How BP’s growth in profit doesn’t mirror its ethics
BP reveals it has made a £2 billion profit since last year, and with the oil company providing 8% of the UK’s pension funds, the call for more ethical investment has never been greater, as Alex Blackburne explains.
Last spring, the United States witnessed one of the worst environmental disasters in its history, when more than 20m gallons of oil from 4.9m barrels spilled into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig.
Eleven people died in the incident, which reportedly cost the energy company $45m in fines.
Transocean, the company who owned the rig, have taken legal action against BP since the disaster, and are planning more, with the ultimate aim to prove that the UK-based oil merchant is almost fully to blame for what happened off the coast of Louisiana.
In an attempt to decrease and potentially banish the likelihood of oil spills in the future, the European Commission is set to order EU-based oil companies to tighten up their safety measures.
However, incidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico last year are still just as likely to happen, with the proposed ruling relating to oil companies in EU waters only – where there have been only four occurrences of oil spillage since 1991.
Eighteen months on from the disaster, and BP have just reported profits of over £3 billion in their Third Quarter 2011 results – an improvement of over £2 billion from this time last year.
The company are clearly back on their feet after last year’s catastrophe.
Did you know, though, that as well as being the world’s fourth largest company in terms of revenue, BP account for roughly 8% of all contributions into the UK pension funds?
In fact, if you hold a pension through an employer, chances are, you’ll have shares in BP.
What’s more appealing than investing in a company who are responsible for one of the most costly – both financially and environmentally – disasters in history?
That might sound like a rhetorical question, but in fact it’s not.
The more appealing option is to have pensions and investments with ethical providers – ones that don’t even have the capacity to threaten marine life and destroy hundreds of miles of coastline in one fell swoop.
If you want to know more about investing ethically, you should seek professional financial advice from an independent financial advisor (IFA), if you have one.
If not, fill in our online form
and we will put you in touch with one of our expert panel of specialist financial advisers, who can help you switch to a deal which will be better for both and the environment.