British Petroleum has been renowned in petroleum industry for its charitable activities that it has been performing during many of it projects. Compliance to corporate social responsibility and environment friendliness is one of the attributes of British Petroleum's culture. During the project implementations in various locations, BP has been known to take necessary measures for saving environment with the local authorities which have made it enter into various environmental partnerships. Other than that, BP is also famous for forming an alliance with various authorities in educational sector which levies emphasis on general education development programs. Furthermore, BP has also been strengthening its ties with various communities.
BP has been paying special attention to starting and implementing side-projects along with its main business which focuses on environmental and social practices intended to have potential impacts on sensitive or protected zones where endangered species are present or ecosystem is at risk. BP offers to provide screening services to be conducted in the early phases of the projects, before the actual commencement of the project. To support this process, various sources for information regarding diverse biological information e.g. The World Database of Protected Areas and the Proteus i-BAT for Businesses, are used. When impacts of potential nature are found, BP further takes steps for assessment and management of these risks which also involves seeking expertise from experts related to various fields. Furthermore, a compilation of wildlife or ecology management plans entailing the steps involved in mitigation of environmental hazards is done and executed.
As per the report of Ernst & Young, the environmental and social practices of BP apart from usual operation management activities provides a great deal about how the major projects of BP further emphasize on identification and management of environmental and social impacts. The same practice applies on the projects related to new access, projects that could affect an international protected area and some BP acquisition negotiations. In the project planning process, rigorous screening processes are performed which helps in identification of environmental and social impacts of its on-going main projects. Up till 2011, sixty projects were completed which involved the screening process with the support of a trained screening facilitator who to maintain his/her independence has no line of responsibility for the project[footnoteRef:1]. [1: Earnst & Young, "Assurence Statement," 2011. http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle800.do?categoryId=9040273&contentId=7073547]
This particular practice of BP requires it to meet various requirements and recommendations which enable the identification and management of potential environmental and social impacts. Not to forget, compliance to social responsibility is part of BP's code of conduct and it conducts various trainings to ensure that its staff is familiar with it[footnoteRef:2]. [2: Nancy K. Herther, "Grantsmanship," Searcher, July/August 2009, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5045041414. ]
During its main projects, BP conducts a thorough screening for environmental impacts in the early stage of the project, with the help of a multidisciplinary team which uses necessary tools as per the sensitivities of the project. This screening is intended to check whether a project could affect a protected or sensitive area, the potential impacts on natural resources and potential emissions and discharges from project activities, as well as socio-economic indicators such as the presence of indigenous people, cultural heritage and social tension. This screening also emphasizes greatly on the impacts of BP projects on environmental changes. Furthermore, valid legal and regulatory requirements' compliance is also part of the main objectives of this practice. After this screening, BP's management takes necessary measures for planning of steps necessary to mitigate these risks[footnoteRef:3]. [3: American Petroleum Institute, "Making Conservation a Global Priority," 2011. http://www.api.org/Environment-Health-and-Safety/Environmental-Performance/Public-Private-Partnerships/Environmental-Partnerships/Conservation-and-Wildlife/making-conservation-a-global-priority.aspx]
During these projects, the screening is performed with the help of independent facilitators who are deem to have their own independent opinion and bear no responsibility for the projects of BP. In order to support implementing the practices of BP over all its projects, it has established a considerably large team of environmental and social subject matter experts which take part in promoting an unremitting cycle of improvement in the implementation of BP's projects. As of 2011, this team had its conventions 22 times.
As per Liz, Rogers, Vice President for Environment, Social Responsibility and HSSE Compliance, BP "The need for BP to identify and manage environmental and social risks is greater now than ever before, anditsenvironmental and social practices provide a rigorous set of tools to help us do that. Identifying possible impacts at the very outset of many of its business acquisitions, exploration and new projects can save money, time and effort, and improve its licence to operate. So, clearly it can add enormous value. The practices also help BP meet external commitments that the company has made BP[footnoteRef:4]. [4: Earnest & Young Co. "BP Sustainability Review," 2011. http://www.bp.com/assets/bp_internet/globalbp/STAGING/global_assets/e_s_assets/e_s_assets_2010/downloads_pdfs/bp_sustainability_review_2011.pdf]
There are various examples to show how BP takes active part in protecting environment and takes necessary measures to ensure that its current projects do not project potential impacts.
