PHL 320 Ethics and Social Responsibility

Ethics and Social Responsibility




Jennifer Stephens

Ethics and Social Responsibility

Ethics and social responsibility should be at the top of the priority list of companies but sadly it’s not. Many executives fall victim to the seduction of the all mighty dollar which drives them to make decisions that are morally wrong. Lying and stealing to line their pockets while investors fall victim to their greed. Companies need to have in place rules and regulations to protect themselves and their shareholders from crooked employees.

Gas Innovations and their business decisions

Currently I work for a gas wholesale company called Gas Innovations. We sell natural and specialty gases to chemical plants and other industrial companies. On location we also process gas to make special blends and to change the purity levels. The company has a lab on site that creates and comes up with new blends of gases to sell to our customers.

Recently demand for our gases has increased. In order to keep up with demand, the management at Gas Innovations decided to install a new high pressure plant to process higher volumes of gas. (Willingham, 2016) Along with the new plant, a carbon monoxide tank would be installed. Some of the gases that are processed in the plant are safe to breathe but there are other gases that are deadly if inhaled. (Willingham, 2016)

Potential ethical implications associated with building a high pressure plant

Building and running a chemical plant can be very dangerous. Citizens of La Porte may question the safety of the new plant that’s being built. The plant can pose a potential ethical implication because some of the gases that are going to be flowing through that plant are deadly. If there was a leak it could kill the people in a 5 mile radius depending on how much gas is leaked. Another issue could be an explosion. If valves aren’t properly regulated it could cause an explosion. (Nastu, 2008)

Determine the effect this may have on the decision making process

Since the plant can potentially pose a danger to not only the citizens of La Porte, but to the people working in and around the plant, the owners and management have spent extra money to ensure plenty of safety precautions are put in place. (Willingham, 2016) The gas is in demand and it needs to come from somewhere. As long as the proper safety protocol is followed the owners and management feel they can keep it safe for the people surrounding the plant. (Willingham, 2016)

Identify how Gas Innovations applies corporate social responsibility to the business

Some chemical and oil and gas companies are unfairly judged based on the practices of other companies. (Nastu, 2008) The owners at Gas Innovation believe strongly that the community is like family. (Willingham, 2016) The citizens are the ones working in other plants that are buying our gases and in welding shops that are buying our cutting tips and wire. They hold open houses for people to come in and tour parts of the plants and they go through the safety protocol so the people of La Porte know their safety is at the top of the priority list.

Gas Innovations also sponsors different school functions and clubs not just in La Porte but in surrounding communities as well. They hold golf tournaments for customers and community leaders. The owners of Gas Innovations are very genuine people and they will go out of their way to help anyone in the community. They like to stay engaged with community.

Other ways that Gas Innovations applies CSR is by following EPA guidelines when flaring off excess gases. Often times there are remnants of a gas in a cylinder and the only way they are able to get rid of the gas is to burn it off. The EPA only allows so much activity in a given time frame. Specials charts and logs are kept in the shop so if the EPA ever showed up for an audit, the company will have the proper documentation to show the EPA.

Evaluate the influence that corporate social responsibility has on Gas Innovations

Corporate social responsibility has a big influence on Gas Innovations and its management. The owners are the type of people that would give you the shirt off their back and ask you to relocate a spider from the office instead of killing it. The management is very by the book and they treat all of their employees like they are family.

With that being said, making sure that the community as well as the employees are safe is a high priority for them. Because safety is such a high priority for them, the owners make sure that it’s something that’s address before every decision is made that could potentially affect the employees and the surrounding community.

A few years ago a tanker truck carrying propane fell off of the over pass in the front yard of our shop. Having knowledge of propane tankers since we own a few, the owners called the company who owned the tanker truck and asked what they could do to help. Two of the owners risked themselves to properly release the propane so the truck wouldn’t explode and hurt any of the people in the surrounding area.

Discuss the application of critical thinking to corporate social responsibility

When planning for the installation of the plant and carbon monoxide tank, the owners as well as other management researched possible things that could go wrong with the installation. (Willingham, 2016) They turned to a man named Darrell Ard who actually used sticky notes on the side of the wall to map out any potential danger that came with the installation and what they could do to minimize the risks. The risks were lined with one color and the solutions were in a different color. They used the 6 steps of critical thinking to plan (what they wanted the plant and tank for), research (possible affects the plant would have in community and how to utilize the plant and tank), analyze (profits of the plant as well as safety concerns ways to minimize risk) and execute the construction of the building and installation of the tank.


In this day in age we don’t see many companies that put forth good ethics and morals ahead of profits. Technology has made it easy to lie, cheat, steal and cover up wrong doings. Working for a company like Gas Innovations has been an experience like no other. The owners and management genuinely care about everyone around them and that’s what makes them an ethical and socially responsible company.


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Nastu, P. (2008, March 18). Ethical Image Hard Sell For Chemical Companies. Retrieved from Enviromental Leader:

Nathanson, S. (n.d.). Act and Rule Utilitarianism. Retrieved from IEP:

Rao, S. R. (2010, December 23). Moral Rights Approach. Retrieved from Citeman:

Social Responsibility. (n.d.). Retrieved from Investopedia:

Thompson, D. (n.d.). Practical Ethics. Retrieved from Harvard Ethics:

Willingham, J. (2016, July 11). Owner. (S. Madden, Interviewer)

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