The World Cup has continuously been the one of the greatest sporting spectacles to bless nations across the world. I say “bless” because for most nations around the world soccer is more than just a sport. In John Oliver’s YouTube spoof of the World Cup in Brazil, a Brazilian woman discusses how soccer truly is a religion. This highly anticipated event, occurring only once every four years, attempts to unify each nation under the religion of soccer. Unfortunately, over the past decade the World Cup has become shrouded in controversy. Why would such an amazing event with the goal of unifying nations become subject to alleged criticism? Simple, the World Cup is run by a corrupt international civil society organization called the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Chipotle and the Ethical Burrito
Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving sustainable food. It is trying to change the way people think about and eat fast-food. It has recently been marketing its commitment to serving high-quality and sustainable ingredients through various media outlets and programs. Despite being considered an industry leader in sustainability, Chipotle’s advertisement and practices have been criticized for being unethical and misleading to customers. The ethics of its advertisement and practices have been questioned, but nevertheless, Chipotle is shining the necessary light into the problems of the farming and agriculture industry. Chipotle is making consumers more aware and conscious about what they are eating. Even if not all of Chipotles practices are completely ethical or sustainable, it is setting an example that other companies in the industry can follow.
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
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
Recreational Equipment, Inc is a outdoor retail store and co-op that sells a broad range of recreational gear. It is a company that brings together a group of people who are passionate about going on outdoor adventures and preserving the outdoor environment. I have been a member since I was young, and my friends and I have often found ourselves spending hours at a time simply meandering throughout the store looking at all the outdoor gear and apparel. After doing more research, I found that REI is not only great as a customer, but also as an employee. REI is a store that truly embraces a life committed to the outdoors. Continue reading A Lifetime of Outdoor Adventure