Supporting development in societies where we work

We believe that societies and communities where we work should benefit from our presence

We contribute to economies through our core business activities, for example by helping to develop the national and local supply base and through the taxes we pay to governments. Additionally, our social investments support communities’ efforts to increase their incomes and improve standards of living. 

That said, we recognize that the impact of falling oil prices will be felt not only by our industry, but also by our host countries, particularly in areas where government revenues are heavily dependent on oil and gas.

Our value to society

  • Suppliersᵃ: this includes our purchases from suppliers, contractor costs, and production, manufacturing and other expenses.
  • Governmentsᵇ: we contribute to economies around the world through the taxes we pay. We also pay taxes that we collect on our products and services.
  • Employees: we provide direct employment to around 80,000 people across the world. Employee costs include salaries and benefits.
  • Capital providers: this includes $6.7 billion in dividends paid to shareholders, as well as finance costs.
  • Communities: this community investment figure is in addition to social bonuses paid to governments as part of licence agreements.
a.	Excludes amounts associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
b.	Excludes any fines, penalties or other amounts paid to governments in relation to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
We develop strategies for our socio-economic contribution within a country that respond to local needs and work to meet the expectations of regulatory authorities. We are taking a more systematic and consistent approach to how these are developed, focusing on three key areas - local workforce development, contracting with local suppliers and social investment. We developed a strategy for Oman in 2015 that includes, for example, a process for using local suppliers.

Local workforce

We seek to recruit our workforce from the local community or country. We do this to meet host governments’ requirements and because we believe it benefits the local community and BP.

A number of our major operating sites are working to improve local and national representation in their workforce. In Oman, for example, BP is working to build local skills through a technician development programme. Around 90 Omani technicians are currently enrolled in the programme, which includes health, safety and environmental technical skills training at a dedicated training centre in Muscat. The programme also includes on-the-job training at other operators’ oil and gas sites in Oman, as well as BP sites in the UK and US.

In Egypt we sponsor two scholarship programmes aimed at providing Egyptian youth with opportunities to continue their education. We awarded five students scholarships to Cambridge University in the UK in 2015. Students are pursuing Master’s degrees in areas such as industrial systems manufacturing and management, and engineering and sustainable development. We also offered a scholarship in building energy and environmental performance modelling to a student to pursue a Master’s degree at an international university of their choice.

Local suppliers

We promote the use of local suppliers where appropriate, contributing to the growth of the local skilled workforce. For example, we support the platform construction industry in Trinidad & Tobago, taking delivery of our sixth locally produced platform for our Juniper offshore gas project in 2016. The local supplier - originally formed to construct a BP platform more than a decade ago - is the only company producing platforms locally.

As part of our exploration drilling programme in Australia, we participate in a government-supported network that helps local suppliers to register their interest in working with us. We have included requirements in our contracts that further promote the use of local suppliers. 

In the UK we support an apprenticeship programme run by one of our contractors in the North Sea. The programme provides training on the skills required for the safe and reliable operation of our offshore assets.

Community investment

We support development programmes that meet local needs and are relevant to our business activities. We use information from community engagement and impact assessments to shape our approach and work with local partners to deliver programmes that aim to create meaningful and sustainable impacts.

We contribute to the development of training and employment opportunities, and help to build capability in institutions and businesses. For example, in Georgia, we have supported the development of almost 600 small businesses and entrepreneurs since 2003, ranging from beekeeping, to baking, to a variety of retail businesses. In addition to providing initial start-up grants, BP provides training to equip entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge necessary for managing their business. At a local conference in 2015, 40 of the businesses came together to share their achievements and challenges, as well as to meet with potential customers and business partners.

We often contribute to education initiatives in regions where we work. In Angola, for example, we helped construct 10 schools in rural areas in order to make education more accessible to local communities. Since completion, the initiative now provides access to education for almost 9,500 children and about 250 jobs for local teachers.

Our direct spending on community programmes in 2015, including disaster relief,  was $67.2 million. This excludes spending on costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon accident and is in addition to $12.9 billion for employee benefits and wages and $3.5 billion in taxes paid to governments.

Contribution to communities by region ($ million)

The BP Foundation

The BP Foundation is a charitable organization working to benefit communities around the world by prioritizing donations to charities that support science, technology, engineering and maths education, and humanitarian issues. In 2015 the foundation contributed $370 thousand to organizations and schools around the world that aligned with these focus areas and $310 thousand to locally based relief organizations.

The foundation also matches the personal contributions that BP employees make to eligible charities of their choice. In 2015 employees gave around $6.9 million, which was matched with grants of approximately $9.6 million.


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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