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Royal Dutch Shell: Company Strategies for Dealing with Environmental Issues

  • Keetie Sluyterman (a1)
Abstract

The intricate interplay among environmental pressure groups, oil companies, and governments is revealed from the perspective of the Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell. An examination of three environmental issues demonstrates the company's awareness of such problems and describes its efforts to contain potential damage to the degree permitted by existing technological and economic constraints. The industry view is that government measures should create a level playing field and should be effective and economically feasible. While pressure groups are skilled at calling attention to environmental problems, industry highlights the tradeoffs between different societal aims that are entailed in tackling these problems. Governments are left to fi nd the best ways to weigh conflicting interests.

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10 Higher compression caused gasoline to “pre-ignite” before the piston completed its downstroke.

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13 Ibid., 49.

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24 Markowitz and Rosner, Deceit and Denial, 117.

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28 Report by Lord Rothschild on Pollution, 5 July 1967.

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46 Conference minutes, 13 Sept. 1995; C. A. J. Herkströter letter, 31 July 1995, both SLA.

47 Ibid.

48 Conference minutes, 15 July 1995, SHA.

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54 Report by Lord Rothschild on Pollution, 5 July 1967.

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56 HSE review 1985, discussed 12 Aug. 1986, Environment, public health, and safety, 1986, CMD fi les, DCS, S116, SLA.

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58 Ibid., 308–43.

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74 Gore Al, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (New York, 2006).

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
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