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Factors That Influence Consumer's Perception Of Business Ethics Of Petrol Stations

Introduction

The Triple Bottom Line approach allows the business (petrol station) to be more successful and profitable. Petrol stations are an industry that opens for 24hrs a day and 360 days a year. There are approximately 4 600 petrol stations in South Africa. During recent years, the petrol price has reached the highest in South African history. Even with this incredibly high price of petrol, all prices are set exactly the same by the government. So how do the petrol stations deal with the competition of 4600 petrol stations? Especially with the fact that petrol stations are considered more of a quick-and-go industry, how do petrol stations gain customer loyalty? But since consumers have now started to become more environmentally and socially aware, complying to the triple bottom line has been very important.

Triple bottom line is a tool that shows the impact the business has on the society (people) and environment(planet), it makes sure that the business is not just concerned about the money (profit) it makes, but also giving back into the community.

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This is the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – “an on-going commitment by businesses to behave in an ethical manner by contributing to the economic and social development of employees and the community at large.” In this research task I will be talking about what are the factors that influence a consumer’s perception of compliance to the triple bottom line (TBL) of petrol stations and/or their strategic alliances in Gauteng. And finding out how the petrol stations in South Africa comply to the triple bottom line and what they do for CSR.

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Through this task, I would like to be able to understand the petrol industry more and what the consumers think about the industry, and that it gives me enough understanding to apply this knowledge in a paper 2 business studies test.

Content Discussion

The top petrol stations in South Africa are Sasol, BP, Engen, Shell, Caltex. Here is a basic introduction on each petrol station and how they comply to the triple bottom line with CSR and another initiative.

Sasol is an international chemicals and energy company produced products include liquid fuel, chemicals and low carbon electricity. It is currently operating in 32 countries with 31 270 workers. Sasol was established in 1950 in South Africa. Sasol established its own convenient store which also operates 24hrs like any other stores in a petrol station called Sasol Convenience Centres (SCCs) And is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. Sasol strives to comply with the triple bottom line by doing social investments. Example: job-creating, reducing the impact that Sasol as the company has on the environment, increasing local procurement, focusing on vocational skills and small-, medium- and micro-sized enterprise (SMME) development etc. “Over the past 23 years, Sasol has made a substantial investment towards social, environmental and educational development in the Sabie and surrounding areas.” Said Sasol Energy’s Manager of Marketing, Sponsorship and CSR, Cobus Jansen. In 2015, Sasol has focused on 3 main projects in Mpumalanga Province, which includes: 1. Upgrading the fence and the security system around Memezile High School and create employment and skills development programmes there. 2. Upgrading the water system for 25 houses in Harmony Hill. 3. The Sabie Creche will be established for the environment. During 2018, Sasol has benefited 907 students through student bursary programme, has increased the health care facilities for HIV/AIDS in South Africa to over 380 000 community members. From the performance data of the environment that is provided from Sasol, it shows that from 2014-2018, Sasol has decreased Atmospheric emissions, Total greenhouse gas, total material used etc.

BP was the first petrol that was on sale in Britain 1920s. since then it has been recognised internationally. There are more than 500 bp stations in South Africa, employs about 1300 workers in South Africa. In April 2012, BP and Pick on Pay signed a formal contract for customers to have a more convenient experience. The BP logo was launched in 2000 “The colours of the Helios: named after the Greek god of the sun : suggest heat, light and nature, it is also a pattern of interlocked shapes: like BP, a single entity created by many different parts working as one.” BP strives to comply with the triple bottom line by doing CSR to improve the local communities by “creating jobs, generating tax revenues, providing opportunities for local suppliers and supporting community development initiatives.” BP is also committed to investing in the community, the BPSA Education Foundation invests into developing the infrastructure, and providing educational programmes for under-resourced schools. With this support, there is a 100% pass rate, 98% bachelors pass, and 84 university student scholars. BPSA is also in partnership with Nthuse Foundation to sponsor a skills development programme for people with disabilities, in 2015, BPSA was able to support 30 young people, it has increased to 60 in 2016. On the 20th of April 2010, BP had an oil spill, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the worst oil spills that happened in America. It caused great damage and loss to the company, sadly 11 people dead from that accident. BP chose to be transparent about it, the chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, made a statement and apologised for this event, and stated that they will hold accountable for this incident. He made it clear that in response to this incident, BP will be doing everything they can to clean up the oil spill and minimise the effect of this oil spill on the environment and economy.

The first Engen was found in 1881 and is now exporting products to more than 30 countries and is present in 20 and more countries. “The company’s core functions are the refining of crude oil, marketing of our primary refined petroleum products and the provision of convenience services via our extensive retail network.” Approximately 500 petrochemical products are being marketed by, their products include: automotive fuel and lubricant, marine fuel and lubricant, industrial fuel and lubricant, bitumen, etc. Engen has strategic alliances with Woolworths and Wimpy. Engen strives to comply to the triple bottom line by doing CSI, the primary focus areas are : education, safety, environment and health. For education, Engen tries to promote mathematics and science by offering bursary programme and skills development schemes. Currently, Engen is supporting 9 maths and science schools, in the mid-1980s, Engen launched a maths and science Saturday school for learners from grade 10 to 12. Up to now, the Engen Maths and Science school has had a 90% matric pass rate for the past 5 years, which is above the national average. For the environment, Engen has committed to contribute to have a cleaner environment and practise sustainable work ethics. For example, Engen has been supporting the Rose foundation (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment), ROSE foundation has been able to save 1.5 billion of used oil from the environment with the support of Engen and many others. Engen said that: “This triple-bottom-line focus drives us to continually improve our eco-efficiency by producing more goods but consuming fewer resources.”

