“All over our planet we are seeing tremendous acts of kindness in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are pulling together as a global community in a massive way to beat the health threat that has turned our world upside down. In bp, our team is working to keep the world supplied with energy while at the same time rallying behind our new purpose – to improve people’s lives (as well as helping the world get to net zero) – and I am hearing amazing stories about how colleagues are stepping up to help their families, neighbours and communities. In these sometimes dark and difficult times, these stories are small but powerful lights along the road leading us back to more normal times. We will be sharing more of them here over the next days and weeks, and I hope you find inspiration in them as well. Afterall, we are all #InThisTogether”
Chief executive officer
Recognizing the coronavirus outbreak as a mental health challenge as well as a physical health threat, bp is teaming up with the American Heart Association (AHA) to support hospital workers’ mental wellbeing as they fight on the frontline against COVID-19.
Through an ongoing partnership, bp collaborated with AHA to create 6,000 mental health kits for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers at Lyndon B Johnson Hospital in Houston.
Designed to promote mental wellbeing and show frontline staff how much they are appreciated, the kits contain journals, thank-you cards, wellness meditation guides, lip balm and stress balls. AHA volunteers and bp employees assembled the kits, and the first batch was safely delivered to the hospital by AHA staff.
Working together, bp and AHA have also helped to create a new post-shift decompression ritual for hospital workers addressing the mind, body and soul. The ritual includes guided breathing and meditation exercises that can be completed before they head home.
In addition, bp and AHA are working with local restaurants to deliver 200 heart-healthy meals for all hospital staff on a weekly basis over the next two months.
A group of bp and Castrol employees have teamed up to launch #MakeYourMask, a campaign designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across Africa.
The campaign has picked up support from a few well-known personalities, such as rugby legend Francois Pienaar.
While regular hand washing and social distancing remain the best way to stop the virus spreading, following these measures is difficult, if not impossible, for millions of people in Africa meaning masks offer an important source of protection.
That’s why the volunteers from bp and Castrol in Africa set up the #MakeYourMask challenge, which demonstrates how people can make a mask from items such as old clothing or bed sheets in as little as 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, in Angola, bp has committed $50,000 to a government safety campaign that assists the production and distribution of cotton face masks. The initiative gives local businesses and young adults in orphanages the opportunity to train with tailors to make the masks.
In Algeria, bp has donated $50,000 worth of medical supplies to frontline workers at main public hospitals in Blida – where the pandemic first hit – and the capital of Algiers.
In South Africa, bp has provided R1.5 million to help Gift of the Givers set up a mobile COVID-19 testing facility that can run up to 60 tests a day. And, employees are donating to a relief fund that provides care parcels for colleagues and their immediate household family members who test positive for COVID-19.
As well as donating vital medical equipment to hospitals, bp Egypt staged a social media awareness campaign that offers quarantine tips and tricks, remedies to stay healthy and DIY home innovations.
Many of our people have balanced their day jobs with volunteering to help others in areas from education to the environment.
People like bp data analyst Kim Brewin, who has spent the past 20 years volunteering as a blood runner for Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers Surrey & South London – or SERV – a charity that transports blood, plasma, platelets and samples between hospitals.
During the current crisis, Kim and her team have gone from a weekend cover service to supporting the NHS 24/7.
And, the charity has even been helped by bp’s offer of free fuel.
Watch this short film to see Kim making a vital delivery on her motorbike.
Meanwhile, other bp employees have inspired us with their selfless acts, including digital telecoms engineer James Cox (pictured, below), who has volunteered for the St John Ambulance service for more than 10 years. He’s now covering extra shifts in a London hospital to help relieve pressure on NHS staff.
Or Andy Clouting, a service portfolio director for bp’s upstream digital operations, who signed up as an NHS volunteer, transporting patients from hospital to home, inspired by his family who all work in the health service.
And then there’s Katherine Dickens, who has put her emergency planning skills to good use by helping in the command centre of her local hospital, with duties including allocating and redistributing staff to where they’re most needed.
