BP - Essay Example

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Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 Introduction 3 BP- Sustainability Aspects 3 Main Measures undertaken by BP plc 4 BP’s Involvement In Environmental Protection And Ethical Sustainability 9
Employees’ Ethical Programs 9
Conclusion 10
Works Cited 11

BP Plc or British Petroleum is one of the foremost global gas and oil companies in the world. It delivers fuel for transportation, energy for heat as well as light among others. The company’s activities are divided into two segments since 2009 in Exploration & Production and Refining & Marketing. The goal of the company is to be focused oil and Gas Company that offers value over volume. The goal is pursued through clear strategies and employment of distinctive capabilities. The company operates in over 80 countries, having its head office in London, United Kingdom (Center for Climate and Energy Solution, “Company Description”).
This report intends to discuss BP’s ethics and sustainable development program.
BP- Sustainability Aspects
BP publishes a sustainability review report on a regular basis in which it focuses on building a safer as well as a stronger workplace. It does not have any designated Corporate Social Responsibility Officer (CSR) to oversee their CSR activities. The Chairman has the discretionary authority to look after their valuable social activities. In order to address ecological and social concerns, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill case incident, BP has decided to pay around US$500 million within a period of 10 years towards supporting research activities for betterment of ecosystem in the Gulf region. In order to contribute to people, planet along with focusing on its long-term profitability, BP has decided to focus on ISO 14001:2004 standards for environmental management, which in turn can provide benefit to the people all over the world and can ensure its sustainability (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”). The company has recorded a huge number of environmental disasters with over 8,000 spills of oil, dangerous chemicals as well as gases. The states of Texas and Louisiana have been the worst hit with close to 3,000 cases being reported in those states. There occurred about 550 previous incidents in the Mississippi Canyon near the area where the current Deepwater Horizon disaster is unfolding. In the recent past, two major incidences have been reported in the city of Texas in which an explosion was registered in the major refinery of the company in the year 2005 and oil spill at the Prudhoe Bay. The Texas explosion led to the death of 15 people while at the same time 170 people were severely injured. The root cause of the explosion was found to have been caused by temporary trailers that had been placed close to the volatile units which the company’s top management admitted to have been a measure taken to cut costs. It was further established that poor maintenance of the facilities led to the huge explosion. The safety alarms were found to have been broken and the pipes were extremely corroded and were just about to burst.
Main Measures undertaken by BP plc
Safety and Operational Risk
BP aims at ensuring safety as the company relies upon the safety of our operations, workforce and the communities around it for its efficient operations.
BP Plc has its independent safety and operational risk factors. There are about 600 employees working in teams for safety and risk management to sustain the business and to review their efforts along with working for the betterment of the organization. This will lead to grow employees’ capabilities to support the business and to help in the operational management system (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Under the code of ethics, BP has adopted specific codes for its chief financial officer, group controller general auditor and chief accounting officer among others. It abides by the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002’s section 406. The code of conduct was updated on 1st January 2012 (BP plc, “Annual Report and Form 20-F”). The company is looking into developing the self-verification capability of operations to carry out health, safety, security and environment checks. BP’s senior management has set clear expectations designed to help all the leaders excel as safety leaders and to embed a strong safety culture with all employees. Safety forms one of our five core values that guide the company so as to act in a certain way in a bid to fulfill its goals thus meeting its vision. Additionally, the company’s code of conduct clearly clarifies the basic rules that its people must comply with including expectations for operating safely, responsibly and reliably. The management plays the role of reinforcing the message that it is not just ‘what’ we do, but ‘how’ we do it that is important. This is to allow all employees to take in such measures so that they may consider them in all their undertakings while serving in the company.
Risk Management
BP Plc has introduced an assessment system for risk management, which facilitates to increase clearness and simplicity in the work process and further help to manage and to mitigate risk factors. The process of risk management has been made on an even footing to effectively run the business in a regular way as well as to manage and mitigate risks as far as possible. The company intends to mitigate risks through its activities and different processes applied in the business (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Environmental Issues in Relation to BP plc
In relation to environmental issues, BP plc had to face a critical scenario in the year 2010 when it had to undergo a multibillion-dollar settlement in relation to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill incident. It had to pay around US$1.1 billion as reparation due to the incident. With regard to the measures taken by BP against such issue concerning pollution and environmental damage, it had decided to bear any loss regarding property damage; third-party liability based expenses as well as pollution clean up. It has followed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in relation to the process of cleaning up regarding this accident (BP plc, “Annual Report and Form 20-F”).
