Using case studies from specific companies, outline how seriously multinationals address the risk of CO2 emissions?
Every passing day, the society in which we live is making big steps forward in almost every possible field ; technology, medicine, transportation, etc. Along with improvement and development there come also some serious problems related to the global warming and more specifically the increasing level of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. CO2 ( carbon dioxide) is a type of gas found in the atmosphere as part of the “Earth’s Carbon Cycle” (EPA, 2013), but when it reaches high level of concentration it becomes very harmful to all living organisms. As Bergeron(2008) explains in his report, there is a close relation between CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, the growing number of people who suffer from respiratory illnesses (asthma) and high mortality rates. Considering this critical situation (which has been going on for years), many industrialized countries decided to “unite” and work on one specific goal : the reduction of greenhouse gases. That is why on 11 December 1997, at the city of Kyoto, in Japan there was signed a treaty whose aim was to cut down the amount of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to 1990. (UNFCCC, 2013)
So different countries have shown commitment to the case, but there is another problem: how seriously do multinationals address the risk of CO2 emissions (given that they are the main releasers of this harmful gases)? Before giving the examples, the concept of multinationals should be clarified and well stated. According to Hymer (1970) “multinational corporations are a substitute for the market as a method of organizing international exchange”, which means that they are large companies with branches placed in different countries. In the following paragraphs, there are presented two case studies about two very well-known multinationals operating in the wide world market.
The first one to be introduced is the case of Honda Motors, the number 1 manufacturer of motorcycles in the world and amongst the top ones of automobiles. As it is widely expressed in the Honda Motor Case Study (2011), this company has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the environmental issues, by financing eco-friendly projects. One of this “green technology”(p.9) projects would be Honda FCX Clarity, the first hydrogen- powered car, which is” totally organic” (p.11) and does not emit any gases of potential danger. It uses two primary sources that can be easily found in nature, hydrogen and oxygen and the only final substance which comes as a result of the reactions happening in the motor is water, so definitely no CO2 emissions (p.15). This is an enormous step ahead which serves as a motivation to carry on with the initiative of lowering the quantity of CO2 in the air. Since transforming the actual tools and “refining the old methods” (p.17) would use a lot of scarce sources, investing on fuel cells would be the right thing to do...