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BP Oil Disaster Reinforces Importance of Sustainability in Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted Jun 30 2010 8:00am

I have no doubt that the process of laying blame for the 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico will be laborious and lengthy. However, there is a key lesson which we can grasp today, even as the process of restoring the Gulf of Mexico is in its earliest stages.

The concepts of sustainability and corporate social responsibility are manifest in the world of commerce every hour of every day.

The senior leadership of BP obviously ignored or forgot that lesson.

With for-profit organizations, such as Johnson & Johnson, Sony, IBM, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Polaroid, Nike, Novo Nordisk, HP, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Ford, Nissan and so many others making strong (or stronger) commitments to operating their companies as sustainably as possible, how is it that BP cut so many corners and failed to anticipate the vast consequences of its actions to such an extent that we have the worst oil spill in American history?

The answer is very simple. The same company which rebranded itself as Beyond Petroleum just a few years ago lost sight of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in favor of naked profits.

The good news is that it’s not too late for any organization to change, any. If you are a business leader or are employed by a business which seeks to embrace sustainability and corporate social responsibility, I recommend developing a strong familiarity with the topic as your next step. Two excellent blogs where you can begin are

TriplePundit.org

and

TreeHugger.com

I happily give them my endorsement. Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line

Corbett Kroehler

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