The scale of BP’s operations means that we manage a large number of sustainability issues
Our materiality process helps us to determine which issues are the most relevant in our reporting. We make decisions about which topics to cover in BP Sustainability Review 2012 and on the sustainability section of our website by talking with external stakeholders and by reviewing the year’s developments with our own internal subject matter experts. We also monitor media coverage of our company and our industry.
Concerns often vary depending on whom we are speaking to. For example, in 2012, many stakeholders continued to express an interest in what BP is doing to address safety and organizational governance following the Deepwater Horizon accident, while some were more concerned with topics such as climate change or human rights.
We plot each identified issue on our materiality matrix, and we develop our reporting around the issues that we believe have the highest level of importance for our stakeholders and the greatest potential impact on BP’s ability to deliver its strategy. This process is not an exact science and we exercise judgement in choosing what to report on. We take account of external developments and examine issues in their wider context. We believe that by considering and prioritizing issues in this way we can achieve reporting that is more relevant and transparent.
In 2012 these issues were assessed as being of high concern to stakeholders and of high significance for our company:
- Employee and contractor safety.
- Asset management and integrity.
- The geopolitical context affecting BP’s operations.
- Climate change and BP’s operational greenhouse gases.
- How BP is transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
- Drilling in deepwater environments.
- Our contribution to society.
- Operational governance.
- Oil spills: prevention, preparedness and impacts.
- Sensitive areas.
- Gulf of Mexico: accountability, liability, incident investigations and lessons learned.
- Risk assessment and management processes, including risk management in non-operated joint ventures.
We have attempted to cover these topics thoroughly and appropriately in our Sustainability Review 2012 as well as on our website, and to address them within the in-depth section of our Annual Report and Form 20-F.
Business Support and Development Director, Business in the Community
"Stakeholders want a clear and consistent voice in company reporting. Such a voice must be transparent and talk about successes and failures in equally sober measure if it is to be trusted. BP is at times brutally honest in its reporting (for example, its assessment of likely outcomes in relation to global warming) while at other times it is more ambiguous or unhelpful. I welcome BPs inclusion of stakeholder voices and I look forward to seeing more clearly how stakeholder voices are used to change internal conversations and company practice."
Dialogue and further review
As our reporting takes shape each year, we continue our dialogue with internal and external experts. We seek feedback from a number of stakeholders, whose input helps identify any gaps in our reporting of material issues.
Before our reporting is published, BP’s senior leaders review the content to ensure there are no significant omissions, and we validate the content with our external assurance provider, Ernst & Young.
The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2012 sustainability reporting.