BP’s friendly face

I’ve been seeing advertising around the city touting BP’s “green credentials” – paraphrased, the ad says “We committed to reducing our emissions to 1990 levels by 2010. We did it by 2001.”

I find these ads mildly offensive, because BP are still making massive profits – $4.21 billion in one quarter (and this is considered a “bad” quarter) – from their primary busines – selling petrol. Of course, this is one of the major contributors to global warming, so the company’s claims seemed to me to be a bit disingenuous, to say the least.

But, what is even worse still is that while BP are out touting their “green-ness”, they have paid $1.1 billion in fines in the US alone for environment-related violations.

BP are one of the most forward thinking of the Big Oil companies (not that that says much). They have announced an investment, globally, $1.8 billion over 3 years. Working this out another way, that equates to $0.15 billion per quarter – or around 3% of profit.

Don’t get me wrong: $1.8 billion is a big investment in anyone’s language, but it’s a tiny fraction compared to the damage their main business does.

Mostly, though, I reckon that BP should spend less money on advertising how green they are, and more money on actually doing the right thing…

  • This annoyed me also. When I saw a BP sign saying that they had been selling carbon neutral fuel since 2001 I read “GREENWASH”. While BP is going to treat me like a simpleton I’ll never pull into one of their servo’s. BP only formed its alternative energy group for getting into wind in Sep05 as an example. They have been talking for many years but not acting.

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