Air Emissions From BP’s Operations
Source: (BP plc, 2012)
In relation to measures taken by BP, it is recognised that air emission that have generated from its operations had reduced substantially from the period of 1999 to 2011 due to the use of better technology and incorporation of efficient actions taken by the company in its operations. Thus, it can be said that BP is taking sustainable measures with regard to reducing environmental damages resulting from the business.
Restructuring the Upstream
BP Plc has divided its business process into three main divisions, which comprise exploration, development and production. These activities are efficiently conducted in the company and are organized in a proficient manner. The company is focusing on developing employees’ skills and proficiencies and is strengthening the liability part for improving structure to reduce risk. It will linger in applying recommendations and it ensures that investigation on the operations is done for drilling purposes (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Values and Behaviors
The values of the company, which employees have to follow, are safety, courage and teamwork. It also enables to boost the quality of work done by the employees within BP with collective efforts. This also influences behaviors to work collectively in the organization. BP’s management for its betterment appraises the employees’ performance and looks forward to mitigate any deficiency by encouraging workers to yield effective results (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Contract Management
In relation to contract management, the company has directed a process of review for 21 corporations to observe the activities done by its contractors. It is necessary as a prior concern for the company to assess the contracts in regards to supply chain management, which would increase the activities’ sustainability (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Assessment of Contracts Terminated or Not Renewed owing to Unethical Conduct or Non-Compliance in BP From 2007-2011
Source: (BP Plc, 2012)
Performance and Rewards
BP has affiliated its employees’ performance with the values conveyed by the organization. Safety measures and long-term perspectives are the main two criteria for assessing employees’ performance. The management discusses with the employees and staff to assign their objectives in achieving success on the departments of safety, compliance and mitigating risks for the organization. However, rewards are granted to workers according to their respective performances (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
The company has set up four new cross-business science networks to inject technology more deliberately, which would assist the organization to improve the competences of sustainability. This would also lead to run the company and obtain its desired objectives. The company employs the use of modern technology so as to ensure safety as well as efficiency in its operations. It has come up with a global biodiversity tool that will assist in mapping out of all protected locations in a bid to take good care of the environment. The company operates closely with other stakeholders as they aim to be fully prepared against future oil spills and other disasters that have long term negative effects on the environment. The organization is focusing on the necessities that are required to develop the business consistently by incorporating new technology in the work process as well as giving better apprentices to the employees in the technical field through trainings (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Non-operated Joint Ventures
BP has commenced an appraisal process in its managerial approach by entering into a relationship with non-operated joint ventures and partners. The activities performed are safety and operational risk management as well as to prevent corruption and bribery activities. The company’s aim is to increase the regularity of the work process through reducing the risky areas by incorporating new and existing non-operated joint ventures (BP plc, “Sustainability Review”).
Dismissals for Non-Compliance and Unethical Behaviour in BP plc From 2007-2011
Source: (BP Plc, 2012)
The Predetermined Guidelines Of Conduct
Zero Tolerance On Retaliation
The guidelines followed by the company in its Code of Conduct revolve around zero tolerance on retaliation. The policy of retaliation goes hand-in-hand in the organization. It takes the essence to the organization to observe that the employees are not terminated unfairly. Moreover, strict actions are taken if any misconduct happens against employees who are being retaliated. This is an important issue under the ethical guidelines applied by the company to foster development and teamwork (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Operating Safely, Responsibly And Reliably
The company focuses on creating a safe workplace and organizational goodwill as well as it intends to defend the environmental aspects. The aim is to yield better results by performing effectively in the organization. The organization operates in harmful environmental situations but is committed to work transparently in every department. The management takes the charge for ensuring the employees’ safety and works vigorously by creating a convenient environment so that the work can be performed effectively without damaging both the environment and the people. It strives thus to fulfill the demands set up by the management (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Creating a respectful harassment-free workplace
BP’s management looks for a respectful environment to be created among employees, customers, suppliers and fair behavior is persuaded to every individual. The use of improper language is strictly banned. The focus is to respect the customers and work for the betterment of the organization (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Complying With Competition and Antitrust Laws
The company’s guidelines also focus on not incorporating any unwanted laws within the business process. The company focuses to compete with its competitors without showing any anti-competitive behavior, specifically while carrying out mergers and acquisitions. It intends not to unfairly create a position for market dominance (BP plc, “Our Code”). BP’s management oversees the export of items without violating any laws in order to conduct trade activities in efficient manner (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Preventing Money Laundering
BP looks to prevent individuals from hiding funds, which is considered as an unsocial and offensive crime. Maintaining good relationships and enhancing productivity are the organizational main aims. Anti-money laundering law compliance policy is present in the guidelines provided by BP’s code of ethics. In relation to whistleblowing process, it can be said that an enactment of whistleblowing case took place recently in BP plc v Elstone & anor [2010] legal case, where a worker named Mr. Elstone was allowed to continue a case against BP, which was his employer. Thus, recent instances have been there in relation to such cases in BP plc (Waring, “Whistleblowing in practice: ten years on”; BP plc, “Our Code”).
