Corporate social responsibility in guaranteeing environmental security

Many decades recently, guaranteeing environmental security, a nontraditional issue, has been attracting concerns of many countries in the world. Therefore, it is very important for businesses to fulfill their social responsibility in guaranteeing environmental security. However, due to different reasons, there have been many limitations and shortcomings in the implementation of social responsibility of businesses. These shortcomings and limitations have been negatively impacting the economy, politics, national security and defense of a country in particular and the whole world in general. The paper aims at explaining the meanings of the implementation of social responsibility of businesses to guarantee environmental security and indicates some typical examples of environmental violations caused by businesses in the world. Then, some recommendations to improve the businesses’ performance of corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security will be presented.

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991 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GUARANTEEING ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tran Hieu tranvutuan37@yahoo.com.vn University of People’s Security, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Dr. Luu Thanh Hung thanhhunglaw76@gmail.com University of People’s Security, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Nguyen Thi Thu Lai, M.S laintt@buh.edu Ho Chi Minh City University of Banking, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Abstract Many decades recently, guaranteeing environmental security, a non- traditional issue, has been attracting concerns of many countries in the world. Therefore, it is very important for businesses to fulfill their social responsibility in guaranteeing environmental security. However, due to different reasons, there have been many limitations and shortcomings in the implementation of social responsibility of businesses. These shortcomings and limitations have been negatively impacting the economy, politics, national security and defense of a country in particular and the whole world in general. The paper aims at explaining the meanings of the implementation of social responsibility of businesses to guarantee environmental security and indicates some typical examples of environmental violations caused by businesses in the world. Then, some recommendations to improve the businesses’ performance of corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security will be presented. Keywords: environmental security; social responsibility of business 1. Introduction Environment is all things, natural and manmade around us, which have direct impacts on human life. History has showed that human beings have been increasingly exploited the nature to serve their life. They, however, have also been making the environment polluted. Together with the “hot” and “rapid” development of the economy, environmental pollution and corporate social responsibility have attracted concerns of many countries and international community. 992 2. Research methods and key concepts 2.1. Research methods The first and foremost method is to analyze data to collect secondary information on issues relating to the survey. First, the authors made a literature review on domestic and international publications on environmental security, corporate social responsibility, necessity for guaranteeing environmental security, legal bases to have businesses to perform their corporate social responsibility. Second, the authors present recommendations to encourage businesses to perform their corporate social responsibility in guaranteeing environmental security. Peer method is the other method to collect responses from experts at University of People's Security, University of People’s Police, and Department of Strategy Science and History under Ministry of Public Security. 2.2. Key concepts In order to meet targets, the authors focus on two key concepts namely environmental security and corporate social responsibility. - Environmental security There have been many different approaches to environmental security. Hecht (2018) indicates that environmental security is a part of national and international security and that it is a human activity to prevent negative factors from impacting the environment. He also stressed that solving environmental security will contribute to maintaining national security. According to International Institute for Environment and Development (2018), environmental security is the security sustainability, and there is a close relation between environmental security and the security situation in a country. In other words, the reduction of natural resources will lead to instability in security. While there exist differences, most scholars share a common viewpoint that the downfall in environment must be considered as a source of national security as the UN Security Council (1992) puts it the scarcity of natural resources, degradation and environmental pollution and environmental hazards can weaken the economy, increase poverty, increase political instability, and even become a trigger for conflicts and wars. The above viewpoints show that environmental security is a survival issue of all countries and peoples. Environmental security has three typical characteristics. First, it is a concern of organizations, countries, and peoples on the purity of environment. Second, environmental changes lead to instability, social conflicts and wars. Third, environment changes threaten material demands of individuals. 993 - Corporate social responsibility There have been many concepts on corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility can be understood as corporate social performance, corporate citizenship, corporate social responsiveness, corporate philanthropy, business ethics, and so on. However, from the authors’ viewpoints, the World Bank has the most convincing approach which indicates that corporate social responsibility is the commitment to contributing to the sustainable economic development through activities to improve the quality of life of labors and their families’ members, businesses, and the whole society. In other words, corporate social responsibility is not only limited to caring about labors’ life but also a commitment to perform businesses’ social responsibility. 3. Results The findings of the survey are showed in three aspects: 1. The performance of corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security has been regulated by specific legal bases; 2. Good performance in guaranteeing environmental security has led to significant benefits for businesses; 3. Apart from businesses with good performance in guaranteeing environmental security, many others such as Formosa Plastics Corporation have caused environmental disasters. 