In Poland, Wild Bean Cafe process operations advisor Jan Gil is serving his local community as a trained paramedic on the frontline at Zakopane hospital. And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also a mountain rescuer.
bp’s North Sea offshore workers have given an insight into how they are adapting their working practices to stay safe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The teams on the ETAP and Mungo platforms have produced a short video showing their new protocols and ways of working to minimize the risk of infection from the virus, ensuring the safety of not only the employees working on the rigs but also of their families when they return home.
The video was recently shared by the Scottish network, STV, and went out to more than 500,000 viewers.
Ariel Flores, bp’s regional president for the North Sea, said:
Reminder: bp has coordinated a dedicated North Sea COVID-19 rescue helicopter that is specially equipped to safely return offshore workers with suspected coronavirus to the mainland for treatment.
The coronavirus has had a major impact on all our lives and, for many, that includes our mental wellbeing. Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, we find out how one bp employee and trained psychotherapist is helping his colleagues to weather these challenging times.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, bp’s Matt Vickers knew straight away that he wanted to help. “One of the first things I did was start issuing weekly challenges to the mental health network to help people try and create a sense of new routine,” he says.
Each challenge is deliberately simple, such as reducing hour-long meetings to 45 minutes or writing down what drains you and energizes you. Matt says:
Matt has worked for bp’s trading division for the past 15 years but now splits his time between his bp job and his private practice as a psychotherapist – a role he trained for after therapy had a positive impact on his own mental health.
As well as the challenges, Matt is hosting virtual mental wellbeing ‘huddles’, providing a safe, active listening space for people to come together and share their feelings during the crisis.
“We usually start with a check-in and some mindfulness and then open it up to a specific theme. We end on a note of appreciation to get a balance between the harder and the positive stuff,” he says.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard many stories of how bp employees are going out of their way to help others. And, this one is particularly heart warming.
In Senegal, bp’s Berthe Nanette Gomez has come to the rescue of a babies’ orphanage that was in urgent need of food and nappies after the COVID-19 pandemic had cut off their usual supply.
Berthe saw an online appeal launched by the Sisters running the nursery in the small city of Nianing and immediately took action, organizing a fundraiser.
She said: “I was really touched by their call for help. I am grateful to all our colleagues and friends who had compassion for my call and responded so quickly. In these difficult times, our attention must go to those who are in need and that was the case for these children.”
Thanks to the generous response, Berthe raised funds to buy thousands of packs of nappies, boxes of milk and cereal. She then coordinated with BP Senegal employees to safely deliver the supplies, abiding by the country’s and the company’s safety and lockdown measures.
Sister Monique, director of the nursery, said:
Reminder: bp has donated hundreds of essential medical items to help address the COVID-19 pandemic in Mauritania and Senegal, where it is building a new gas business. bp also delivered much-needed clean water to the Mauritanian river island of Ndiago when the normal supply was cut off following the closure of the border with Senegal and is now working with local NGOs to find a permanent solution.
Retail staff at the bp M&S Simply Food store in Cheriton, Kent, have not only come to the rescue of an elderly and vulnerable couple by regularly delivering the food they need, but also went out of their way to help them celebrate a very special occasion.
Lynne and David Bourne, both in their 70s, who have been shielding during the COVID-19 lockdown, were anxious about getting hold of food. So, one morning, Lynne phoned the Cheriton store asking for help.
Staff took Lynne’s order and, from then, began regularly delivering food to the couple.
During one of those phone calls, they learned about Lynne and David’s upcoming 49th wedding anniversary.
Rather than let their special day go unnoticed, store manager Gill arranged for cake and flowers to be delivered to the couple’s home in nearby Hythe.
Watch this video in which Lynne thanks the bp retail staff for their kindness.
BP and Castrol are helping to feed frontline healthcare workers in Portugal during the COVID-19 crisis by providing fresh fruit and vegetables to frontline hospitals in Lisbon.
The initiative was developed with the help of SEMEAR, a local NGO that employs on its farm young people and adults with intellectual and development difficulties as part of its sustainable social inclusion programme.
BP Portugal has supported the organization for the past three years by donating fuel annually for use in agricultural activities on the farm and for transporting the fresh produce to market.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is stepping up that support. From mid-April to mid-May, BP Portugal and the local Castrol team are donating 250 baskets of organic fruit and vegetables prepared by SEMEAR in accordance with all safety regulations to five frontline hospitals in the Portuguese capital (one hospital each week).