Shell is a global company that started in London and is now present in more than 70 countries with about 93000 employees. Shell was brought in South Africa in the 1902. Today shell is mainly involved in “Retail and Commercial Fuels, Lubricants and Oils, Chemicals, Manufacturing and Upstream Exploration.” The current logo was introduced in 1971, it is now one of the most recognised symbols in the world. Shell has opened their own store called Shell Select Store which sells the basic groceries but also has a strategic alliance with steers restaurant. Shell currently has 31 stations in South Africa and about 29 of them has a Steers restaurant. Shell strives to comply to the triple bottom line by doing CSR by becoming more environmentally aware. Shells ultimate goal is to limit the impact the company has on the environment and to improve the environment in the areas they operate in. The company is striving towards lower-carbon usage. In 2016, Shell has started to enforce the United Nations Paris Agreement, which states that it is striving to keep the global warming below 2°C by controlling the climate and environmental issues while still ensures economic growth, to account this agreement, shell is now using natural gas to convert into products, which is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon. Shell is now one of the world-leading supplier of natural gas. Shell has also stated that their company is at all times transparent: “We pay taxes and royalties to governments around the world. We are reporting our payments to governments under a variety of rules and regulations, such as the EU Accounting Directive.”

Caltex has started their fuelling business in New-Zealand since 1936. Caltex has employed more than 1500 workers in South Africa, there are over 800 stations in South Africa. “The Caltex Star, our symbol of quality, value and service, is also a constant reminder of our commitment to you.” The last record in 2015 states that Caltex is currently active in 29 countries in the world. Caltex has strategic alliances with FreshShop. Caltex strives to comply with the triple bottom line by doing social investments into health, economic development and education. Caltex is supporting an organisation programme called Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE), they help women who has been sexually or physically absued that is in poverty to manage their finance, over the past few years over 25 000 women has improved their lifestyle and financial status.

According to the results, the petrol stations position is very important, the percentage of owherever is the most convenient at the time’ as the same percentage as oShell’, according to research, the feedback of shell customers has been very positive, it mentions how Shell is the best petrol station. The company is mainly getting credit for having well-mannered petrol attendants, good customer service, which means Shell has well-trained employees.

According to the results, the convenience of one petrol station is very important (48.6%). The second highest is the reward/ club cards (37.1%). This applies to the strategic alliances the petrol station has with either the retailer or the fast-food restaurant. Example: BP has strategic alliances with Pick n Pay shop smarter cards or my school card, this encourages customers to go to the petrol station and swipe right those cards.

With my target group for my survey being drivers in Gauteng, it is mainly adults that are working; therefore, retailers’ stores are more convenient for them to buy groceries when filling up the petrol. The reason why retailers are preferred because the product and service that the petrol industry is offering convenience goods, because customers wants to make the purchase as quick and easy as possible.

Conclusion and Reflection

During the course of doing this research task, I have learnt a lot about the petrol stations in South Africa, and how important for it is for a business to comply to the Triple Bottom Line. the things I need to improve on is the time management and as well as stress management. With grade 12 being a stressful year, this research task has forced me to manage my time, even though I believe I can manage it much better. The only frustration I had from doing this task is finding a good plagiarism checker, because there is so much out there, and most of them you need to pay. I believe I have grown from doing this task, and it is my first time doing this kind of research. I have learnt skills that will help me in the future, like approaching people to help me do my survey for me, or how to reference my search, and how to manage my stress wisely.

Reference List

  • Meyer,E. & Strydom,Z. 2018. Business Studies Grade 12 Learners Book. South Africa: Consumo Publishers.
  • Mindtools.com. (n.d.). The Triple Bottom LineMeasuring Your Organization’s Wider Impact. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2019].
  • Tyson, M. (2010). Why the Triple Bottom Line Matters More Than Ever. [online] GreenBiz. Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2019].
  • Sapia.org.za. (n.d.). SAPIA – South African Petroleum Industry Association. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2019].
  • Sasolmotorsport.co.za. (n.d.). Sasol Rally gives back to the community | Sasol Racing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2019].
  • Sasol.com. (2019). Sasol | Global integrated chemicals and energy company. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2019].
  • BP global. (2019). Home. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2019].
  • Engen.co.za. (2019). Engen : With us you are Number One. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2019].
  • Shell.co.za. (2019). Shell South Africa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 May 2019].
  • Sasolmotorsport.co.za. (2015). Sasol Rally gives back to the community | Sasol Racing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2019].
  • Integratedreport.sasol.com. (2018). ENABLING OUR STRATEGY TO DELIVER VALUE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2019].
  • Hayward, T. (n.d.). BP chief Tony Hayward’s statement in full. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].
  • Rosefoundation.org.za. (n.d.). ROSE Foundation : Recycling of used oil. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2019].
  • Shell.com. (n.d.). Climate change and energy transitions. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2019].
  • Caltex South Africa. (2018). Community Partnership – Caltex South Africa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2019].

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Factors That Influence Consumer's Perception Of Business Ethics Of Petrol Stations. (2019, Dec 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/factors-that-influence-consumers-perception-of-business-ethics-of-petrol-stations-essay

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