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Code Of Ethics : Sustainable Business Communities

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Code Of Ethics : Sustainable Business Communities

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Describe about the Code of Ethics for Sustainable Business Communities.

As a Civil Engineer and that too at a higher level in the organisation’s hierarchy I am fully aware that the professional Code of conduct.
In analysis the Samarco disaster the first thing that strikes that all the areas of ethical conduct as required under the engineering profession. To quickly recapitulate the entire disaster it is found that with the falling prices of Iron Ore pellets in the market the company started stepping up its production. Now higher production meant higher generation of waste materials. While the retaining capacity of the waste material remained a constraint the company decided to raise the height of the dams holding the slurry waste. Despite the warning from the original designer about the raised walls being precariously placed and cracks having shown up in many places in the dam the organisation decided to play down the danger and the dam eventually gave way(Mackenzie, 2016).
The damage was extensive and the worst part of the entire scene is that the company is trying to find out the culprit instead of giving priority to rehabilitation of the people whose properties have been damaged. Now the individual aspects of the ethical code of conduct will be taken up for discussion and it will soon be evident that the catastrophic condition would have struck sooner or later.
Demonstrate Integrity: The mining company has consistently projected a picture to the people and the administration – including the police – that there was no cause for worry and every aspect of the mining activities were safe and secure. They knew very well that that the dams holding the waste sludge was not designed for accommodating the volume that was being generated(Smith, 2013).
Practise Competently: Professional competence is very highly questionable here since apart from the very insecure condition of the dam the quality of the sludge it held was highly toxic and they had not taken the steps for treating the sludge for toxicity as would be expected from a competent engineer. The damage to the flora and fauna in the path of the slurry’s travel indicates that professional competence is highly questionable(engineersaustralia, 2010).
Exercise Leadership: The organisation failed to show concern for their people. When people were suffering so very acutely this company chief executive is constantly talking about finding out the reasons for this disaster. They were directly undermining the urgency about the need to rehabilitate the people and clear the mess created by the failing of the dam. The basic fault was in trying to serve the interests of the shareholders – raising the production level – without taking precaution to protect the interests of other stakeholders like the employees, the community and the environment(Gahan, et al., 2016).
Promote Sustainability: Their actions very clearly manifest their very scant concern for the sustainability. They did a very shabby work of storing their mining waste when they should have taken much greater care to ensure that all danger zones are suitably looked into and problems addressed(Burke, 2011).
There are very clearly laid down rules for treatment of wastes, both from industries as well for mines, that before he wastes are released to the environment they should be treated adequately so that the damage done to the environment is controlled. The extent of strictness and coverage of these rules keep changing as time passes(Bagley, 2011).
Now, in the extraction of Iron Ore from its deposits the generation of fines, undersize and earth content cannot be eliminated. Rules are very clear about the release of the waste products into the nature and they cannot be changed. Further, there may be some temporary benefits, mainly for the investors in flouting the rules but that cannot go on for all time(Griggs, Clarke, & Iredale, 2009).
Hence the first and foremost thing is to ensure that the working of the organisation does not violate the rules and at the same time act in a manner which is in compliance with the ethical demand of the profession. Compliance to rules is only the tip of the iceberg; the main idea is to ensure that the interests of all the stakeholders are attended to without neglecting the need of any stakeholder. The proposal is to put in place a system of treating the wastes so that they are harmless to the nature.
The toxicity and acid content of the waste matter should not harm the flora and fauna of the land. This obviously is easier said than done since the process may involve a tidy investment towards the establishment of the waste treatment facility. While the organisation had in the past given the lowest priority to handling the waste matter it is now time to wake up to the fact that while by storing the waste products near the site of excavation may be legally tenable but ethically it stands on the way of professional engineers ethics. As engineers we have to behave more responsibly and ensure that none of our actions led to any legal or ethical violations in the long run(coursehero, 2014).
While treating the waste generated is a certain way of being responsible for the well being of the community, another way would be to sell off the waste materials in the world market. The colour of the sludge that is shown flowing in the link indicates that the sludge contains a reasonably high content of iron ore. This is construed on seeing the colour which is dark red and has the colour of low grade iron ore. There are many steel plants in the world who may take away the waste material for use at their end after refining and washing.
This company should not get constrained by the price it fetches – it should be prepared to dispose of the waste materials at the rock bottom price. Whatever is not as a price is a bonus since thereby they save on the costs of treating the waste products.
If there are no takers available, then this company should get rid of the materials without charging anything since that would enable them to avoid the expenditure involved in building dams and treatments. In this way both ethical as well as the legal requirements are fulfilled.
