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Introductory case study: scenario

Please read the following scenario. On subsequent pages you will be provided with the viewpoints of various stakeholders, and you will be asked some questions designed to help you reflect on the ethical issues raised.

You are finishing the first year in your first job after University, working as part of a procurement team at Temple Nine, a large UK manufacturing company. Temple Nine produce furnishings for cruise ships, large private yachts and some military vessels. Minimum cost and highest quality are the two things you demand of your timber suppliers, and with the big buying power of your company you are often the sole buyer from smaller firms.

Helen Michaels, the new Environmental Advisor at your company calls to say that an environmental NGO in Nicaragua has contacted her with information about one of the major suppliers that you and your team use.

“The NGO is called Nicaragua Forest Watch, or NFW, and they have been investigating Luco Timber, one of the companies we use to source Mahogany and small amounts of other high-grade timber. NFW claim that Luco Timber are logging in a forest in the south-west of the country, in an area rich in biodiversity and used by local communities for a wide range of purposes. The local town is called Santa Cristabel, and NFW say that the logging is having a serious impact on its inhabitants.

There are no local legal restrictions on logging in this area, but NFW claim that the deforestation caused by Luco Timber is highly damaging, and the logging restrictions are notoriously lax in that region. NFW have released their information to the British press, and they claim to have reason to believe that it will be picked up by the national papers.”

Hear the views of some of the major stakeholders