BP’s Poor Code of Ethics
Poor implementation of their code of ethics led to preventable mishaps such as the disasters in Alaska and Texas. Specifically, BP's defensive approach towards stakeholder management led to lavish compensation for upper level management while creating hazardous working conditions for employees and a burden on all of society in the form of rising oil prices and environmental damage. BP has a poor code of ethics and you can clearly see that they do not follow it like they are supposed to. British Petroleum was founded in 1908 and since then has rapidly grown to become the eighth largest company in the world. However, as of late, BP has come under fire for several high profile disasters, including the Texas City refinery explosion and the Prudhoe Bay oil spill. In 2005, an explosion occurred at BP's refinery at Texas City. Fifteen employees were killed and 170 were injured in a fiasco resulting in $1.6 billion in victim compensation and millions in fines. In January of 2007, former Secretary of State, James Baker, published the Baker Report, outlining BP's failing safety standards as the reason for the incident. In March of 2006, BP faced yet another incident when its corroded pipeline in Prudhoe Bay spilled roughly 270,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Alaskan tundra. The incident crippled its North Slope operations in the Prudhoe Bay field. Although it is alarming that the incidents occurred due to negligence as a result of BP's defensive approach to stakeholder management and a poor implementation of their code of ethics, it is perhaps more disturbing that the company continues to employ this strategy in the face of severe public outrage and legal scrutiny. “We care deeply about how we deliver energy to the world. Above everything, that starts with safety and excellence in our operations” These are the first two sentences in BP’s policy titled “What we stand for.” Ironically, BP has been criticized widely for their safety standards and...
References: Winkler, D. T., & Gordon, B. L. (2013). The Effect of the BP Oil Spill on Volume and Selling Prices of Oceanfront Condominiums. Land Economics, 89(4), 614-631.
BOND, D. (2013). GOVERNING DISASTER: The Political Life of the Environment during the BP Oil Spill. Cultural Anthropology, 28(4), 694-715. doi:10.1111/cuan.12033
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