AES Corporation operates from a strong foundation of shared values in providing clean and reliable energy. AES was accustomed to fulfilling one of four shared values, being socially responsible, by adhering to an environmental view of providing clean energy through the implementation of high technology and off-set programs. During the project in Orissa, India, AES may have missed an opportunity in creating synergies between all four values – act with integrity, be fair, have fun and be socially responsible, by addressing collective needs of the local community.
AES Corporation should be commended for its strong commitment to its shared values and principles of ...view middle of the document...
The State of Orissa had already approved the PC boiler design meeting a lesser environmental standard as required by the World Bank and India’s Central Electricity Authority.
By incorporating a more expensive and higher environmental standard CFB boiler design, AES would adhere to their values of being socially responsible but the issue is not to feel good but to do the greatest possible good.
The action of being socially responsible is noble but sometimes the consequences of our actions can be conflicting and wasteful. AES should not apply western values by incorporating solutions such as implementing USA standard technology in developing countries, or planting trees miles away from the host community. This approach misses the ultimate goal of social betterment; instead, it could be perceived by the people of developing countries as a misunderstanding of their needs, and lack of consideration to their priorities, since they cannot directly benefit from the action. The State of Orissa, India was an underdeveloped state with a literacy rate of 48%, and 45% of the population was malnourished and with the majority of the population lacking access to clean water, such as precarious conditions demand different solutions.
One of my recommendations is that AES should clearly state social responsibility policies for underdeveloped countries like Afghanistan, developing countries like China and over developed country like USA. A second recommendation is to take a holistic approach understanding the social needs of the local community and prioritize its needs against cost and results. And about the Orissa case I think that AES should not default by applying western technology standards for clean air. They may feel good about implementing high technology, cleaner emission boilers, but the local community is not primarily concerned with air quality as their laws and regulations may indicate.
AES would serve the people and community of Orissa by surveying and assessing the demographics of the community and taking a deeper view of the issues that people face every day in order to survive. After surveying the community it would be very clear to the team that the most critical need is clean water, a proper working sewage system, and good jobs that provide basic needs. Building a water treatment plant and improving sewage system will remarkably increase living conditions -- improve people’s health, life expectancy and productivity, and will provide more jobs. Moreover, these are more...