Air quality

We seek to manage air quality issues to prevent impacts on local communities and ecosystems

Some of our activities, such as burning fossil fuels for power generation and operating our shipping fleet, emit or contribute to pollutants of sulphur oxides (SOₓ), nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) and ozone. Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) are sometimes released during the production, storage, refining and handling of hydrocarbons and also come from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels in our operations. These pollutants may result in the formation of smoke, dust or smog, and can present a risk to human health. We seek to manage these emissions to meet accepted standards and guidelines designed to protect the environment and the health of local communities. 

We are working with an air monitoring manufacturer and academia to pilot portable, real-time, air monitoring technology. The technology is designed to measure NOₓ, SOₓ and ground level ozone in different climates and physical environments. This air quality data will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of our emissions and will allow for more effective management.

Impacts from SOₓ, NOₓ and NMHC emissions usually occur at a local or regional level. We provide further information on how we are managing emissions to air at our major operating sites in our verified site reports.
For each of our major business activities, we track our emissions to air of SOₓ, NOₓ and NMHCs.

Emissions to air by component (kte)

The majority of our SOₓ emissions are emitted by our refining and marketing operations, and our other business and corporate business activities (including BP shipping). The overall reduction in our emissions over the past few years reflects divestments in our upstream business and using low sulphur diesel fuel in our businesses, such as shipping, to comply with recent regulatory changes.
The majority of our NOₓ emissions are emitted by our upstream operations. Our emissions have remained relatively flat over the past few years with slight reductions due to divestments in our upstream business and reduced drilling activity.
The majority of our NMHC emissions are emitted by our upstream operations. The overall reduction in our emissions over the past few years reflects divestments in our upstream business and the closure of the Bulwer refinery in Australia in 2015.

Sulphur oxides (SOₓ) by segment 2015

Nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) by segment

Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) by segment

Attestation

The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2015 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.

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