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Business Ethics, 2nd Edition by A. C. Fernando

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Case Study

HLL’S FOLLY: MERCURY SPILL IN KODAIKANAL

(This case study is based on reports in the print and electronic media, and is meant for academic purpose only. The author has no intention to sully the image either of the corporate or the executives discussed.)

INTRODUCTION

In March 2001, more than 400 residents of Kodaikanal, an idyllic hill station on the Western Ghats in the south of India, caught the multinational Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) red-handed when they found a dumpsite with toxic mercury-laced waste from the company’s thermometer factory located in the heart of the town. ‘The 7.4 ton stockpile of crushed mercury-containing glass was found in torn sacks, spilling onto the ground in a busy scarp yard located near a school.’1 ‘The ...

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