Glossary | Sustainability | BP Global

Glossary

Alternative energy
Energy derived from non-fossil fuel sources such as biofuels, solar and wind.
American Petroleum Institute (API)
National trade association that represents America’s oil and natural gas industry.
Barrel
159 litres, 42 US gallons.
Biobutanol
An energy-rich molecule with a high energy density compared to other biofuels such as ethanol.
Biodiesel
Diesel fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as vegetable oils.
Biodiversity
The variety of classified life forms within a given ecosystem, often used as a measure in designating an area for conservation.
Bioethanol
Alcohol-based fuel produced from crops containing sugars (such as sugar cane) or starches (such as corn).
Biofuels
Fuels derived wholly or in part from natural, renewable sources, notably sugar, wheat, maize or oilseed crops such as soy and rape. New generations of biofuels are being researched, using the whole plant in the process, and utilizing feedstocks such as grasses and agricultural wastes.
Biomass
Biological material, usually plant-based, that takes up CO2 from the atmosphere, offsetting the CO2 released by combustion.
Bitumen
Substance produced during the crude oil distillation process, which can be used to seal the surface of roads and highways. Also known as asphalt.
Boe
Barrels of oil equivalent – a unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one barrel of crude oil.
The Bly Report
BP’s internal investigation into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
Technology which can help reduce CO2 emissions by capturing carbon from conventional fossil fuels, typically at power plants, and storing it in geological reservoirs deep underground.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Naturally-occurring gas that also results from burning fossil fuels and biomass. Human-caused carbon dioxide emissions come from power plants, transportation, households and commercial enterprises.
Carbon price
The concept of requiring consumers and companies to pay for the carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases they cause to be emitted. BP supports this measure, as it would provide an economic incentive to reduce emissions and invest in lower-carbon alternatives.
Climate change
Variations in global climate or in regional climates over time, which may produce changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
CO2 equivalent (CO2e)
Greenhouse gas emissions, including methane emissions, are converted to the quantity of CO2that would create an equivalent warming effect.
Code of conduct
BP’s code of conduct sets out the basic rules our people must follow and explains how our values should guide all of our decisions.
Corporate responsibility
The contribution BP or any other company makes to the wider community through its core business activities.
Day away from work case frequency (DAFWCF)
Frequency of work-related injuries per 200,000 recorded hours worked that cause the injured person to be away for a day (shift) or more.
Decommissioning
The systematic removal and disposal of offshore installations and pipelines when operations cease.
Deepwater Horizon accident
On the evening of 20 April 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico.
Discharges to water
Substances or pollutants that are released into oceans, seas, rivers and lakes.
Downstream
The refining, selling and distribution of products derived from fossil fuels. Our Downstream segment operates hydrocarbon value chains covering three main businesses – fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals.
Early restoration projects
Early restoration projects are designed to accelerate efforts to restore natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico that were injured as a result of the Deepwater Horizon accident.
Ecosystem services
Ecosystems provide many services to humans, including basic needs, such as water and food, and essential services, such as pollination, climate regulation, water and air purification, and protection from natural hazards such as floods.
Energy efficiency
Consuming less fuel or electricity with the same or better results, either by using different products or changing behaviour.
Energy Sustainability Challenge
A BP-funded multi-disciplinary research programme examining the complex relationships between natural resources and the supply and use of energy.
Enterprise development
Development of local business ventures, designed to be mutually advantageous for BP and the community.
Environmental and social practices
Our operating management system includes environmental and social practices that set out how our major projects identify and manage environmental and social impacts, in areas such as water, greenhouse gas and energy management, indigenous peoples and human rights. The practices also apply to projects that involve new access, projects that could affect an international protected area and some BP acquisition negotiations.
Environmentally sensitive areas
Areas recognized as requiring special attention to protect the natural environment. These include World Heritage Sites, World Conservation Union designated sites and national forests and parks.
EPA
The US Environmental Protection Agency
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
The allocation and trading of greenhouse gas emissions allowances throughout the EU. One allowance represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. At the end of each year, operators are required to ensure they have enough allowances to cover their installation's emissions. If not, they can buy additional allowances; if they have surplus allowances as a result of reducing their emissions, they can sell them.
