BP pushed to recognize the value of an apology?

Here is a comment on the recently tendered apology by the BP CEO: http://blogs.forbes.com/christopherhelman/2011/03/08/bps-dudley-says-hes-sorry/

And here is another: http://www.bnet.com/blog/clean-energy/beyond-apology-what-bp-ceo-dudley-has-actually-done-to-improve-safety/4381

Saying you are sorry takes little time but a lot of courage. For BP the coming in of a new CEO was probably the only time this could be done. So far so good. But as these bloggers point out BP is now setting up a central safety organization to look into something which by the very nature of their business should perhaps have been their top concern all along. Safety in some types of business operations is not negotiable nor is it something you get a bonus for. And when management sees this as the driving force then clearly they still have a long way to go to get their thinking right.

Socially and environmentally, India cannot afford the luxury of trial and error in the management and use of our natural resources. Or the running of hazardous industries. Our worst moment was clearly Bhopal. And there we were at the mercy of MNCs, although the local management was Indian. The issue then too was degraded safety measures. Since then the buck has been passed to Dow who inherited this disaster when they purchased Union Carbide. No voluntary steps however have been taken to finish this story in any humane and acceptable way. And certainly no apology has been made to what is the third generation of badly affected human beings.

Wherever the matter of compensation for victims comes in, the companies cry foul and say regulators push them to give away more than is warranted. This happened and is still happening in Bhopal and this issue has been raised in the Gulf Oil payouts. Are these companies concerned about the real human cost of these disasters? Do they see this as a responsibility? Or will business ethics and responsibility remain a catch phrases for just annual reports?


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