Issue Spotting Scenario: Ethics


XYZ Corporation owns a landfill that was acquired in the purchase of a small waste management company 30 years ago. During routine testing of the soil surrounding the landfill a technician of the company discovered that the soil on the west side of the landfill showed evidence of heavy metals which may be carcinogenic (cause cancer) to humans and animals. If the source of the contamination is not located and contained, the chemicals might enter the public water supply by draining into the local reservoir. The cost of cleaning up the chemical contamination could be very large. The Vice President of the company in charge of the landfill has been given the test results. When he informed the CEO of the situation he was told to ignore the results and continue operating the landfill. The Vice President is trying to determine his course of action.

Pick one of the Theories of Ethics and answer the following questions:

1. Who are the potential stakeholders who may or may not be affected by the above situation?

2. What actions if any should the Vice president take or not take?

3. Explain your answers.

4. Would your answers change if you applied one of the other theories of ethics?