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It is widely known that the primary objective of a firm is to increase shareholder wealth. This is challenging given the numerous aspects that firms must deal with to as it focuses on this goal which includes much more than basic financial decisions. As humans we naturally influence the world around us. Because of that, it is important to recognize that we depend wholly on the natural world as well. This is a complex relationship that is affected by many decisions made in business. To be clear, humans affect the natural world and the natural world affects humans. Knowing this, many businesses have recognized that they must formulate strategies that generate positive changes in the natural world.

Consider some of the environmental challenges that we deal with as humans such as changes in climate, natural disasters, water availability, pollution of air, water, and land, long-term damage to ecosystems, waste production and disposal; impacts of chemicals use and toxic substance disposal; damaged aquatic ecosystems; and deforestation and land degradation. All of these ultimately impact financial decisions of businesses and require companies to develop strategies and policies in an effort to manage business risks that occur in relation to one or more of these environmental challenges.

Here are some Websites that will get you started for this discussion.

http://www.unglobalcompact.org/Issues/Environment - /index.html
http://www.greenatworkmag.com/magazine - /corporate_social_responsibility.html
http://www.globalissues.org/article/408/sustainable-development-introduction#WhatisSustainableDevelopment
http://www.greenmoneyjournal.com/article.mpl?newsletterid=55&articleid=804

Let’s discuss!

Identify an industry or company that would impact natural resources (e.g. water, air, forest, eco-system, etc…) Discuss the natural resources that is impacted through business dealings and what the company can do to develop strategies that are beneficial to the stakeholders while also preventing damage of the natural resource. Finally, explain why the natural resources are important for the company to consider.