Anabela Silva, BP Portugal marketing and external affairs manager, says:
bp has installed on-the-nozzle hand protection on fuel pumps at all 330 company-owned retail stations across the UK. The simple dispenser, called GripHero, enables drivers to safely fill their vehicles without contaminating their hands, a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thousands of customers handle our fuel pumps every day. With GripHero, they can retrieve a single piece of recyclable, anti-static hand protection from the nozzle itself before touching the pump. This not only provides an easily accessed safeguard, but also dramatically reduces waste associated with conventional glove dispensers.
And in keeping with our low carbon ambition GripHero’s carbon footprint is 75% lower than disposable plastic gloves, driven by efficiencies in the production, packaging, transit and use.
Nikki Grady-Smith, UK retail operations director, said:
From Chicago to Cairo, bp people are going out of their way to help others in their local communities by shopping for elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
Dana Hendrix in Houston has managed to help even while remaining in self-isolation by leaving unused face masks – left over from her woodworking hobby – on the doorstep of a neighbouring ER doctor. In return, she received fresh vegetables, a welcome gift as supermarkets struggle to stay stocked at this time.
Also in Houston, Ashley Booten has put together care packages and picked up prescriptions for housebound elderly neighbours.
And single mum and principal carer for her vulnerable brother (a kidney transplant patient) May Akrawi is still finding the time to do grocery shopping for her neighbours, which she delivers on her new emissions-free e-bike.
Meanwhile, in Cairo, Sherif Elshaer started single-handedly delivering food and home essentials to the elderly and vulnerable in his neighbourhood.
In Chicago, Dan Balzer and his wife are taking extra precautions but continuing to do their twice-weekly van deliveries of food to their local church’s neighbourhood food pantry, which serves up to 60 families each week. As he says: “They need it now more than ever.”
In Swindon, UK, Dawn Maslen regularly delivers meals to her 93-year-old neighbour.
Proving that this really is a global crisis, elderly and vulnerable residents of a small town in Hungary where shops aren’t easily reached can be grateful for the kindness of bp’s Emese Hajdu, who is giving up her time to provide them with essential supplies.
Normally, when Ryan Bare wasn’t working on bp’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska, he was running his family-owned distillery back in Iowa, US, producing whiskey and vodka. But, as the coronavirus response began ramping up across the country, Ryan saw an opportunity to help his community by switching production from spirits to hand sanitizer.
So, he began converting some of the distillery’s equipment to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer using a formula developed by the World Health Organization. Now, the facility is offering bottles free to the public, as well as to local first responders, hospitals, nursing homes and other groups fighting the spread of COVID-19.
He is also making it commercially available to other businesses at pre-pandemic prices – including bp. When the team in Alaska needed supplies for workers on the slope, Ryan coordinated with the company to send four 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer to Prudhoe Bay.
Describing the experience, Ryan says:
Watch this video to find out more.
Parents and teachers in the UK and beyond are finding the materials provided by the bp Educational Service (bpes) a source of support as homeschooling continues. Over the past six weeks, bpes has seen the highest levels of downloads for more than two years.
The free service, which provides educational resources for 4-19-year-olds on the subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths, brings classroom topics to life with the use of real-world examples. Developed with teachers and education specialists, the resources aim to inspire the scientists and engineers of the future.
After responding to a WhatsApp group message from a radiographer friend, bp Spain’s Ruth Hurtado has joined a cottage production line creating plastic aprons for Madrid’s frontline heath service staff.
Each apron takes just two to three minutes to make and, so far, Ruth and her group have made 3,000, which have already been distributed to local hospitals. And they’e not stopping at that. Ruth says:
Watch this video to find out more.
In celebration of #GivingTuesdayNow, we’re highlighting where you can donate bp reward points to charity.
The new global day of giving and unity is taking place today in emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
And, following an employee ideas competition, bp colleagues can now convert points gained through the organization’s recognize and reward process into a donation to a global charity, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, or as vouchers for a local or personal charity of their choice.
Separately, the bp foundation is matching employee donations to either the World Health Organiztion, the International Committee of the Red Cross, or the American Red Cross on a 1:1 basis.
All over the world during the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen countless acts of selfless kindness by people quietly helping their communities in whatever way they can.
