BP and Corporate Greenwash

Author: Sider, Michael
Source: Richard Ivey School of Business
Year: 2009
Company Name: British Petroleum
Number of pages: 7

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BP's green re-branding efforts began officially with the unveiling of its new BP Helios mark, named after the Greek sun god. The new logo did away with 70 years of corporate branding, replacing the BP shield, long associated in consumers' minds with the strength of British imperialism. The Helios mark cost US$7 million to develop and was forecast to cost the company another US$100 million a year to integrate into marketing and operations over the next two years. At the logo's unveiling, the company's chief executive officer directed attention to the company's recent purchase of the solar energy company Solarex, an acquisition that made BP the world's largest solar energy company. The unveiling of the Helios logo was a formalization of a re-branding strategy that had begun to emerge the year before with the CEO's announcement that 200 new BP sites around the world would be powered in part by solar energy, through solar panels placed on the roofs of gas pumps, and his commitment to reducing BP's own carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent by the year 2010. From the start, however, environmental groups heaped scorn on BP's green re-branding. Greenpeace gave the company its Greenhouse Greenwash Award, given to the largest "corporate climate culprit" on earth.

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This item is available for purchase from Ivey Publishing. Reference #: 9B05C010, Teaching Note #: 8B05C10

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