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Shell, Greenpeace Essay

983 words - 4 pages


Shell, one of the largest multinational oil companies planned to dispose of the Brent Spar, which was huge floating oil storage and loading buoy, by sinking it at a site in the deep Northern Atlantic, with full UK Government approval. But a combination of Greenpeace, European Ministers and the public stopped them. In order to ensure that no similar incidents occur in the future, the Shell UK should seek to build an open and transparent process, involve environmental interest group like Greenpeace.

Disposal Options: In the last analysis, there were two options; horizontal on-shore dismantling and deep water disposal. Shell qualified the deep water disposal option as Best ...view middle of the document...

In addition, Greenpeace had to cut its budget by about 10% and dismiss more than 90 staff members due to a drop in contributions. Therefore, one of their main strategies is to desperately attract the public attention through extremely confrontational actions in order to strengthen their influence and recover their budget.
UK Government: The UK government approved Shell’s BEPO and would not reconsider its decision because UK was confident that its decisions would be based on sound science and take account of the full range of significant factors.
Other European Government: Politicians were heavily engaged in condemning Shell as it was an easy way of attracting green votes. The German government was the first European government to lodge a formal protest against Shell and the UK government. This protest became the catalyst for a growing storm of protest from Europe.

Possible approaches

1. Exit disposal options and Include Greenpeace among the stake holders to be consulted in its review of options and the development of a new BPEO

Pros: This was received with joy by the public and the new BPEO process will become more open and transparent, which reduces risks of public criticism. Greenpeace’s influence was beneficial for Shell in terms of justifying Shell’ decision if Greenpeace became an ally.

Cons: This option was received with an angry response by the British government. Greenpeace does not have formal consultative status and British government would not include Greenpeace among their guidelines, which led to trouble in being approved of a new BEPO. In addition, the new BPEO process will become complex to determine.

2. Fight against Greenpeace by strengthening public relations section of Shell

Pros: In this case, Greenpeace’s insistence was nonsense for environmental protection indeed and their estimates were inaccurate. Nevertheless, Shell failed to communicate with the public and other governments around the North Sea, in spite of the fact that the deep water disposal option was environmentally balanced with other options and was supported...

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