Greenpeace has launched a whistleblowing website for oil company employees involved in Arctic drilling.
The pressure group hopes the website, which went live yesterday morning, will encourage oil industry employees to pass on inside information about the risks being taking by oil firms, particularly in relation to operational safety, poor practices and potential breaches of environmental regulations.
This latest initiative is part of the group’s campaign to protect the Arctic from what it sees as creeping industrialisation, spurred on by safety blunders from companies like Shell whose rig ran aground in Alaska earlier this year.
“Shell’s recent experience in the Arctic has been a shambles from start to finish. If it hadn’t been for such close public and media scrutiny, very little of the truth about the company’s appalling safety practices would ever have come to light,” says Ben Ayliffe, head of Arctic oil at Greenpeace International.
“That is why we are looking for information relating to oil drilling in the far north, which would usually be kept under wraps. The public needs to know about the incredible risks these companies are taking each and every day they drill in the fragile Arctic.”
Posters advertising the new website appeared yesterday in the streets surrounding the London offices of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell and flyers were also being handed out to employees outside the company's headquarters in the UK and the Netherlands.
Greenpeace also says it has launched an “online charm offensive” to reach Shell's staff through the professional networking site LinkedIn.
The website, www.arctictruth.org, allows employees to submit information securely and in confidence and Greenpeace has pledged to ensure sources are protected.
“The Arctic is the most remote and technically challenging drilling environment imaginable and so far the industry has proven that it’s simply not up to the challenge. But without close public scrutiny, the full extent of Shell’s recklessness and lax attitude towards even basic safety standards would never have come to light,” says Ayliffe.
“The human, environmental and economic impacts of an accident in the polar north would be catastrophic, and we hope this new website will reveal the truth about the gamble oil companies like Shell are willing to take.”