Nowadays, recycling, ecology, environmental protection … are a part of everyday citizens, businesses, politicians; an awareness that has allowed the development of an economic sector and the creation of new jobs. The global warming has increased our awareness towards the planet and its future. In more and more countries, new regulations have been introduced by the government to reduce the amount of pollution.
The industrial revolution of our century has put in danger our living resources, nature, and thus potentially putting at risk our own future lifestyle. One of the most pollution producers are the oil or petroleum industries. In this essay we will examine the case of Chevron Corporation which is one of the biggest petrol producers in the world. The company operates approximately 24000 services stations in more than 180 and has over 62000 employees worldwide. (Hoovers inc 2012).
We will first examine and discuss the negative impact of this industry on the environment, so therefore on the society, and then we will see how Chevron’s corporation is proceeding to achieve their goal: “we believe that is the right thing to do and that is critical to our success in a world in which energy sources should be compatible with an environment that’s clean, safe and healthy”. (Hoovers inc 2012) Negative impact on environment of Chevron Corporation. Extraction of petrol itself is not without consequences on local ecosystems, although, as in any industries, the risks can be reduced by vigilant practices.
While these fossil fuels can be extracted in a way that environment can be preserved, government and oil companies choose generally, the speed and the efficacy, rather than respect for the environment or the interests of local people, most affected by production. One of the most extreme case of oil exploitation of the rainforest is the equator, where the U. S. oil giant, Chevron-Texaco (now known as the Chevron), seriously damaged the ecosystem of Ecuador for a generation. (Chevron Corporation 2012, 32) This petroleum operation affected more than 30000 Indigenes and settlers homes.
However as we noted, this degradation has been punished by the government of equator who fined Chevron corporation 18 billion dollars of compensation (Environment News Service 2012) As shown above the risk of producing oil can be very big. The example, the pollution in equator shows a lack of professionalism and mastery of Chevron Corporation for 18 years. Another example of Chevron’s negligence is the case in Brazil where a leak in one of the drills has caused an oil spillage.
In the past, at least 2,400 barrels of crude were spilled into the Atlantic, in the block Campo do Frade, 370 km north-east coast of Rio. ( Jeff Fick 2012) In March 4 2012, a new leak was detected 3 km from the first and nearly 1300 metres deep, of more than 3400 of crude barrels, triggering the suspension of activities of Chevron in Brazil. ( Brazil 2012) Such example provides evidence that this incident could affect the entire marine ecosystem of the region, which could lead to an extinction of some species and thus could have an impact on the economic activities of the area.
For instance, those fishing area may be closed for a long or a short period because of the risk of contamination by oil. The contaminated fishes could have a serious effect on human health if some were used for consumption. From this perspective, the fishery sector of the area affected could see their economy decrease if consumers stop buying their products (Global Marine Oil Pollution Information getaway 2002). As a consequence, the petroleum activities of Chevron Corporation in Brazil have been temporarily stopped.
Another fine of 42 millions euro was given to them by Brazil government, but also 17 high level staffs of the industry are prosecuted and will have to pay a fine of 1 million reais, which represent 415000 Euros. (Brazil 2012) Positive impact of Chevron Corporation in environment and stakeholders health. While Chevron Corporation activities in Brazil or equator have been described as negative for the environment, this has not always been the case. Chevron Corporation deployed a program in 2007, the ESHIA (Environment, Social and Health impact assessment process) to anticipate and avoid any negative impacts on health and environment.
Chevron has also made a biodiversity statement which expresses its commitment to incorporating biodiversity consideration, as part of their ESHIA program (Chevron 2011). For instance, the Salak project inside one of Indonesia’s biggest national park has for main purposes to preserve the biodiversity in this area. They work with the local farmers to protect species, such as, gibbons, hawk eagles and leopards. Chevron also received an award by Indonesia community for Best Environmental Management during their operations at Salak.
Such example provides evidence of chevron commitments with regards to environmental issues while helping the world meet their need for energy. Stakeholders, such as employees are probably the ones who can be the most affected by Chevron toxic pollution during the extraction of oils. They work day by day surrounded by dark smoke, petroleum and without some good health measures their well being could be seriously in danger. We understand why, Chevron Corporation has invested a lot on employees’ health.
From this perspective, cost related to employees’ health, or productivity can be considerately improved. The Argentina cases during 2009, where nearly 800000 people were seriously affected by the flu H1N1 in only 6 months, can show how well Chevron Argentina, has managed it within the industry. By multipronged strategy, only 20 employees, which represent 6. 8% of the business, were affected by the disease. Furthermore, in 2010 Chevron introduced a training program over the problem of tuberculosis. ( Chevron 2011) The high rating of tuberculosis in the world pushed them to invest in this cause.
For instance, the provincial program which fights against tuberculosis, in Cabinda, Angola, has benefited from a donation of several drugs and diagnostic facilities, under the initiative of the Chevron Corporation in October 2011. ( Chevron 2011) The evidences above demonstrate that Chevron is really implicated into the well being of the society. By fighting those scourges, like H1N1 or Tuberculosis, Chevron enhance its image in its fight to maintain people’s health while at the same time doing all they can to better respect the environment.
Apart from its implication in the health field, Chevron is also taking measures which aimed reduce its energy consumption as more as possible and therefore pollute less. One of the most effective ways is the use of Energy Efficiency, which is one of the most valuable sources of new energy. (Chevron on Track to Achieve 20 Percent Production-Growth Target by 2017 2012 ). As describe in Chevron website, the use of Energy Efficiency is highly beneficial because it reduces carbon emissions, lowers cost and it helps Chevron to conserves its supplier.
For example, according to Chevron Corporation a reduction of 5% in global energy we use can reduce the extraction of petroleum by 10 millions barrels per day, which represent enough energy to supply Australia, United Kingdom and Mexico. ( Chevron 2011) We believe that in order to meet the world demand for energy, Chevron cannot forget about oil, which is one of the most polluted materials in the world to use, and focus their work only on renewable energy and efficiency energy as this will reduced their competitive level.
However as the world is more and more concern in environmental issues, it is clear that renewable energy technologies that are scalable, sustainable and profitable will take gradually take over from the traditional sources of energy. Conclusion The petroleum conglomerates are easy targets for environmentalists. Their operations are very noticeable, and create a dramatic impact on the local economy and local social conditions.
Chevron mistake among the management of its pollution, in Argentina, but especially in the Ecuadorian forest, reveals all the negative impact they had on the community and the environment of the area. However, as local communities are recovering from profits of oil development, while shouldering the majority of social and environmental costs, it is easy to see why the contribution of oil development in the destruction of the environment is often exaggerated. It is by critical episode like Argentina or Ecuador drama, that people ultimately judge those companies.
In contrast, when examining Chevron commitment with regards to people’s health and respect on the environment, (with organization such as ESHIA) the evidence demonstrates that Chevron care a lot about all these issues. They are also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by working on new technologies which could in a near future change our world. In light of this, we can conclude by saying that Chevron has consistently met the needs of their stakeholders in most operation, apart from those mistakes we know.
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