Letter: Shelling out presents to Nigerian chiefs

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Sir: May I reply to the three letters today (1 December) of self- justification from Shell? My presentation on global corporate and political values to the London Business School Business Ethics Forum on Tuesday used Anita Roddick's "Another View" (28 November) to provoke discussion on Shell's actions. Support appeared to be evenly split, with strong feelings in both camps.

What became crystal clear, though, is that the Body Shop's published credo is simply to "care for people, animals and the environment", while high on the list of Shell's published values are "responsibilities to shareholders" and "profitability is essential": caring and human rights are excluded. Many companies are learning that the inclusion of the pursuit of money in their values leads, unsurprisingly, to conflict and allegations of greed. I wish our government would learn that lesson, too.

The route for personal and corporate development is to recognise that criticism provides an opportunity for learning and change rather than more self-justification.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Glass


2020 Vision



1 December