3.1. Legal bases for businesses to guarantee environmental security Guaranteeing environmental security is to abide by gaming rules of international organizations. Following are some global important treaties in guaranteeing environmental security that Vietnam participated and signed, Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985, Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal 1989, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992. When joining World Trade Organization, states have to abide by six agreements including Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement which clarifies social responsibilities. In the world, goods is not only tested in quality but also in social responsibilities. Some export products have to meet criteria set by the other partners such as ISO 14000, Codes of Conducts of importers and independent organizations such as provisions on juvenile labors, forced labors, race and sex discrimination, environment, health safety, and so on. It can be said that the world legal system has specific provisions on guaranteeing environmental security, and it is the legal bases businesses have to abide by. Vietnam has also issued many legal documents such as Constitution 2013, Law on Environment Protection 2014, Decree No.80/2014/NĐ-CP on handling waste water; Decree No.03/2015/NĐ-CP on determining losses for the environment; Decree No.18/NĐ-CP on planning environmental protection, evaluating strategic 994 environment, evaluating environmental impacts and plans for environmental protection. These above-mentioned documents are the legal basis that businesses have to abide by to guarantee environmental security. 3.2. Significances of performing corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security The analyses and evaluation of operations of businesses in the world allow the authors to draw significances of performing corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security as follows: First, performing corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security is a prerequire for businesses to attract competent human resources who are loyal to benefits of businesses and commit to long-term serve. This important factor decides the stability and productivity of businesses was well as their product quality. Together with salary and social wealth fare, businesses need to provide a friendly and safe environment for their employees. Employees, in their turn, will carry out their job well and bring more benefits for businesses. Second, performing corporate social responsibility to guarantee environmental security is an effective tool to improve reputation and position, protect trademark’s values and social prestige, create love from the public especially people in target markets for businesses. Besides, this will help businesses have advantages in competition, sell more products, attract and build more supply and demand relations. This invisible advantage will guarantee long-term operations of businesses. In many businesses, social responsibility reports with criteria of guaranteeing environmental security are released together with annual reports. Many transnational businesses have built codes of conduct for their employees worldwide such as Pentalog group, a well-known firm in processing software’s, which has representative offices in France, Germany. The philosophy of Pentalog group in implementing corporate social responsibility includes human activities and strategies for stable development in economics, society, environment, and culture. Daikin, a famous corporation in electronics, has tied its destiny to the philosophy that in all fields. Daikin presents all initiatives to develop and improve the environment. Daikin has also strengthened the development of new products with advanced technologies to build a world of fresh environment. This philosophy has increasingly forwarded Daikin’s values and contributed to stable development of the society. Many other businesses have taken environmental security guarantee as a motive to push their prestige and trademark. Multinational groups such as The Body Shop from the UK and IKEA from Sweden have not only been famous for products of high quality and at reasonable price but also for their prestige in protecting the environment. 995 Third, guaranteeing environment helps businesses make a barrier to protect themselves even when they are stuck in manufacturing and business difficulties and mark a difference in their trademark. This means a lot in a very competitive market. Fourth, consumers are likely to prefer products friendly to environment, so businesses have to guarantee that their products are made in accordance with criteria of environment protection. In other words, customers not only care about quality of products but also the ways these products are made. Therefore, the implementation of environmental security helps businesses improve their confidence in customers. Fifth, guaranteeing environmental security is a prerequisite for human security. The Chernobyl disaster killed 30 people and made the other hundreds of thousand of people injured with the total loss of USD 15 billion, and 135,000 people had to escape from the site (Wikipedia, 2019). The Bhopal disaster in India in 1984 killed more than 2,500 people, made other 1,000 people blind and influenced 20,000 others (Wikipedia, 2019). The Minamata disaster in Japan in 1968 was a terrible example for environmental pollution, strongly impacting health and life of many people (Wikipedia, 2019). These are precious lessons for all countries in the world. Finally, guaranteeing environmental security is a very important condition to guarantee national security and social security and order. Recent incidents have showed that many businesses have not guaranteed environmental security, leading to lawsuits and conflicts between businesses and people. For instance, being aware that Thanh Thai Nicotex Joint-Stock Company in Thanh Hoa province buried pesticide, people sent a petition with more than 1,000 signatures to sue the company. The Formosa incident in Ha Tinh province which caused serious pollution to sea environment in provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Nghe An, Thua Thien Hue ended up with many demonstrations and riots in Vietnam. 