At BP's Khazzan natural gas project in Oman, the screening process highlighted potential environmental and social impacts associated with drilling waste, produced water, greenhouse gases, road safety, as well as potential impact on local communities, and some threatened species of animals and plants -- impacts that the project can address through the remaining planning stages. Out of these impacts, there was a significant hazard identified due to emission of CO2 which was to be produced as a result of power generations once its operations started. To help mitigate this, the project's engineering team designed a waste heat recovery system able to reuse waste heat from the processing plant to meet a significant portion of the facility's power demands. As a result, annual forecasted carbon dioxide emissions fell by approximately 25%. Furthermore, the early evaluation showed that that around 35 million tons of salt was to be produced during the projects life time due to water treatment required to fulfill water needs on daily basis. Disposal of this huge salt reservoir was a considerable issue which was duly addressed by BP[footnoteRef:5]. [5: BP's Khazzan gas deal vital, MEED: Middle East Economic Digest;11/4/2011, Vol. 55 Issue 44, p6, November 2011, http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/opinions/67690990/bps-khazzan-gas-deal-vital]
Apart from these major project issues, addressing green house effect is also under one of the major considerations of BP. Projects have been designed to meet the minimum requirement of Carbon Dioxide emission and the projects designs specifications and engineering entailing this energy provisions. In this regard, BP complies with the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction public-private partnership[footnoteRef:6]. [6: BP handily beats greenhouse-gas target, National Petroleum News; May2002, Vol. 94 Issue 5, p55, May 2002. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/6725303/bp-handily-beats-greenhouse-gas-target]
After a disaster in Gulf of Mexico, BP is paying special attention to address the issues of oil spills. After learning its lessons from this event, it has shown rigorous restoration efforts into the way it approaches oil spills across its business -- from the planning phase to identify and assess oil spill risk, responding to a spill using new and existing technologies and successfully addressing potential environmental and social impacts.
As per Peter Collinson, Global Environmental Response Expert, BP the ultimate aim is to prevent oil spills occurring in the first place by maintaining safe operational activity. For deepwater drilling, enhanced procedures regarding the design of blowout preventers, cementing and well start-up aim to eliminate the possibility of spills occurring.
How it responds in the event of a spill depends on many factors. Successfully incorporating newly-developed response tools such as BP's deployable capping stack device to quickly cap a well; improved relief well drilling technologies to stem the oil flow from a well; the use of dispersants at the seabed to aid biodegradation of oil in the water; or controlled burning of oil at the sea surface -- all in conjunction with the more traditional response tools -- enhances its ability to successfully respond[footnoteRef:7]." [7: Earnest & Young Co. "BP Sustainability Review," 2011. http://www.bp.com/assets/bp_internet/globalbp/STAGING/global_assets/e_s_assets/e_s_assets_2010/downloads_pdfs/bp_sustainability_review_2011.pdf]
Furthermore, in order to improve its approach toward bio-diversity, BP has been taking various steps. In 2011, BP took part in Tread Lightly, a benchmarking study covering 30 major companies working in the oil, natural gas or mining industries. Conducted by the Natural Value Initiative, the study evaluated each company's progress in addressing biodiversity, responding to emerging thinking on ecosystem services and developing systems to manage risks and realize opportunities associated with these issues[footnoteRef:8].
The study highlighted opportunities that BP is working on, including the possibility of improving their policy and strategic approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services issues, as well as their use of reporting metrics. As a result, BP has been given recommendations, including how best to measure future progress on biodiversity and ecosystem services issues. [8: Tread lightly, "Biodiversity and ecosystem services risk and opportunity management within the extractive industry," October 2011. http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/tread_lightly.pdf]
BP is working with industry associations IPIECA and OGP to better understand the potential impacts on biodiversity from its industry and to develop industry-wide guidance in this area. For example, it is part of a work effort focusing on biodiversity impacts…