Ep 137. Eric Orts: Why Businesses Must Care for the Natural Environment
“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair
Eric Orts is the Guardsmark Professor at the Wharton School. He’s a Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics with a secondary appointment in Management. He’s also Faculty Director of the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership. Eric’s current research includes a forthcoming article on Senate Democracy: Our Lockean Paradox and How to Solve It in the American University Law Review and a another, co-authored with Amy Sepinwall, on Collective Rights and the Court in the Washington University Law Review. He’s completing a book for Oxford University Press on Rethinking the Firm, an interdisciplinary sequel to his Business Persons: A Legal Theory of the Firm. And he has ongoing research projects on financial regulation and economic inequality and theories of democracy and the business firm. He’s also the author of The Moral Responsibility of Firms.
In this episode, Stew and Eric discuss the real and present danger of climate change and the reality that we currently have the technological solutions to address this issue, but lack the political will to do so. They discuss the importance of corporations taking their responsibility in this arena seriously, not only to help save our planet, but also because it makes financial sense for them to do so, and the implications of this set of challenges for business education -- how we empower then rising generation of leaders. Eric offers hard-won wisdom on how to find hope to inspire positive action when it might feel like an overwhelming task to try to save the world for our children, their children, and the generations to come.