European Union (EU)
An economic and political union of 28 member states, located primarily in Europe. It was established by the Treaty of Maastricht on 1 November 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community.
Flaring and venting
Ignited (flaring) and unignited (venting) release of natural gas into the atmosphere.
Fossil fuels
Fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal that, which result from the decay of dead plants and animals over millions of years.
Fracking (Hydraulic fracturing)
Hydraulic fracturing (sometimes referred to as ‘fracking’) is the process of pumping water underground, mixed with a small proportion of sand and chemicals, at a high enough pressure to create small cracks in the rock. These cracks help to release natural gas that would otherwise not be accessible.
Gas
Natural gas is generally considered the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.
Gas-fired power
BP’s gas-fired power activities consist of modern combined-cycle gas turbine plants that emit around half as much CO2 as conventional coal plants of the same capacity. We also have several low-carbon co-generation gas power facilities, in which heat is extracted and used in industrial processes such as oil refining.
Gigajoules (GJ)
A joule is a unit of chemical energy; a gigajoule is one billion joules. A barrel of oil is around six gigajoules.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
A framework that sets out the principles and indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance.
Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
Gases which are believed to contribute to climate change. This occurs through natural processes such as decomposition, but also through human activities such as transport using internal combustion engines. In BP, GHG refers to the sum of our operations’ carbon dioxide and methane emissions, expressed as CO2 equivalent.
Greenhouse gas intensity
The emissions of direct greenhouse gases per unit of production by sector.
Group priorities index
We track how engaged our employees are with our strategic priorities for building long-term value. The measure is derived from answers to 12 questions about BP as a company and how it is managed in terms of leadership and standards.
Group standards
BP’s group standards set out clear expectations, processes and principles for employee and organizational compliance, and the control of risks at group level.
GW
Gigawatt
Helios awards
A group-wide recognition programme for BP teams who demonstrate how they are living our values.
HSE
Health, safety and environment
HSSE
Health, safety, security and environment
Human rights
The United Nations defines human rights as rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Human rights policy
BP’s human rights policy elaborates on the requirement within our code of conduct to treat everyone at BP ­ and everyone with whom we come into contact ­ with fairness, respect and dignity.
Hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing (sometimes referred to as ‘fracking’) is the process of pumping water underground, mixed with a small proportion of sand and chemicals, at a high enough pressure to create small cracks in the rock. These cracks help to release natural gas that would otherwise not be accessible.
Hydrocarbons
Consisting of carbon and hydrogen, hydrocarbons are the main components of fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas.
Hydrogen power
Process that transforms fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas into hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen is used to generate electricity, while most of the CO2 can be captured and stored underground, where it can be used to help force out oil that is difficult to reach.
Independent advisory panels
Unaffiliated team of advisors that provides assurance, and is also mandated to advise and make recommendations to advise the group chief executive on social and environmental performance related to a specified project.
Integrated biodiversity assessment tool (IBAT)
IBAT for business is an online tool/database of accurate and up-to-date biodiversity information to support critical business activities.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme, the IPCC prepares assessments, reports and guidelines on the science of climate change and its potential impacts;, technological developments; and possible national and international responses to climate change.
International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP)
Industry group for oil and gas exploration and production companies around the world, which aims to promote safe, sustainable and responsible operations.
International Energy Agency (IEA)
An inter-governmental organization which acts as energy policy adviser to its 28 member countries.
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
Financial reporting standards and interpretations set by the International Accounting Standards Board.
International oil company (IOC)
Oil companies that are mostly privately owned.
IPIECA
The global industry association for environmental and social issues. Formed as the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association in 1974, it is one of the industry’s main channels of communication with the United Nations.
ISO 14001
A standard from the International Organization for Standardization which sets outs the requirements for an environmental management system. ISO 14001 certification requires an audit by a competent external party.
Joint venture
A contractual arrangement whereby two or more parties undertake an economic activity that is subject to joint control.
kbd
Thousand barrels per day.
kte
Thousand tonnes.
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted in 1997, is generally seen as the first step towards global action on climate change. It sets,binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions to signatory nations.
