Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2007 (Revised October 2009)

Global Climate Change and BP

by Forest L. Reinhardt and Mikell Hyman

Abstract

Following the sudden resignation of Sir John Browne, Tony Hayward, BP CEO, must decide how global climate change management will figure into BP's corporate strategy. Climate change management was a major part of BP's strategy under Browne: In 1997 Browne broke from his colleagues, publicly declaring that global climate change was a serious problem and pledging BP to play a significant role in the search for solutions. BP successfully reduced its own carbon emissions, and championed cap-and-trade style regulation over taxation or command-and-control. Despite this progress, as the climate issue gains in political prominence and the Kyoto Protocol nears expiration, Hayward must consider what actions to take in BP's business strategy and in the political arena to manage ongoing climate risk.

Keywords: Change Management; Weather and Climate Change; Corporate Strategy; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Management Teams; Environmental Sustainability; Government and Politics; Energy Sources; Global Strategy; Operations; Utilities Industry; Energy Industry; United Kingdom;

Citation:

Reinhardt, Forest L., and Mikell Hyman. "Global Climate Change and BP." Harvard Business School Case 708-026, October 2007. (Revised October 2009.)