DuPont:Politics of Products and Politics in Production—A New perspective to SD.

Tetraethyl Lead (TEL), CFC’s, Nylon Production in Goa, Lead Paint, Hormone Disruption, Military, Workers.When you see the above series of “hot” words, I bet you could not built up the relation beween these notorious product and a worldwide famous chemical company-Dupont, me too. Unfortunately, it was this super company that owned the extremely notorious reputation in chemical industry. Frankly speaking, I am very shocked to know so many familiar and destructive products researched and made by Dupont company. If you read the passage “DuPont: Politics of Products and Politics in Production ” (source: http://www.groundup.org/dupont/pp.htm) , you will feel very uncomfortable and anxious for the future.
Once the surprising reality is exposed to the outside, I can’t help contemplating something behind the screen, i.e. Why did those ugly companies like DuPont can exist so long and live in well being. From the story of Dupont, we can find some know-how about these environmental polluters. On one hand, they are thorough money-maker and do anything for economic profit at all costs. Hereon the traditional economics and organizational behavior theory about the personality hypothesis that human-being is a self-fish and rationally economic nature brings into the play. As the above title said, politics is dominated by and in turn serve for economics, as well as the political tactics in production follow the company’s economic strategy. In brief, it is the interest that induce the company as an economic unit takes the destructive action regardless of the global sustainability and the company social responsibility.
On the other hand, we can question that why the government and the public can be manipulated by those economic “scamp”? Why did the government and the media default? Why did the environmental protection laws and institutions fall short of what is needed to prevent the pollution? Maybe it is a complex and systematic problem which puzzles all of us. But I think the answer may be more distinct if we can analyze the status quo from three “M” aspects —Motivation, Mechanism and Market orientation. Motivation—it owes to the substantial and economic strength which dominates the economic man’s motivation, causes the government official and the media (sometimes including the consumer, the public ) being influenced and manipulated by the lobbies. Hereby I want to quote and create the notion “ecological economic agency problem”—it refers to the differences in incentives between the company and the society. Mechanism— we lack of not only the perfect laws but also effective execution. It is caused by the previous Motivation. Mechanism consists of the laws and institutions, power distribution and balance, bureaucratic organization and structure, and so on. Market Orientation— As we know it is that the market ecomomy dominates the up-to-date mainstream economic development model. And market rule pays more attention to the profit and competition.
Hence, more or less the sustainable development is a little contradictory to the competitive ability in short run because one company, one country which pursuits the SD will pay higher cost right now. To some extent, it weaken the competitive ability and the substantial return. Sometimes the developed countries will claim that developing countries ignore the environmental protection. It maybe unfair because from the history perspective, we can know that nearly all the developed countries had experienced the same phase when they robbed of other colonial or less developed coutries’ resource and badly polluted the environment to afford their own prosperity (Industrial Revolution Stage ). They should undertake more responsibility in moral and intragenerationally. From the long term viewpoint, we also can infer that a country with good sustainability will have more aftereffect in the long term competition and benefit from the today’s SD effort. So all we need to do at present is to instill the SD ideology to the executives and administrators of the company, help them build up the right motivation, set up a perfect mechanism like “corporate governance” to enhance the relevant laws legislation and empower the special department or the third party to inspect and control the SD and CSR. The most important should be to foster a ecological economic orientation in the market, let the ecological effect can create and reveal the distinct value (e.g. acceptance by customer alike green vegetable and fruit, recycling water and paper ).
It will probably take several generations a lot of time and effort to achieve the goal, but it is worthwhile.

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One comment on “DuPont:Politics of Products and Politics in Production—A New perspective to SD.
  1. jeremy says:

    Yes, DuPont doesn’t appear to be a shining example of corporate citizenry Chuyun. With regards to the time it will take to develop sufficient ecological consciousness to make a real difference, I would hope that — with the help of you and your classmates — it will take a little less than ‘several’ generations 😉

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