- Multinationals -

Shell and oppressive governments

Posted by: Stuart Sweeney ( UK ) on September 03, 1999 at 11:53:46:

Your entry on Shell is out of date and does not take account of the steps that Shell has taken to put its house in order over the past few years. Shell now has incorporated the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights into its business code of practise and is in the process of cascading this down through the company. Through these efforts and the changes in the environmental area, which you acknowledge, Shell has put itself in the forefront of companies adopting socially responsible policies. I write this as an active member of Amnesty International.

I will explore your site further as whistle-blowing has its place. However, the late 90s agenda is driven by a change of attitude by a lot of corporates who are coming round to the neeed for change. The old pilosophy of 'business is bad and big business is very bad' is out of date. By the way, in the UK the owners and beneficiaries of the major corporates are the workers of the UK through their pension funds.

McSpotlight: Out of date? When the 1999 UN Human Development Report concluded that worldwide economic inequality was at an all-time high and that globalisation was the major culprit?

It's good that Shell have taken the UN D.H.R. to heart; does this mean that they are going to boycott any organisation or government that breaches the articles of the Declaration? - such as The Body Shop, or McDonald's, or Borders' which are in near-continual breach of Article 23. Does it mean that they will not hire other companies to do their dirty work for them; or is the adoption of the UN D.H.R. just a pretty facade to cover their continued work with repressive regimes like the Nigerian government.

The fact remains; Shell's bottom line depends on encouraging people to consume as much non-renewable resources as possible; is this ever going to be 'socially responsible'; or is it just another greenwash?

How much is it possible to "put your house in order" if the foundations are fundamentally unsound and dangerous?

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