Communities’ Reflections on Oil Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility Activities in Utqiaġvik, Alaska

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Yu Cao
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This paper explores the reflections of Utqiaġvik community members on oil companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities within the region of North Slope, Alaska. The research question is: how have the people of Utqiaġvik responded to the CSR activities of oil companies whose oil extractive industry operations impact the region’s social, economic, and environmental welfare? In particular, this paper seeks to understand why CSR activities sometimes fail to achieve their purported goals. By interviewing residents from the community of Utqiaġvik, this paper obtained perspectives on the impacts of oil development on the local environment and community, bringing to light the limits of current CSR activities, such that this research might provide recommendations for rectifying CSR shortfalls. The argument is: while oil companies’ profit motives tend to restrict the potential of CSR activities, local people should be able to influence the types of CSR activities corporations pursue, given that they experience the local impacts of the industry. The paper concludes by offering recommendations to the oil companies regarding the nature and desired impacts of their CSR activities.

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