In Australia the laws pertaining to contracts are largely products of common law and have been evolved by the courts and are not generally passed by the parliament. A fundamental principle followed by common law is that all contracts are essentially bargains which have been made freely between parties who have equal say or power in executing the contract. The basic premise is that there is total and full freedom given to the parties in working out and finalising any contract. In the present day, however, the buyer and seller do not have equal power(Fairhall, 2012).
The seller is usually a large business house with immense clout in the government and judiciary while the common man has to choose between “take it” or “Leave it’ options(Quilter, 2014).
Acceptance of an offer must be concluded with an agreement between two parties.
After successfully compilation of the agreement, both the parties are legally bound to each other.
Each party will be giving some consideration about the agreement for promise to do, or not do.
There must be a legal opportunity to enter into an agreement or into the contract for both the parties.
Every contract has some legal and unique requirements; like selling of land must be in writing.
Consent to the agreement should be unique for each parties.
Only those person who are into the agreement, can only enforce the particular contract.
Finally the legality of contract describes that the purpose of the agreement is contrary to law and that can not be enforced by the court.
Now, this case of the sportsman purchasing the automobile from this company who despite being told categorically by the sales person that the car can travel on its own pretty well but the driver of the vehicle must always be prepared to take over the control since there was no better way to travel than by ensuring safety by manual control when needed. Thus prima facie this company has delivered a vehicle which can generally travel on its own but the travelling should be ensured under the alert eyes of the driver. The customer did not heed the advice of the sales person and he did not even go through the details of the conditions of sale while signing the purchase contract. Judged by these facts the company is in a very sound position and there is not much cause for worry in this regard(Zetler, 2011).
However, the main source of concern for this company is the revelation that the failure of the engineer to locate a technical fault. As per the case study the fault of the “Self-Drive” mode of the car has been acknowledged by BC due to human error by an engineer during the wiring, which led to the crash. This is the prime area of concern and the management must own up the responsibility for the failure which was due to a technical fault. As per the requirements of engineering ethics he engineer had not acted responsibly since his lapse – in locating the loose wiring – cost the customer dearly. Since their actions affect the people who use the cars the engineer should have taken the time for checking the circuit and ascertaining that it was technically perfect(Wilson, 2016).
This might have meant a lower production figure for the day yet whatever number of cars would have come out that particular day would have been fit for use without causing an accident.
This is to recommend to the management that while the commercial implications are important for every engineer the management must create a culture where the ethical aspect is given its due recognition and importance. This ethical stand should have been ensured and encouraged by the top management. Let us recollect the old saying “The neck of the bottle is always at the top”.
Bagley, E. (2011). Managers and the Legal Environment: Strategies for the 21st Century; https://books.google.co.in/books?id=3eIJAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=L+Griggs,+E+Clarke+and+I+Iredale,+Manager+and+the+Law,+3rd+ed,+Lawbook+Co+Thompson+Reuters,+2009,+p+15.&hl=en&sa=X.
Burke, T. (2011). Sustainable Australia – Sustainable Communities. Retrieved August 31, 2016, from environment: https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/6944262c-e3de-4b70-9e09-e3e75668ce63/files/population-strategy.pdf
coursehero. (2014, August 29). Managers and the legal environment Introduction. Retrieved August 31, 2016, from coursehero: https://www.coursehero.com/tutors-problems/Law/8607197-Further-instructions-to-students-This-ass/
engineersaustralia. (2010, July 28). Code of Ethics. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from engineersaustralia: https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au//sites/default/files/shado/About%20Us/Overview/Governance/codeofethics2010.pdf
Fairhall, H. (2012, July). Australian Government Review of Australian Contract Law. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from lawsociety: https://www.lawsociety.com.au/cs/groups/public/documents/internetyounglawyers/644777.pdf
Gahan, P., Adamovic, M., Bevitt, A., Harley, B., Healy, J., Olsen, J., et al. (2016). Leadership at Work: Do Australian leaders have what it takes?: https://sal.workplaceleadership.com.au/sites/default/files/inline-files/SAL-Report.pdf.
Griggs, L., Clarke, E., & Iredale, I. (2009). Manager and the law. Sydney: Lawbook Co Thompson Reuters.
Mackenzie, A. (2016, March 04). CATASTROPHIC FAILURE. Retrieved August 31, 2016, from ABC: https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/02/29/4413666.htm
Quilter, M. (2014, Octobor 01). The Law Handbook. Retrieved August 31, 2016, from legalanswers: https://www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/guides/law_handbook/pdf/Ch12_contracts.pdf
Smith, T. (2013, September 12). 16 Ways to Demonstrate Integrity. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from insightsfromanalytics: https://www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog/bid/332218/16-Ways-to-Demonstrate-Integrity
Wilson, ‎. (2016). Codifying Contract Law: International and Consumer Law Perspectives; https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=1317164822. Sydney.
Zetler, J. (2011, Feb). MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT LAW . Retrieved August 31, 2016, from businessandeconomicsc: https://www.businessandeconomics.mq.edu.au/current_students/undergraduate/resources/unit_outlines_summary/ug/2011/buslaw/BUSL350_Marketing_and_Management_Law_2011_S2.pdf

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