3.3. Practice of environmental security violations of businesses It can be confirmed that guaranteeing environmental security is an obligation of businesses associated with legal provisions. With the above advantages, most businesses in the world have implemented many measures and policies to guarantee environmental security. Reality shows that many businesses with CRS have significantly increased their profits. Aserradero San Martin, a wooden producing company in Bolivia, after holding the Forest Stewardship Council Certificate, integrated into the Northern America market and increased 10 to 15% price of their products. General Electrics used USD 2 billion annually to conduct research in technologies to protect the environment, and this led to positive business results. Many businesses, however, due to different reasons, have destroyed the environment. For instance, in 2010, the incident of oil overflowing caused by British 996 Petroleum in Louisiana coast the U.S took 11 lives and made the other 17 people injured. Approximately five million oil barrels overflew to Mexico bay, destroying the eco-system and seriously impacting the fishing and tourism industries of this country. The incident also influenced 400 species, and five years later the amount of oil in the sea was higher than the accepting degree. This is one of the worst environmental disasters in the U.S history. In the Southeast Asia, in 2011, the International Rivers considered the responsibility of People’s Democratic Republic of Laos in approving the project of Xayaburi Hydroelectricity Dam in the lower section of the Mekong river. Assessments of independent scientists and experts showed that Laotian Government did not meet basic requirements for building a Hydroelectricity dam. They argued that the building of such a dam will seriously lead to the extinction of some species and pose dangers to others. Neighboring countries which share the river such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia showed their worries and stressed that the dam, if it were built, will have impacts on the environment. It is, therefore, very necessary to meet international environmental security for the project as Xayaburi Hydroelectricity Dam was the first project of 11 projected plans in the lower section of the Mekong river, a river of importance for countries in the Southeast Asia. Laos violated the second international principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in which States have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Another example is Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan, China). This firm has been listed into “black” businesses for causing many environmental disasters. It disposed wastes and destroyed the environment in many countries and territories such as the U.S, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In 2009, Ethecon Fund, a German environment organization, awarded the prize “Black planet 2009” for Formosa Plastics Corporation and its executive board members for disposing wastes into the environment and stressed that this group has to be liable for making the planet black. In a 28-page report released on November 21, 2009 the Ethecon Fund criticizes that Formosa Plastics Corporation not only threatens peace and human rights but also destroys human ecology. For instance, in Texas and Louisiana in the U.S Formosa Plastics Corporation was detected to bury toxic wastes, polluting the underground water source and Mississippi river. In 2000, Formosa paid fine of USD 150.000 in Texas. In the 1980s, Formosa Plastics Corporation was discovered to dispose sixty- three tons of ethylendichloride into residence areas in. In 2004, Formosa factory in Illinois exploded, killing six workers and injured many others. The explosion caused water, air, and soil pollution in the nearby residence areas. In January 2009, farmers in Texas informed scientists who were measuring the air and soil toxic levels in nearby 997 former Formosa factory that their cows reduced weight and died at very young ages. The U.S Environment Protection Agency also measured the air and soil toxic levels in nearby former Formosa factory and discovered that there were forty-three toxics, many of them could cause cancer. The U.S Environment Protection Agency and Department of Justice fined Formosa Plastics Corporation USD 13 million on September 30, 2009 (Ngo, 2016). In 1998, Formosa Plastics Corporation buried 3,000 tons of extremely toxic wastes in Sihanoukville city, making sea water and soil polluted and many people sick. The incident led to many riots and demonstrations in Phnom Penh capital with the participation of 1,000 Sihanoukville people. Cambodian Government accused Formosa Plastics Corporation of bribing USD 4 million to the local authority to get the license to take wastes to bury in Sihanoukville. Consequently, forty local officials were forced to resign, and three of them were prosecuted (Ngo, 2016). In Taiwan, despite its remarkable contributions to economic development and industrialization, Formosa Plastics Corporation was reputed for its environmental destruction. According to The Diplomat on April 30, 2016, Formosa Plastics Corporation was in the top ten list of corporations which cause pollution in Taiwan. In 2010, Taiwan Environment Protection Agency fined Formosa Plastics Corporation USD 4.7 million for causing serious soil and underwater pollution in Kao-Hsiung district. In 2012, Professor Chan Chang-chuan in Taiwan University showed that inhabitants nearby Formosa factories had a higher percentage of cancer than inhabitants in other areas (Ngo, 2016). 4. Conclusion and recommendations The authors used the theatrical framework to analyze and evaluate the practice of guaranteeing environmental security and found that guaranteeing environmental security plays a very important role. The authors also present recommendations to improve the effectiveness of guaranteeing environmental security as follows: First, it is necessary to mobilize the capital and resources of the whole society and improve the role and responsibility of individuals in detecting, denouncing, and suing violations in environmental security of businesses. At the same time, it is needed to release violations of businesses in media. Second, strengthening the propaganda in media or symposia to consult people with legal provisions of environmental security and make them understand responsibilities of businesses in guaranteeing environmental security. Thus, people will actively participate in helping authorities detect and handle businesses which have violations relating to the environment. Authorities should have timely encouragement and merits for those who actively participate in denouncing and suing 998 businesses which have environmental violations. The government should perfect the legal framework to protect those people. Third, mobilizing the strengths of media to encourage businesses to participate in guaranteeing environmental security. Reality have showed that the media played an important role in forcing Formosa Plastics Corporation to compensate for people’s losses. Finally, studying experience from developed countries to build an appropriate policy and guideline
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