Liquids
Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids.
LNG
Liquefied natural gas. When ordinary natural gas is cooled to a certain temperature it becomes a liquid, greatly reducing its volume and making it easier to transport in large quantities in tankers. When reheated it turns back into gas and is distributed through pipelines.
Loss of primary containment (LOPCs)
Unplanned or uncontrolled releases, excluding non-hazardous releases, such as water from a tank, vessel, pipe, railcar or equipment used for containment or transfer.
Lower-carbon energy
Carbon is one of the main greenhouse gases that help hold heat in the atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to rise. Lower-carbon energy, such as that from biofuels, solar and wind has less harmful effects.
LPG
Liquefied petroleum gas.
Major project
A BP project that requires approval by a senior management committee due to the net investment required, its strategic importance to the company, or its complexity.
Materiality
How we prioritize the issues to include in our sustainability reporting – by assessing their potential risk to our business, and the level of stakeholder interest in the issue.
mboe
Thousand barrels of oil equivalent – a standardised unit of measurement for reporting production of crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas. A boe is the approximate energy released by burning one barrel (42 US gallons) of crude oil.
Micro-finance
The provision of financial services, such as microcredit, microsavings or microinsurance, to people who lack access to banking services in some communities where we operate. Most transactions involve small amounts of money, often less than $100.
Mm3
Million metres cubed.
Mte
Million tonnes.
MW
Megawatt.
National oil company (NOC)
An oil company fully or mostly owned by a national government.
Natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) studies
Natural resource damage assessment is the process that state and federal trustees in the US use to evaluate the potential impacts of oil spills and other incidents on natural resources.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
General term for any oxygen compounds of nitrogen, or a mixture of them. In BP this generally refers to the sum of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, and is expressed in units of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
NOAA
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Non-GHG air emissions
Gases released to atmosphere excluding greenhouse gases. Non-GHG air emissions include sulphur and nitrogen oxides and non-methane hydrocarbons. These occur in a variety of BP operations, and can contribute to air pollution.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Operational and advocacy .organizations that are independent of government, though some are fully or partially funded by government. NGOs tend to focus on humanitarian issues, developmental aid and sustainable development.
Non-operated joint venture (NOJV)
A joint venture where the entity managing its activities is at any point in time not a BP wholly-owned entity.
OGP
Industry group, the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP), aims to promote safe, sustainable and responsible operations.
Oil reserve replacement
Industry term expressing the rate at which production of oil is replaced by new oil discoveries – essentially the measurement of how well an oil company is replenishing its supplies. A healthy ratio should be over 100%.
Oil sands
Oil sands are a natural mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen. Mainly located in the province of Alberta, Canada, they are found at varying depths and in some cases are directly exposed to the surface.
OpenTalk
Third-party, confidential helpline through which BP employees, contractors and any third party can raise a question or concern about compliance with our code of conduct or an ethical matter.
Operating management system (OMS)
BP’s group-wide framework designed to provide a basis for managing our operations in a systematic way. OMS integrates BP requirements on health, safety, security, the environment, social responsibility and operational reliability, as well as related issues, such as maintenance, contractor relations and organizational learning, into a common management system.
Operational integrity
Managing plant and equipment throughout their life cycle to prevent injury to people or damage to the environment through loss of containment, structural failure or unintended release of stored energy.
Personal safety
The safety of individuals as protected by training, processes and other measures to prevent incidents such as slips, falls and vehicle accidents.
Petrochemicals
Chemical products made from raw materials of petroleum or other hydrocarbon origin.
ppm
Parts per million.
Primary energy
A quantity used in energy statistics, representing energy from both renewable and non-renewable sources that has not undergone any conversion or transformation process.
Process safety
Process safety refers to how we manage the integrity of hazardous operating systems and processes to prevent accidents and spills.
Product stewardship
The way in which we manage products throughout their life cycle to meet legal requirements, intended performance and customer expectations. It also includes how we communicate information on the potential health, safety and environmental impacts of products.
PSC
Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
PTA
Purified terephthalic acid.
