Business ethics is about doing the right thing within a business. Acting in an ethical way involves making the right choice between the right and wrong one. To be ethical it requires organizations to act in ways that stakeholders consider to be both fair and honest. People who make ethical business decisions will consider what and who their decisions may affect or harm and if their decisions will be considered fair by people who are affected.1 2
There are many ethical issues that all businesses will have to consider when making decisions. For example, it is ethical to take care of the environment and treat it fairly and with respect, however, some businesses need to destroy trees from forests or emit high amounts of bad chemicals to make products and this may harm animals too. So businesses who do make the decision to harm the environment are acting unethically.
A business will need to consider human rights such as paying staff fairly and not discriminating against people in the workplace to act ethically. If a business made the opposite decisions they would be unfair and acting unethically.
All businesses will have to consider the sustainability of the resources they use. Velvet is a company which is committed to delivering luxury tissue so this would mean that they have to unethically harm the environment by cutting down trees however, they replace three trees for every softwood used as well as three trees for each hardwood used too. This means that they are sustaining their resources and ethically behaving by doing this.
Businesses have to consider their social responsibility of the whole business. A fast food restaurant can ethically fulfil their social responsibilities for the business by providing more bins or recycling bins around the area to reduce the amount of litter from their packaging. This would be the ethical decision because it is fair for the people around the area so it would be unethical if a business did not consider the negative effects that their business might have socially.
The working condition of employees is an ethical issue that businesses have to consider in its operations. The ethical way to provide working conditions is to provide good breaks for staff working long hours and making them feel safe and comfortable and treated fairly. However, an unethical working condition may mean that employees are not allowed to take breaks which may leave them exhausted; they may feel uncomfortable and afraid to ask to go and sit with a glass of water for a few minutes.
The ethical responsibilities of the individuals in a business are something to consider. One of these responsibilities would be to ensure that there are no young children being employed for labour. Child labour is not fair because kids are vulnerable and they may feel forced to work. The ethical decision to make would be to only employ people over the age of 15 for labour as they would be able to make their own decisions and know what they want.
Nestlé UK & Ireland is a subsidiary of Nestlé SA, the world’s leading nutrition, health and Wellness Company. Nestle are a huge player within the UK and Irish food industry employing 8,000 employees across the 23 sites. Nestle produces some of Britain’s best loved brands such as Kit Kat, Nescafé, Smarties, Buxton, Go Cat, Shreddies and many, many more! Nestle is a very big organisation not only in UK but worldwide with operations in more than 197 countries. The worldwide website for the company states that in 2014 they made 91 612 million CHF sales (Swiss Franc) so this gives an insight as to just how big this organisation is.3
Is Nestle Ethical?
There are many things that Nestle do in their business activities which are ethical for example, they launched the Nestlé Academy, in 2011 and it brings together their graduate and apprenticeship programmes, direct entry schemes and vocational training to build the pipeline of specialist skills and