This Day (Lagos)

25 April 2005

Nigeria: Shell 'World's Most Ethical Oil Firm'

Lagos — A study by the ethics management rating firm Management & Excellence (M&E) in Madrid, Spain, has rated Anglo/Ducth oil giant Shell as the world's most ethical oil company, followed by ExxonMobil and BP.

Despite the controversy over the misstatement of oil reserves and the reshuffle of executives at Shell, the company excelled in many of the 120 points examined in the M&E study.

Shell decreased the oil it spilled to 6,100 tons in 2004, down from 18,700 in 1999, increased women in supervisory or professional positions from 17.1% (2000) to 19.5% (2003), reduced fatalities among employees and contractors, and pledged $5 million to Tsunami victims three days after the disaster to claim 82 percent.

Chartered accountant organizations in the UK and Holland recognize Shell's sustainability report as among the best.

ExxonMobil followed closely with 80 percent and BP came third scoring 79 percent.

The M&E Ranking by Total Ethical Performance of major oil companies showed that French firm Total scored 75 percent, Repsol 75% and Chevron-Texaco, 69%.

ExxonMobil and ChevronTe-xaco were however, rated the most socially responsible firms. ExxonMobil spent $48 million to train 31,000 employees in 500 programmes while ChevronTexaco publishes its business principles in 11 languages and even appoints a "President for Health and Safety."

BP and ExxonMobil had the strongest environmental programs. BP is certifying 85 out of its 86 major operations according to ISO 14001, the environmental certification. ExxonMobil spent $2.5 billion on environmental projects in 2004.

In this study, Management & Excellence SA looked behind oil's strong numbers and public performance at how well companies are in terms of roughly 120 points of corporate governance, transparency, environmental management, ethics and corporate social responsibility-all areas of increasing interest to the investment community, politicians and the public.

Management & Excellence, S.A is an investor service company specialized in producing research and ratings on Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Transparency of companies around the world.

Meanwhile, Shell Nigerian affiliate, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has said that Nigerian regulatory authorities have certified some of the sites impacted by oil drilling but which have been remediated by the company.

SPDC said the remediated sites totalling 583 and located in the Niger Delta, were remediated between 1999 and March 2005, adding that plans were on to do 180 more by the end of this year.

"The inspection and certification programme is a continous one aimed at demonstrating SPDC's partnership and transparency with federal and state regulatory agencies," said the oil firm.

"By end of 2006, we will only have recent spillages to deal with whilst all legacy issues will have been completed," it added.

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