Case Study: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Purpose The aim of this assignment is to relate some of the key concepts of this course to a real-world phenomenon. The BP Oil spill of 2010 will be used as a basis for applying the understanding gained in prior lectures to a practical situation where sustainability accounting and reporting could be a possible response.
Background Case Materials
- BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response: http://www.bp.com/en_us/bp-us/community/commitment-to-the-gulf-of-mexico.html
- Independent assessment of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bp-oil-spill
Panchal Arora, M and Lodhia, S (2017) “The BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: exploring the link between Social and Environmental Disclosures and Reputation Risk Management” Journal of Cleaner Production Vol. 140, No. 3, pp.1287-1297.
- Identify the sustainability impacts associated with oil drilling operations such as that in the Gulf of Mexico? Despite these impacts, why is oil drilling still undertaken?
- Identify the difficulties associated with making multinational corporations accountable for their social and environmental impacts in foreign operations, as illustrated in the BP case. Would this matter have been more difficult to manage if this disaster had occurred in a developing nation?
- Discuss how the management of BP could have engaged with its various stakeholders in relation to this incident. Your discussion should focus on the relevant stakeholders and the impact of such engagement on its reputation.
- Discuss how BP has undertaken sustainability reporting since the spill in order to provide an account of this incident and its subsequent actions?
- How and why might events such as the BP oil rig disaster affect other oil companies’ subsequent activities and would these lead to changes in their sustainability accounting and reporting practices?