Tag Archive for ‘Gulf of Mexico’
Social enterprises are judged by both their social impact and their ability to thrive as financially sustainable businesses. Unfortunately many, if not most, attempts at replicating successful social enterprises have failed. Two experts from the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship examine assumptions about what both “success” and “replication” mean with respect to social enterprises.
Two years after oil from a BP well began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal charges alleging that a former BP employee destroyed critical evidence in the early days of the unfolding disaster.
It’s true that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon fiasco is still sticking to and covering parts of the sea floor for some 80 miles or more around the site of the now-capped well. In early September, researchers from the University of Georgia found oil some two inches thick on the sea floor as far as 80 miles away from the source of the leak, with a layer of dead shrimp and other small animals under it.
BP’s failure to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history is indicative of a much larger problem with companies that have embraced one of the central ideas in management today: stakeholder theory. The idea that companies can meet the needs of “stakeholders” leaves them open to moral abuse without normative principles at its core.
Columnist Gael O’Brien wonders what it will take to convince corporate leaders to build into their risk management strategies the capacity to ask crucial questions about ethical liability, as is done with legal liability. Such a step, she says, would be hardly radical and would have the objective of putting ethical conduct on the table as a deliberate outcome.
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the $132.6 billion Common Retirement Fund for state employees, said the Fund will seek lead plaintiff status in the class action lawsuit against BP Plc for damages arising from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill
A Conference Board survey finds that even though corporations lack the structural framework to enable proper director oversight of sustainability programs, they rarely consult outside expertise. At 89 percent of the companies surveyed, directors continue to rely on reports by senior executives for information on social and environmental initiatives.
Oil from 1989’s Exxon Valdez mishap slicked 11,000 square miles of ocean surface and 1,300 miles of pristine Alaskan coastline while killing hundreds of thousands of birds and marine mammals and untold numbers of fish and fish eggs. But the impacts of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon leak in the Gulf may be far worse given that much of the loose oil is actually in the water column, not on the surface.