Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Business Ethics and Sustainability Issues


Businesses have become very cautious about their operations in the current competitive business environment. Numerous firms yearn to remain sustainable in all their processes to gain a greater reputation, which builds favorable business working conditions. As firms continue being sustainable, they avoid necessary issues or pressures both internally and externally. This essay will evaluate the main ethics and sustainability issues businesses need to address. Further, the research will provide recommendations for implementing sustainable and responsible approaches to leadership. To effectively answer the question, the study will concentrate on Apple and Tony’s Chocolonely in evaluating how they conduct their business processes.

Business Ethics

According to Ferrell, Odies & Fraedrich (2021), business ethics enable the business to operate peacefully and smoothly without any party feeling victimized. However, many companies have failed to implement proper business ethics internally and externally. Ethics determine how the firm relates with its customers, stakeholders, and workers toward the daily accomplishment of objectives (Ferrell, Odies & Fraedrich, 2021). Another study by Crane et al. (2019) concluded that business ethics are among the core values that have enabled many firms to experience increased productivity. Further, the researchers concluded that by focusing on ethics alone, the relationship between the firm and its stakeholders is high, meaning higher productivity.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is a wide topic that needs a lot of concentration in the current business environment. Nowadays, the rise of both male and female activists has enabled firms to remain focused on addressing gender equality. In their work, scholars concluded that gender equality in workplaces reduces the chances of discrimination. They also concluded that the term means offering equal rights to male and female workplace employees. In the past, Gender inequality issues were experienced in salaries, job positions, working hours, and benefit allocation. However, despite advocating gender equality, several firms still lag in the case. Apple Inc. is a good example of how firms apply quality gender equality tactics. In the firm, several top management positions are governed by females and several males. The salary distribution in the firm is even per worker and depends on the situation and level of productivity of every worker. Further, Tony’s Chocolonely, one of the leading chocolate sellers in the world, effectively applies gender equality (Ind, Nicklas & Iglesias, 2022). The HRM department in the firm conducts fair recruitment and selection processes, equal wages and salaries, and even distribution of roles in the firm. A cross-examination by Byars, Stephen & Stanberry (2018) found that gender equality has been among the main values that have improved employee relations.

Working Conditions

Evaluating working conditions as one of the business ethics is important for many reasons. First, it helps ensure that the company’s employees are treated fairly, foremost among those being safe workplace conditions and fair wages. Second, working conditions can provide information on what production methods and products are most effective for increasing profits, which can help with company strategy moving forward (Byars, Stephen & Stanberry, 2018). Third, by considering ethical standards, companies can improve their workforce retention and recruitment potential by ensuring their employees work in a caring environment. At Apple Inc., executives are expected to take the lead on all ethical issues involving the company’s management of its personnel. In addition, the company has established a committee of senior executives, chaired by the CEO and including other management members, each year who evaluate their performance on standard management practices (Ind, Nicklas & Iglesias, 2022). The committee examines many aspects of how Tony’s Chocolonely operates its business internally and externally, including working conditions and occupational health rating systems, recruitment and hiring procedures, use of outside consultants, employee compensation policies, and other related practices to employment at Tony’s Chocolonely.

Codes of Conduct

The codes of conduct establish ethical standards for a certain business organization, both internally and externally. These codes are not written down, and no one is responsible for them. Further, they are designed to improve employees’ lives and ensure that their activities comply with the policies and principles (Crane et al., 2019). The proper implementation of the code creates a positive image for the company and helps maintain a healthy relationship among all stakeholders within the business community. At Apple Inc., the codes of conduct are evaluated to bring value to the company and provide a deep overview of how the firm relates with the general public. However, at Tony’s Chocolonely, the codes of conduct evaluate how workers conduct themselves in the firm, which greatly affects wealth creation (Crane et al., 2019). Codes of conduct such as integrity, professionalism, competence, and confidentiality are effective in enhancing the firm’s reach of its objective.

Corporate Citizenship

Corporate citizenship can be defined as a branch of public policy and business ethics. The latter generally includes efforts by a firm to improve the communities in which it operates and to ensure that its operations remain compliant with local environmental laws and corporate policies. Scholars argue that businesses cannot ignore social issues or individual workers’ rights in today’s modern economy, especially in developing countries where most of their products are produced (Crane et al., 2019). Therefore, the evaluation of corporate citizenship should include the extent to which firms are socially responsible towards their employees, society at large, and their communities. According to Ind, Nicklas & Iglesias (2022), a corporation is a community of like-minded people who organize around the pursuit of enrichment and happiness. The employees of Apple Inc are some of the most motivated, hardworking, and active employees. Business ethics and the corporate citizenship initiatives companies take play a pivotal role in shaping and infusing their ideas about contributions to society (Ind, Nicklas & Iglesias, 2022). Corporate social responsibility is where firms can promote new ideas and instill a society-oriented culture within their organizations. Staying true to this vision will benefit the organization and its customers, suppliers, and employees; it helps reverse over-consumption practices, thus making them sustainable. At Tony’s Chocolonely, their corporate citizenship program shows they are committed to doing their best (Ind, Nicklas & Iglesias, 2022). They have built a strong foundation for protecting the environment by recycling, reusing, and pollution prevention techniques. They also support grassroots charity work in the community with financial support to underprivileged families.

Human Rights

Business ethics is concerned with the proper behavior of businesspeople. One aspect of this concerns the treatment of employees or workers. This ethical concern extends to all aspects of business, including risk-taking and responsibilities to stakeholders in a company. Businesses must avoid violating human rights wherever they may be violated by those involved in their activities, such as shareholders and customers (Crane et al., 2019). In their evaluation, scholars found that both Apple and Tony’s Chocolonely has clear rights guidelines for all workers. Both firms are also champions of protecting the rights of individuals by offering fair practices in operations and management.