Eliminating Bribery and Corruption
Taking bribery and carrying out corrupted activities are strictly restricted within the organization. The company follows certain rules and regulations against bribery and corruption and controls that suppliers as well as partners within joint venture activities follow the same rules. Anyone violating the laws of anti -bribery and anti-corruption could harm the company’s reputation. Anit-bribery and corruption law compliance policy is prevalent in the organization, which can enable it to prevent any kind of unethical conducts from taking place (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Acceptability Of The Guidelines
The guidelines incorporated by BP such as zero tolerance on retaliation, eliminating bribery and corruption, complying with competition and anti-trust laws are critical requirements the company’s welfare. The main aim should be to maintain productivity and quality without any kind of discrepancies. These guidelines and regulations help BP to encourage employees to work efficiently without any unpleasant activities. If any offensive work is performed, punitive measures are taken by the organization with immediate effect.
BP’s Involvement In Environmental Protection And Ethical Sustainability
BP’s involvement in environmental protection and ethical sustainability lies in the variety of activities that are performed by the organization, which include decreasing waste of materials, emissions and discharges. The company uses energy efficiently and intends to decrease the workload related to risk. It ascertains that manufacturing of efficient and safe quality products is carried out. The focus is on production through better operations management policies that are adopted by the employees while developing a product, which would in turn enable BP to meet the desired objectives (BP plc, “Our Code”).
Employees’ Ethical Programs
The employees’ ethical programs include evaluating issues related to human rights and their impacts on business. Employees from the initial stage are encouraged to interact with outer organizations, which in turn are beneficial for BP, ensuring thus business process improvement (Beisinghoff 16-50). Under the ethical programs for employees, forming relationships with the contractors as well as the suppliers within conditions related to contractual basis is encouraged. Employees are made aware of their rights, enabling them to prevent any misuse of human rights. All employees working for BP in various places in the world have an obligation as well as duty to uphold laws and behave in a manner according to the ethical standards that are reflected in the company’s values and its code of conduct. This is reported to be of great importance to the manner in which BP operates. Everyone is also expected to speak up if they have questions, concerns or become aware of any possible violations of our code or values. The company has ethics and compliance committee that is chaired by the group chief executive is established to ensure approval and adherence to the ethics of the company.
However, it is required for the employees not to pass any information, which could hamper the organization’s image as it could render individuals to fall under lawful jurisdiction. Employees are guided to never target any individual unlawfully or personally (OHCHR, “Teaching Human Rights”).
BP is one of the leading oil and gas companies operating in the production of fuel, petroleum and gas based in the United Kingdom. It functions in more than 80 countries. The company has its own code of conduct and guidelines, which are incorporated for effective organizational functioning and are obeyed by the employees. The main focus is to serve people with better quality products and to maintain cordial relationships with the outer world. The company ensures that it performs its activities in such a manner, which would create minimum harm to the environment while ensuring its protection.
Works Cited
Aguirre, Daniel. The Human Right to Development in a Globalized World. United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008. Print.
BP plc. Sustainability Review, 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
BP plc. Our Code, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
BP plc. Annual Report and Form 20-F, 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
BP plc. Managing Ethics and Compliance, 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
BP plc. HSE Charting Tool, 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
Beisinghoff, Nigel. Corporations and Human Rights: An Analysis of Atca Litigation Against Corporations. Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2009. Print.
Center for Climate and Energy Solution. Company Description, 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
OHCHR. Teaching Human Rights, 2004. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
Waring, Asa. Whistleblowing in practice: ten years on. Home, 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. Read More
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