Governance report 2016

Each year the board reports on the governance of the company and the work of the committees. The governance report is published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts. You can download the full report or extracts from this page

Introduction from the chairman

The work of the board was challenging in 2016 as we had to focus on a number of distinct issues in a changing global  environment. Despite this backdrop, it was a year however when the board continued to work well.
2015 saw the announcement of our settlement with a number of significant parties in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident. This was finally approved by the appropriate authorities in March 2016. This was a significant step that has allowed us to look forward.
Your board spent significant time in 2016 in a series of briefings to understand the challenges of the transition to a lower carbon economy. And in February 2017 we communicated our refreshed strategy to investors. It defines how we see BP’s business evolving over the coming years. We are clear that a strong core business will be vital to our success in playing our part in the lower carbon transition over the coming years.
The negative vote on remuneration at the 2016 AGM sent us a clear message. At that meeting Dame Ann and I said that we would listen and make further proposals for a new remuneration policy in 2017. Dame Ann and the remuneration committee have worked hard to ensure that we fully understand the views of our shareholders. They have also considered wider remuneration within BP and recognized the importance of engaging and retaining top executive talent throughout BP. We are putting forward the new policy at the 2017 AGM and believe it reflects a fair and balanced approach. The board recommends that shareholders approve it.
It has been a lesson for the board and it is important for all of us that we regain the trust of shareholders and society. BP has come through many tests in the past years, and is a company with inner strength and is ready to continue playing its part in delivering light, heat and mobility to the societies in which we work.
The role of business in society has become the focus of attention in many countries, not least the UK. BP is a global business. We cannot change that; indeed that is our strength. We believe that we can make a major contribution in demonstrating how global players can make a real difference in their home markets. The board of BP has for many years seen that its task is to create long-term value for shareholders. To do this it is vital that we are responsive to all those with whom we come into contact through our business. This includes shareholders, employees, customers and communities alike.
This is a clear task of all companies and their boards. In the UK we are pleased to be able to work with the current government on their recent green paper on corporate governance reform.
In 2016 the Gulf of Mexico committee met for the last time. The geopolitical committee, now chaired by Sir John Sawers, is getting into its stride and has proved  its worth as the political environment has changed in a number of countries.
It is important that we look to the future and ensure that how we work and what we discuss at our meetings is always directed at delivering BP’s strategy and maximizing performance in all areas.
I am very grateful to Bob, his executive colleagues and my fellow directors for all the work that they have done over the year. And we are ready for what the future brings.

Carl-Henric Svanberg


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