There is no ethical and green petrol supplier, we can only attempt to choose the ‘slightly, relatively, less unethical’ supplier – and minimise our reliance on road fuel by reducing the miles travelled.

Our survey of supporters attitudes to our ethical options concurred with our view that, in term of protecting the environment, the distance travelled is a minor consideration compared with the benefits of introducing even a single person to a vegan diet.

We used to travel about 10,000 mile a year to provide our ethical catering services all over the UK, travelling to Scotland for the 1995 Dissent/G8 campaign and Cornwall for the 1999 Solar Eclipse. We are now aiming for a 10% reduction in miles travelled year on year, reducing from 7200 in 2008 & 2009 to 5500 in 2010.

However, with insurance costing £1000 and diesel at 30p/mile we ask event organisers to note that it becomes increasingly expensive simply to get the van out of the yard!

So, what do Ethical Consumer have to say about oil companies?

In terms of human rights:

“Of course, today oil companies are still up to their ears with involvement in oppressive regimes, which we now count under the general Human Rights category. Shell tops the bill for the sheer number of countries on our oppressive regimes list that it’s involved with – twenty. However, Chevron and Total deserve special condemnation for their involvement with Burma’s military regime. Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Burma and is involved in a joint venture with the military regime developing an offshore gas field in the Andaman sea. Chevron is the only US company which still has significant assets in Burma and has funded a trade association which lobbied the US Congress against imposing sanctions on Burma.(4) Both are subject to boycott calls for their activities. Only Murphy Oil, due to the much smaller size of its operations compared to the other companies on the table, lacks significant involvement with oppressive regimes. Its human rights mark comes from involvement in the Canadian tar sands and the abuse of land rights of the indigenous peoples this involves and operations in Indonesia.”

The Ethiscore Report checked in Jan’11, based on Sept/Oct 2009 research, marked the companies as follows:

Murco petrol … 7.5
Jet petrol … 6.5
Total petrol … 5.5
Esso petrol … 4.5
BP petrol … 4
Texaco petrol … 4
Shell petrol … 3

Ethical Consumer

Subscribers have access to over 170 buyers’ guide reports scored according to 23 ethical categories. Roughly speaking, a score of 15 to 20 is good; 10 to 14 is average; 5 to 9 is poor and 0 to 4 is very poor.