Recordable injury frequency (RIF)
This measures the number of reported work-related incidents that result in a fatality or injury (apart from minor first aid cases) per 200,000 hours worked.
Remediation
Removal of pollution or contaminants from soil, groundwater, sediment or surface water for the general protection of human health and the environment or for a site intended for redevelopment.
Renewable energy
Energy derived from resources that are regenerative, or for all practical purposes cannot be depleted.
Risk management
Process of identifying and assessing risks, and then selecting the best course of action to minimise these risks, without impacting overall business objectives.
SA8000
The international standard for social accountability and human rights.
Safety and operational risk (S&OR)
BP’s safety and operational function whose role is to set clear requirements, maintain an independent view of operating risk, provide deep technical support to the operating businesses and intervene and escalate as appropriate to cause corrective action. S&OR consists of a central team and teams deployed in BP’s businesses.
Safety, ethics and environment assurance committee (SEEAC)
One of BP’s six board committees. SEEAC monitors the management of non-financial risk.
Screening
In the early planning stages, projects that are subject to our environmental and social practices complete a screening process to identify potential environmental and social impacts associated with the project.
Severe vehicle accident rate (SVAR)
Includes accidents that result in death, injury, a spill, a vehicle rollover or serious vehicle damage, per one million kilometres driven.
Short-lived climate forcers
Substances that have a strong warming effect on the climate but have relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere, such as methane.
SMEs
Small and medium- sized enterprises.
Solomon Energy Intensity Index (EII)
An industry measure that benchmarks energy efficiencies. BP measure the energy performance of our refining business using the EII.
Stakeholders
Our stakeholders are those who are affected by our organization and who affect us.
BP Target Neutral
A not-for-profit scheme created by BP to help individuals tackle their personal carbon footprint. It includes a ‘reduce, replace and neutralise’ range of options. BP Target Neutral advocates the use of public transport and energy-efficient cars, and provides car owners with a means to offset their carbon emissions.
Tier 1 process safety events
Tier 1 process safety events are losses of primary containment, from a process of greatest consequence – causing harm to a member of the workforce or costly damage to equipment or exceeding defined quantities.
Tonne (te)
A unit of measurement equalling 1,000kg or 2,204.6lb.
Total vehicle accident rate (TVAR)
The sum of all on-road and off-road motor vehicle accidents per one million kilometres driven.
Town hall meetings
A meeting at a BP site or office, usually given by a member of senior management and often attended by a large number of people.
UN Global Compact
International initiative that brings together companies, UN agencies, labour organizations and civil society in support of 10 principles covering human rights, labour, the environment and corruption.
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights (UN Guiding Principles)
The Guiding Principles provide an authoritative global standard for addressing adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity, wherever such impacts occur. The Guiding Principles require that companies have a policy commitment to respect human rights, and proactively take steps to prevent, mitigate and, where appropriate, remediate, their adverse human rights impacts.
Unburnable carbon
The argument that the carbon dioxide from burning all known fossil fuel reserves would raise global temperature by more than 2°C.
Unconventional gas
Unconventional gas is located in rocks with extremely low permeability, which makes extracting it more difficult. New technology and enhanced applications of existing techniques are making it possible to extract unconventional gas resources safely, responsibly and economically.
Upstream
The exploration, production and transport of oil before refining. Our Upstream segment manages exploration, development and production facilities through global functions with specialist areas of expertise.
Utilized equivalent distillation capacity (UEDC)
A normalized measure of production used globally in the refining industry.
Values
Our values of safety, respect, excellence, courage and one team, express what we believe, how we aim to behave and what we aspire to be as an organization.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
A set of non-binding principles, which BP helped develop in collaboration with governments, NGOs and extractive industry companies, that provide guidance on mitigating security risks while respecting human rights.
Water consumption
The amount of water that is withdrawn but not returned to the local water basin as fresh water.
Water scarcity
Occurs where there are insufficient water resources to satisfy long-term average requirements. It refers to long-term water imbalances, combining low water availability with a level of water demand exceeding the supply capacity of the natural system.
Water stress
Occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. Water stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources in terms of quantity and quality.
Water withdrawal
The amount of water removed from local sources, independent of its later fate.