Of the major oil and gas companies, BP was an early mover in promoting and pursuing the business of clean energy, although the company has not been immune to environmental controversy. Its “Beyond Petroleum” re-branding of 2000 may have been overstating the case – and a little ahead of its time. However, the decision to appoint an executive of the calibre of Vivienne Cox to establish and lead a fully fledged Alternative Energy subsidiary in 2005 underlined BP’s commitment to this new business area. Last year’s decision to increase annual investment in clean energy to $1.5 billion further emphasised this commitment. In this exclusive interview, Cox, widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the energy business, speaks of her vision of how the clean energy industry is developing and BP’s strategy within it.
Interview Vivienne Cox, ceo BP alternative energy: A time for choices
The economic downturn is sharpening the focus of clean energy investment, says Vivienne Cox, the head of BP’s Alternative Energy business. Cox detects an increasingly business-like approach that the industry is taking towards new investment. ‘It is a time for choices.’