Biodiversity and Ethical Business

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Integrating Ethical Issues in Business Decisions: A Case Study on Evaluating the Biodiversity Impacts of a Large-Scale Hydropower Project

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The study is done in collaboration with the Social Innovation Center of INSEAD and the article can be downloaded as INSEAD working paper.

Abstract: We study how the main business actor in the Inambari Hydropower Project in Peru (EGASUR-Eletrobras) treats the biodiversity dimension of its planned operations. Selecting the choice of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as the crucial decision, we contrast an analysis of prima facie business interests with an ethical analysis. Following prima facie business interests leads to a “minimalist” EIA, which raises ethical issues both from a consequentialist and a deontological perspective. Based on observations from Peru, we suspect that ethical issues have indeed been neglected or denied by EGASUR, and we provide indicators that this failure to anticipate and appropriately deal with unethical aspects is underlying some of the increased opposition against the project. We argue that anticipatory ethical analysis can help companies make more sustainable decisions by enabling them to better understand the perception of stakeholders and how to gain trust and avoid conflicts.


Please contact us if you are interested in reading the complete study! Location of the Inambari Hydro Project Map taken from The Economist - November 19th, 2009 On joint initiative of Presidents Alan Garcia (Peru) and Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil), negotiations are underway for the construction of six hydroelectric power plants in the Peruvian (...)