One such silent hero is Zakir Hussain, an independent two-wheeler mechanic from Rajasthan in northern India. He was inspired to offer his help to many others after fixing a pregnant nurse's scooter so she could get to work. Her dedication to her job moved him. He says of the experience:
Now, he is using social media to offer his services free of charge to anyone who needs them in his home city of Bhilwara, the first in the area to be placed under lockdown by the government, and where there was a rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
With workshops closed and two-wheelers the most popular form of transport in India, Zakir has been inundated with requests for help.
Grateful customers include Jai Singh Shekhawat, who praised Zakir’s ‘selfless service’ when he got his two-wheeler back on the road so that he could rush his young child to hospital.
And we can certainly vouch for his skills. In 2017, Zakir won Castrol’s Super Mechanic annual competition held across India.
They can’t prepare meals for bp staff at our offices in Sunbury right now, but the Aramark catering team aren’t setting down their saucepans.
Instead, they are cooking up a storm providing thousands of hot meals a week for local food banks.
Follow our chefs in this video.
Castrol, together with bp Russia, is providing free lubricants to Mosavtosantrans, the Moscow ambulance service.
Mosavtosantrans manages more than 5,000 ambulances and medical cars, including passenger vehicles for doctors and a commercial fleet to deliver medical equipment in the Russian capital.
Castrol has provided an initial 4,500 litres of high-performance lubricants, with a commitment to supply an additional 32 tonnes over the next six months.
A team of more than 20 people across Castrol and bp worked hard to get the deal and logistics in place as quickly as possible and the first consignment was delivered on 27 April.
Sergey Gordeev, Castrol’s commercial vehicle oils and industrial sales manager for Russia and Belarus, said:
Sergey reached out to Mosavtosantrans with an offer of assistance. “We connected with them and explained that we would like to help,” he said. “We offered to supply our full range of lubricants, including support for their specialist vehicles, to an amount equivalent to their fleet’s half-year consumption.”
Celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment are taking part in a bp-backed e-Sports fundraiser to support NHS charities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organized and hosted by Celebrity e-Sports ̶ and with support from bp and Unilever ̶ the NHS Charities Together Cup, tagged #changethegame, is a week-long online event that pits celebrity teams against each other in a knockout FIFA 20 football tournament.
Among the 24 stars who have signed up to play are ex-England football captain John Terry; England cricket’s World Cup heroes, Ben Stokes, Joss Buttler and Joe Root; boxers Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte; comedian Paddy McGuinness, and world champion triathlete Jonny Brownlee.
The matches, which started on Monday, 27 April, are livestreamed daily on YouTube from 12-4pm (GMT), with the UK’s free-to-air channel ITV hosting interviews and highlights. The final takes place this weekend.
Each team consists of three players and members of the public can vote for their favourite celebrity player to compete in each match. The cost of a vote is a donation to the NHS Charities Together, which is the umbrella organization for the NHS's official charities in the UK.
Mark Rose, bp group brand manager, said:
Protocols for bp’s Thunder Horse platform in the US Gulf of Mexico have become a benchmark for protecting crews from coronavirus throughout the oil and gas industry.
Miranda Jones, bp’s Gulf of Mexico HSE manager, says:
Key measures on the bp-operated facilities include:
Miranda adds:“I can’t say enough about the offshore team and how they’ve led through this crisis. They have really been incredibly humble and patient. They’re the tip of the spear, living and operating in this environment.”
Last month, we met BP’s Ricky Burns, who has been using his 3D printer to create visor shields for use at his local hospital and at testing sites.
Now, he’s going a step farther by building more sophisticated respirator masks as well.
Watch this three-minute video to find out more.
Air BP has donated vital personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) to help it continue its life-saving work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The RFDS provides 24-hour emergency medical and primary healthcare services to rural and remote areas covering 7.69 million square kilometres across Australia. It has seen demand for its services soar during the crisis, with the need to transport COVID-19 patients vast distances to reach medical care in hospital. PPE, therefore, is essential to the safe running of the service during these challenging times.
Air BP has been a national service partner for the RFDS for the past three years, both as a sponsor and by refuelling its fleet of 77 aircraft, which it has continued throughout the crisis.
