Corporate Social Responsibility in the Oil and Gas Industry: The Importance of Reputational Risk
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David B. Spence discusses the magnitude of risks assumed by actors engaged in and affected by oil and gas development. Oil and gas companies face environmental risks, health and safety risks, liability risks, and reputational risks, the management of which is central to the companies’ long-term success. Part I of this article examines the origins of corporate social responsibility (CSR), its rationale, and its growth in the business world. Part II explores some of the dimensions of reputational risk facing modern oil and gas companies, using several high profile examples. Part III explains some of the ways in which oil and gas companies use CSR initiatives to manage the reputational risk.