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What Is The Social Responsibility Of Business?

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According to Friedman (1970), he clarified that a business cannot have responsibilities but a corporation which can be identified as a person may have artificial responsibilities, which implies that mostly corporate executives are responsible for the corporations. He explained that the primary responsibility of a corporate executive is to the owners of the corporation by generating revenue or rendering of services depending on the type of corporation while conforming to the societal rules & law, norms and ethical custom. He described social responsibility of business as when the corporate executive acts on behalf of his employers that might not be the best interest of his employers e.g. by spending the business money for a general social interest and he gave valuable examples like expenses to reduce pollution beyond the best interest of the corporation, reducing poverty by hiring physically fit instead of qualified personnel at the detriment of the corporation’s profits etc.

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The IPCC Synthesis report video emphasised the scientific evidence is stronger than ever and the human influenced damage to the earth and climate system globally by gas emissions which has caused widespread and profound impacts on human and natural systems, they urge us to act fast as climate change is already affecting ecosystems, human health, freshwater, resources and agriculture to prevent a destructive outcome however it was made known that there is a means to limit climate change for a better future. I understood that the social benefit is greater than the social cost, massive investments would be required to implement all solutions presented in the video and that’s where corporation, individuals and governments step as it is a social responsibility and international cooperation and contribution from all sectors to mitigation is a key factor to limit future climate change to reduce the harm of the climate change by implementing nuclear power energy efficiency improvements and carbon capture. Based on the observed impacts it also stated that many features of ecosystems and the economy are very sensitive to changes in climate and there is a very clear risk of much greater impact of climate change based on the climate change.

Adaptation to climate change might be very costly but its better than after the severe effects of climate change, some adaptions are flood barriers and improved drainage systems, farmers manage their lands differently for by changing planting times, the use of smart buildings for more resilience and natural forests decrease the risk of flood during heavy and fighting deforestation.The IPCC Mitigation of Climate Change video stated that reduction of emission before 2030 would reduce climate change to 2% but if postponed to after 2030 the reduction rate would double by producing more and low carbon energy and doing less before 2030 which gives for 2 more decades. And it emphasised on urban mitigation by building cities with less emission energy, policies need to be set up across all sectors to contribute to the investment financial aspect of restructuring which is much more efficient.Based on the reading and videos I do believe Friedman’s claim is valid as he stated in his article that the corporate executive is an agent whose main role is making profits for his employer regardless if its in the best interest of the business owner. I also agree that with the points from the video that all sectors must contribute because in the long run it would be for the betterment of the future because if action isn’t taken fast to curb the climate change issue it would cost more at that point to restore the damage.


  1. Friedman, M. (1970, September 13). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times, pp. 32–33, 122, 124, 126. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/117933451/pageviewPDF/CE4D79B902D14187PQ/1?accountid=15182IPCC. (2016, February 1st).
  2. Fifth Assessment Report. Synthesis Report. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGH0dAwM-QEIPCC. (2014, June 6th).
  3. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Mitigation of Climate Change. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDcGz1iVm6U

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