How BP responded to the last oil spill Until recently, BP has been involved in many environmental, safety and political controversies, including the 1965 Sea Gem incident and the very recent 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At first, BP had declared that estimating the oil flow was very difficult and even refused to allow scientists to perform more accurate, independent measurements. When scientists initially discovered oil plumes undersea, BP said the sampling showed no evidence of oil massing and spreading in the gulf water column.
BP adopted three main strategies for addressing spilled oil which were to contain it on the surface, away from the most sensitive areas; to dilute and disperse it in less sensitive areas; and to remove it from the water. BP stated that it would gather and exploit all of its resources to fight the oil spill, spending $7 million a day with its partners to try to contain the disaster. On May 6, BP began posting daily responses of the efforts made on its website, where we can presently read: “The completion of the relief well operation in the Gulf of Mexico is an important milestone in our continued efforts to restore the Gulf Coast.
However our work is not finished. BP remains committed to remedying the harm that the spill caused to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast environment, and to the livelihoods of the people across the region”. It is clearly a way for BP to show that it is aware of the responsibility it has to take regarding all the consequences of the disaster, by communicating on its daily efforts and concerns about what it caused. As time goes by, the focus is turning to as¬sessing the longer term impacts of the incident. On Sept. 9, BP said that it was investing $500 million in the Gulf Research Institute (GRI) – an open research program to be conducted by independent experts from academic institutions on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere, which GRI would study the impact of the incident and its associated response on the environment and public health in the Gulf of Mexico. The company has also taken action to help the region recover economically as well as environmentally, since livelihoods and local business sectors have been affected by the oil spill.
BP committed to meet all legitimate claims from individuals and businesses that have suffered losses, and has also provided grants totaling $170 million to the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to “help alleviate the impact of the spill and aid their tourism industries. ” Evaluation of BP’s corporate social responsibility It is clear that it has been endeavoring to have a greener image regarding its polluting activities. BP has been involved in solar power since 1973 and its subsidiary, BP Solar, is a solar power company, manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar cells for electricity.
In 1991 BP was one of the most polluting company in the USA and was charged with burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery (for which it was fined $1. 7 million). According to PIRG research, between January 1997 and March 1998, BP was responsible for 104 oil spills. However, BP patented the Dracone Barge to aid in oil spill clean-ups across the world. In 2000 BP Amoco changed its name to BP, introduced a new corporate slogan – “Beyond Petroleum” – and replaced its “Green Shield” logo with the Helios symbol, a green and yellow sunflower pattern.
The Helios logo represents energy in its many forms. BP’s tagline is “Beyond Petroleum”; according to the company this represents their focus on meeting the growing demand for fossil fuels, manufacturing and delivering more advanced products, and enabling the material transition to a lower carbon future In 2004, BP began marketing low-sulphur diesel fuel for industrial use. As of 11 February 2007, BP announced that the company would spend $8 billion over ten years to research alternative methods of fuel, including natural gas, hydrogen, solar, and wind.
BP’s investment in green technologies represented 4% of its exploratory budget, but they have since closed their alternative energy headquarters in London. As such they invest more than other oil companies, but it has been called greenwashing due to the small proportion of the overall budget and maintaining environmentally unsound practices (in July 2006, critics pointed to the relative lack of press coverage about a spill of 270,000 gallons of crude oil that spread into the Alaskan tundra).
These changes were intended to highlight the company’s interest in alternative and environmentally friendly fuels. BP should keep on pursuing its efforts in terms of image, in order to show people (and the whole world) that it is a responsible company which takes all the consequences of its actions, and keep on moving towards clean energies development to compensate the pollution generated by its main activities.
BP should make an example of this and consider reconverting step by step in cleaner energies, which would make sense in the extent to which the company caused enough environmental damages with its oil activities. I think there is a huge business to exploit and take advantage of regarding alternative energies that BP should seriously consider because oil will not continually represent its main source of revenues – oil reserves are not eternal – and only in order not to provoke other catastrophes which smear its image as it occurred last April.