What responsibilities, if any, do multinational companies have to improve the environment of the companies in which they operate?
Hola from your leaders of the day, Jordi and Sally! Today was Global Business day. The focus was on how international companies affect local communities. In this spirit, we took two field trips; first, to an activist camp, Loma Miranda. Loma Miranda is a meeting place for various environmental activists, as well as the name of the community mountain. A large issue for the members of this group is that the government does not protect the mountain, which is a large provider of water for the community. As our speaker, Ruben, explained to us, the organization has had a tumultuous relationship with the government over the years. Countless protests and sit-ins have been held in order to protect the mountain’s natural resources, causing strife. After hearing from Ruben and several other members of Loma Miranda, we walked to a river to see what could potentially be destroyed if the mining companies got a hold of the mountain. Hearing from Ruben and seeing the river, everyone walked away with the sense that mining should not be done.
Later on in the day, we visited an Australian-owned mining company to get a true sense of what goes on within these large corporations. Our tour guide, Jonathan, sat down with us before showing us the mine and explained to us that the mining they do at their company is completely environmentally friendly, and the company actually prioritizes green practices. After hearing this from Jonathan, we drove up to look at the mine. It was huge; the trucks looked like toys! It was very obvious that the land was very exploited but the way Jonathan explained it, it didn’t seem like the mine had a negative impact on the environment.
Clearly these two narratives of mining were extremely different because one side believed that mining was bad for environment and the other side didn’t feel that way. As tourists it’s hard to understand the issue and therefore pick a side. Because we are unaffected by the operation of the mining companies on a daily basis, much like the foreign owners of these companies we do not always think of the impact the mining may have on the local communities, and the environment. While the operation of these multinational companies is in the hands of people very much disconnected from local communities, they are still responsible for keeping the community in shape. Multinational businesses must take responsibility for the actions they take and prioritize sustaining the environment, wherever they are.
Peace out from the best of Bonao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jordi and Sally