Sustainability is the ability to maintain a level of performance or achieve an objective throughout a specific timeframe, using resources available within the environment.

Climate Change

Apple believes sustainability and reducing emissions are key to our business model and a critical aspect of their day-to-day operations. With a focus on enabling consumers to be more aware of their daily choices’ impact on the environment, Apple has become a leader in sustainability within its industry. The firm focuses on reducing our carbon footprint by consuming less energy, purchasing high-efficiency products, harnessing renewable energy, and contributing to green initiatives worldwide (Mao et al., 2020). At Apple, their goal is to find new ways we can use technology to create products that help people live greener lives. Toney’s Chocolonely is a company that has come up with a sustainable packaging material that is made from cornstarch, sugar, and coconut oil (Mao et al., 2020). The firm uses natural ingredients for this sustainable packaging material, such as cornstarch, sugar, and coconut oil. These are all derived from renewable resources to make them environmentally friendly, so they can help reduce CO2 emissions and not harm the environment.

Pollution & Toxins

Toney’s Chocolonely was founded on the world’s need to improve. Toney’s Chocolonely’s mission is to create a world where people are free to make a true difference in the lives of others by providing a healthy, sustainable, and accessible alternative to their consumer culture (Gelder, 2022). By providing every part of the chocolate with no chemicals added and no preservatives, Toney’s Chocolonely assures that none of our products contain harmful toxins that can cause disease, illness, or even death (Gelder, 2022). Their commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in our general office policy, which requires that waste be disposed of using environmentally-friendly methods. Apple Inc. is becoming a leader in the green industry by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and water-intensive manufacturing (Gelder, 2022). The company has been working to incorporate eco-friendly materials into its manufacturing processes to prevent pollution and toxins from entering the environment.

Habitats & Resources

Apple Inc. has established an environmental sustainability plan to prevent waste and conserve resources. It practices recycling, limited packaging, and water conservation with its products. The latter includes using recycled paper, ink, and green products like recyclable packaging (Vuddaraju, 2022). Apple has also created a greenhouse gas reporting policy that allows employees to voluntarily report information about their company’s non-air travel-based transportation plans. The firm is a local initiative that helps to prevent habitat and resource destruction (Vuddaraju, 2022). The chocolate sales are donated to local organizations that are helping to protect natural and cultural heritage around the world. The program provides an education that helps people understand where their food comes from, how farming communities contribute positively to their environment, and how chocolate can positively impact climate change.

Water Management

Water management is an essential component of every company because, without proper water management, a company will not operate smoothly. Toney’s Chocolonely has researched the benefits of their products and found that if they put their products into water, they would have more drinking water available in their stores (Westreenen, 2022). Apple Inc. can help improve water management in rural areas to reduce soil erosion, defined as the loss of vegetative cover and topsoil by wind and water, accelerating desertification and lowering the productive capacity of farmland (Chen et al., 2021). Apple’s initiatives are a form of carbon offsetting carbon dioxide that may be emitted during manufacturing but subsequently removed through planting trees or other methods that absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

Opportunities and Challenges of Sustainable and Responsible Leadership

Miska, Christoff & Mark (2018) found that sustainable leadership enables the business to acquire trust in their new areas of operations where investors have much trust in the business. Moreover, customers seem to value businesses with sustainable leadership mandates because they work hard to provide their objectives (Miska, Christoff & Mark, 2018). In addition, sustainable leadership is responsible when yearning for the firm’s profitability. Responsible leadership enables businesses to remain firm in their goals and objectives, which are crucial for productivity. The virtue enables businesses to accomplish their agenda effectively without depleting resources. However, sustainable leadership is subject to victimization from uncooperating workers, who drag the efforts. Sustainable leadership involves the knowledge of both positive and negative situations simultaneously.

Recommendations for Sustainability

  • Effective leaders who demonstrate emotional intelligence can empathize with others, identify their needs, and guide them toward a shared goal.
  • Effective leaders should also have strong communication and planning skills. These skills enable them to build consensus among employees and help create an environment where employees feel engaged.
  • Leaders need to take a stance of sustainability and responsibility in their respective organizations to ensure that these messages are delivered from within and reinforced by the organization.


Byars, S. M., & Stanberry, K. (2018). Business ethics.

Chen, X., Liu, Y., & Gong, H. (2021, December). Apple Inc. Strategic Marketing Analysis and Evaluation. In 2021 3rd International Conference on Economic Management and Cultural Industry (ICEMCI 2021) (pp. 3053-3061). Atlantis Press.

Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. J. (2019). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, USA.

De Gelder, E. (2022). Perspective: Fair Trade. Food Studies: Matter, Meaning, Movement.

Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2021). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Cengage learning.

Ind, N., & Iglesias, O. (2022). The Business of Conscience. In In Good Conscience (pp. 27-50). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Mao, Y., Lai, Y., Luo, Y., Liu, S., Du, Y., Zhou, J., … & Bonaiuto, M. (2020). Apple or Huawei: Understanding flow, brand image, brand identity, brand personality and purchase intention of smartphone. Sustainability, 12(8), 3391.

Miska, C., & Mendenhall, M. E. (2018). Responsible leadership: A mapping of extant research and future directions. Journal of Business Ethics148(1), 117-134.

Vuddaraju, A. V. (2022). Workplace Violence at Apple Inc. as a result of Prejudice. ScienceOpen Preprints.

Westreenen, M. (2022). The Double-Edged Sword of CSR Communication: A study of a truthful and complete CSR communication strategy for Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Program.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics