Globalization processes have opened the world economy to everyone. Globalization entails the linking of the world markets to be as one. This means that people have the right to buy and sell their wares anywhere in the world. Globalization influences commodities such as water that has currently become bottled for sale when it is a natural resource. Thus, questions abound regarding the validity of this move whether it is ethically correct or not. Despite globalization opening up the world economy to everyone, it has both positive and negative impacts. This fact explains why researchers chose to explore the ethics as related to global business. Water also has a universal impact as it is a basic human need and it facilitates in making of other things essential for the global market.
One way of judging the impact of globalization is exploring its effects on the world market. According to the Bureau of International Information Programs (2011), globalization has facilitated the saving of lives through the penetration of water into countries that do not have sufficient water resources. Notably, some countries around the globe have suffered severe water shortages because of the lack of sufficient rainfall and water sources. As far as the global economy is functional, these countries have continually survived on water from other countries. Additionally, International Humanitarian Bodies such as the United Nations have been relying on aid such as water supply from other countries to treat and save lives of the nations where people suffer from the lack of water availability. Panayotou (2000) asserts that this is a significant merit of globalization.
Despite the fact that globalization has significant advantages, it should be noted that it has also affected some ethical principles related to the environment. An example of environmenal ethic principle affected by globalization concerns water pollution. Globalization has contributed to the continued development of industries. These industries need water in order to operate, but at the same time they have to release waste water. Velasquez (2000) asserts that this is where a failure of ethics is noticeable because industries do not consider to recycle the waste water released or treat the used water before releasing it to natural sources such as rivers and lakes. This has affected animals and human beings who significantly depend on the natural sources of water because the waste water released usually contains chemicals that poison flora and fauna, as well as contaminates water consumed by people. This is a significant violation of the environmental ethics.
The question of global ethics can be observed through exploring the issue of packaging and selling of water. Global ethics seems to have been eroded considering that natural commodities such as water can be packaged and sold. A worse scenario abounds from the fact that natural water from local reserves and sources is bottled and sold for a particular price, but the locals do not get some of the profit (Machan, 1999). This means that global ethics do not exist because the countries that buy water from those that have plenty of water sources could be factoring the local population in terms of how they are benefiting from their natural comoditiy (Carroll, 2004). The problem abounds from the fact that corruption is rampant and only a few people in the government benefit from such deals. This means that packaging of water should benefit the local community where it is drawn from. Additionally, this proves the lack of global ethics since natural commodities are not utilised correctly (Banerjee, 2008).
Globalization has facilitated the rise of capitalists who have commoditised natural water, which has led to the need for moral safeguards. An example of moral safeguards currently commercialised is the need for corporate social responsibility. This has placed companies around the globe in check because they have to limit their operations to practices that reflect social responsibility (Alzola, 2008). For instance, corporations have been challenged to promote a green economy and preservation of the environment. Companies are required to present their corporate social responsibility reports to the public in order for them to determine the enterprise that has the people’s interest at heart (Kline, 2010). Thus, companies around the globe have strived to promote environmental friendly activities such as planting trees and giving back to the society they operate in through charities and other channels. As a result, corporate social responsibility can be considered as a moral safeguard in the global market (Wood, 206).
Water has a significant value in the global setting. Considering that a large mass of Earth is covered with water proves how this natural resource has contributed significantly to facilitating globalization. The water masses have been used from time immemorial for transport across the sea. Without the oceans, this could be impossible. Another benefit of water in the global setting is that it has saved many lives while providing others with revenue, specifically those who have commercialised the commodity (Jackson et al., 2001). As discussed earlier, many countries have water shortages, which have encouraged some countries to commercialise the commodity. This proves the value of water in the global setting because without it, globalization could not be possible and countries selling water could not earn revenue (Najam et al., 2007). Additionally, people in countries with water shortages could not be productive if they did not receive the commodity as it is a basic need.
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Seckler et al. (1998) indicates that globalization has negatively impacted water management practices. This abounds from the fact that water reserves continue to be over-exploited for commercial purposes. Despite the fact that water is a natural resource, the resources usually have a capacity of serving a given amount of people (Michael Hoffman, 1994). Globalization has delath away with water preservation as it is been harvested from the natural sources at an alarming rate that has led to the drying up of some of these water resources (Revenga & D?ll, 2004). Additionally, globalization has contributed to the pollution of water resources. This abounds from the need of development whereby countries come up with many industries with poor sewarage systems.
Carroll (2004) asserts that globalization has promoted water privatisation significantly. According to Ferrell (2004), the opening of the gloal market has promoted improvisation for the need of making profits. This has promoted the bottling and selling of water as some people have discovered its eascalting demand in some areas. Globalization has also facilitated the exportation of plastic bottles that are used for packkaging of water. If globalization was dyfunct, privatisation of water could be limited (Revenga & D?ll, 2004).
In conclusion, globalization has facilitated the opening up of the world economy. However, serious questions arise regarding globalization and business ethics in relation to water privatisation. Globalization has promoted commoditisation of water and led to rise of moral safeguards for the purpose of protecting people. Corporate social responsibility abounds as a moral safeguard for dealing away with unscrupulous organisations. Questions have abounded regarding the commoditisation of water and it has been established that it can be done as long as it benefits the local community.
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