in lawsuits over wage inequalities, discrimination, or poor labor conditions. The retail industry in particular has been receiving a lot of criticism. One think tank recently published a report which states:

Retail is far from the only low-paying sector of the American economy, yet … [it is] one projected to add a substantial number of new jobs over the coming decade, [so] the choices the nation’s major retailers make about employment will play a crucial role in determining the nation’s economic future. (Resnikoff)

While very recent press has indicated retail companies such as Target, Wal-Mart, and T.J. Maxx may increase employee wages slightly in the near future, there are also companies who do not receive considerable media attention but who have, from their very founding, held higher standards regarding treatment of their employees. One such company is The Container Store (TCS). From its website, to its blog, to newspaper articles, books, YouTube videos, and more, The Container Store makes it clear that it aims for a business model encompassing all stakeholders, but employees in particular. In this paper, I will evaluate how the company has upheld this employee-centered model and determine whether it can be considered an ethical company through Immanuel Kant’s ethical theories. Continue reading The Container Store: Stacking Up Ethically

Patagonia: An Exemplar of Deontology


Our world moves exponentially faster today than it ever has before. Utilizing incredible advancements in technology, we have been able to revolutionize the ways we live, communicate, and conduct business. Corporations, many of which began as very small operations, now control billions of dollars and employ thousands of workers all across the globe. Unfortunately, our consumption-based culture has created an artificial “environment” that exists within the greater ecosystem of our planet. For it to thrive, we rely the natural world to supply these corporations with raw materials, which are later converted into consumable products often at the lowest possible cost. Sadly, these gifts are discarded back into the environment as waste, resulting in the unprecedented levels of pollution we experience today. Our current technological capabilities have facilitated this process, and have become one of the greatest threats to the health of our planet. However, one might ask, is it possible that these immensely powerful corporations could utilize their resources to help establish a respect for the natural world from which we have grown so distant? In the following paper I will prove that Patagonia is a corporation that does not only compete at the highest level in its industry, but remains committed to environmentally responsible business practices. Using the Kantian approach to ethics known as deontology, I will evaluate Patagonia’s business activities and demonstrate how a focus on sustainability can simultaneously benefit both the natural world and a company’s bottom line. Continue reading Patagonia: An Exemplar of Deontology

For the Common Good: An Analysis of HBO’s Manipulation of the Commons


When introduced to America in the late 1940s, the television was predicted to be a brief fad that wouldn’t last more than a few years. Now in 2015, the world of television has become a staple of pop culture and modern day media distribution. Through decades of technological development and changes in consumer preferences, the television industry has managed to adjust and remain relevant. While premium channels like HBO (Home Box Office) and Showtime once rattled the nerves of top broadcast networks, the advent of digital streaming services like Netflix have become the latest innovation to pressure change in the industry.

The current changes to the television industry bring to light some of the shortcomings of the current model. Streaming services do not require the use of cable operators to distribute their content allowing consumers fewer barriers to access. In contrast, HBO has the power to choose which distributors it interacts with and therefore which audiences are left with or without access. Airwave usage is often considered a public commons, as evidenced by radio. Although distributed through similar methods as radio, television has historically been treated differently. HBO’s terms of distribution regulate the commons, and in doing so defies the rationality set by Kantian logic. The network’s reputation as a cutting edge innovator and industry leader makes it all the more surprising that HBO would impede on the public’s the right to content. The potential to understand the rationality behind HBO’s practices of distribution lies in thinking of the commons in conjunction with Kantian theories of ethics. Continue reading For the Common Good: An Analysis of HBO’s Manipulation of the Commons

How the Container Store Stacks Up, Ethically


Last week, I published a post about The Container Store, evaluating whether or not its place (#27) on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work 2015 was justified. My main method of evaluation was investigating reviews of the company on Glassdoor.com. Ultimately, many posts by current employees corroborated positive case studies and articles I found on the company, while other posts from the past couple of years alluded to changes in business strategy and unfair treatment of employees, possibly as a result to the company’s 2013 IPO.

For Paper 2, I would like to delve into this company further. Continue reading How the Container Store Stacks Up, Ethically