A New Slice of the Apple - The Apple Ring - ApplePark
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A New Slice of the Apple – The Apple Ring aka Apple Park

A look at the Apple Ring aka Apple Park from an ethical point of view

With a company as well-known and prestigious as Apple, you would expect that they would consider all ethical boundaries when building their new campus. After the construction of the Apple Ring, the company’s second campus was built in Cupertino, California, with around 175 acres of land, 2.8 million of the main building, and the main office worth $4.17 billion(4). There were a lot of opinions and criticism on how the new building failed the consideration of many ethical issues and did not benefit the city of Cupertino as much as it promised it would. Continue reading this article to find out how Apple disappointed the locals and other parties of Cupertino and what future businesses should avoid when constructing or opening up a new campus, building, or facility.

Downfall of Outsourcing

Around 90% of the employees working in the Apple ring were outsourced and not from the area and therefore had to commute using different means of transportation which ended up increasing the traffic and pollution and overall harming the environment(5). Instead, the company should have hired the local population which would have killed two birds with one stone. It would have decreased the population and given the local economy of Cupertino a chance to strive by providing more job opportunities.

Zoning Laws would have helped

Moreover, many criticize the benefits Apple provided the city of Cupertino as a little stingy compared to the company which has $250 billion in cash. Some people say Apple did not do much to help or improve the Bay Area city of Cupertino and ended up building a work campus that only exacerbates the ongoing problem of transportation, housing, and economics in suburban areas. Apple overstates the supposed benefits and development of the Apple ring, but in reality, it is only an unstimulating sprawl of an idea that’s taking up too much potential land. What they do mention is how more housing and residents will only cost more as the city will have to build schools and hospitals to accommodate the needs of the increased population(2). A lot of the locals argue that remodelling an old building in the middle of the city would have been better for the economy of Cupertino, instead of taking away precious land that could have been used for other advantageous projects(6). Therefore, by properly following the zoning laws, Apple could have avoided all these problems stated above, and the locals of Cupertino blamed the Apple Ring for increasing the noise level, car traffic, parking, air quality, and wasting potential land(1).

Shareholder Value Criticism

Another factor that many people had a problem with, more specifically shareholders, was how the building was unnecessarily extravagant. Due to building one of the most high-tech and fancy buildings, Apple was unable to issue more corporate dividends which ended up upsetting the shareholders. This was unethical of Apple as they did not consider the implicit contract they had with the shareholders and therefore disappointing them. It is very important for a shareholder to feel valued, secure, and confident in a company(3). Especially, when it’s a billion-dollar organization such as Apple, you wouldn’t think that maximizing shareholder value would be an issue or struggle.

Therefore, even though The Apple Ring is known as one of the most advanced campuses to ever be built, many critics believe that a lot of the decisions made were unethical and should be avoided by future organizations.

References to read further about the Apple Ring from an Ethical Point of View:
  1. FindLaw. (2018, February 16). Commercial zoning. (URL)
  2. Howarth, D. (2017). Apple Park New Campus Foster Partners Sucks Wired Magazine Review. (URL)
  3. Insead Knowledge. (2008). Retrieved from Maximising shareholder value: an ethical responsibility? (URL)
  4. Inside ApplePark. (2021). (URL)
  5. Winters, D. (2017). If You Care About Cities, Apple’s New Campus Sucks. (URL)
  6. businessethicsopenstax. (n.d.). Workplace Campuses. Opentextbc.Ca.