BP Australia and Air BP were able to work with local procurement teams to deliver 35,000 N95 surgical masks to the RFDS.
The donation has been well received, with a representative from the RFDS saying:
Frédéric Baudry, COO of Fuels AsPac and Air BP, said: “These are incredibly tough times. Yet, amongst all the trauma and struggle being experienced worldwide, to be able to help others – even in small ways – buoys my spirits and creates a strong sense of community. I am incredibly proud of our team’s ongoing support of the RFDS, which delivers a vital service. The donation of masks will help to keep their frontline staff safe and it was humbling to see how appreciative of the gesture they were.”
BP is donating 3 million gallons of jet fuel to FedEx Express and Alaska Airlines to help speed delivery of PPE and other essential goods throughout the US.
The donation builds on BP’s recent announcement that all first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers could receive a 50-cents-per-gallon discount on fuel at BP and Amoco stations.
BP will also offset carbon emissions from flights associated with the jet fuel donation through the BP Target Neutral programme, using credits from projects in the US that have reduced emissions.
FedEx Express will use jet fuel from Air BP exclusively for international deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, ventilators and masks, to and from the US.
Alaska Airlines will use the fuel to restore air service to several remote Alaska communities recently cut off after a local carrier declared bankruptcy. BP’s donation will help Alaska Airlines as it delivers food, medical supplies, mail and emergency passenger service for those communities.
Susan Dio, chairman and president of BP America, said:
Don Colleran, president and CEO of FedEx Express, said that “the generous donation of fuel and carbon offsets from BP for these charter flights will reduce the cost for government agencies and support our commitment to sustainability across FedEx Express.”
Around the world, BP’s refineries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with measures designed to protect people while keeping vital fuel supplies flowing.
“The essential parts of the job haven’t changed,” says Klaas Steur, the shift manager at Rotterdam refinery, in the Netherlands. “We need to operate the plant as safely, efficiently and reliably as possible, within all the normal BP rules, but the way we do that has changed.”
While all non-essential staff are now working from home, thousands of people are still needed on site, which has meant shift patterns have changed to allow for social distancing measures.
At Castellón refinery, in Spain, for example, the team now works two 12-hour shifts instead of the usual three eight-hour stints, with everyone working seven days followed by a long period off.
At Gelsenkirchen, in Germany, new ‘red’ and ‘blue’ team shift patterns are in place, with each team switching between working at the refinery and at home. Meanwhile, shift handovers at Rotterdam are now conducted on a one-to-one basis instead of in groups.
These changes mean that clear, regular communication is vital and all the refineries are making greater use of technology to achieve this.
Despite the challenges involved, morale across BP’s refineries is high. Carlos Garcia Sanchez, shift superintendent at Castellón refinery, says:
With a population of 1.3 billion and many congested cities, India has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Unsurprisingly, this has put enormous pressure on the nation’s healthcare system.
BP swiftly responded to the need of the state health machinery; upgrading the intensive care units of government hospitals, particularly in states with large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Initial support included providing ventilators, infusion pumps, PPE and other critical items to five hospitals in Mumbai, the city with the most cases.
The next stage of emergency medical supplies and equipment has now reached many more hospitals across eight states.
BP head of country and regional president for India Sashi Mukundan said:
BP is expanding its support of the UK’s largest city social care charity during the crisis. VSA is now at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, delivering critical care and support to vulnerable children and adults across 22 residential sites in Aberdeen.
To assist this valuable work, BP has:
BP has a long-standing relationship with the charity, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and had already pledged to raise £100,000 to mark the occasion.
Describing the charity’s work, chief executive Kenneth Simpson said:
This is the specially modified Sikorsky S92 helicopter that was commissioned jointly by BP and Chrysaor to safely repatriate North Sea oil and gas workers suspected of having coronavirus.
The helicopter, which has been made available to other oil and gas operators in the North Sea, is bigger than the standard offshore helicopters used by BP and has special features to help keep crew and passengers safe from possible cross contamination, including:
After landing onshore, employees with suspected COVID-19 are taken to meet a doctor at a dedicated assessment centre and are then transported home or to hospital in a special isolation taxi.
Chris Laughton, Clair Ridge offshore installation manager, said the helicopter has been a welcome addition to the region:
COVID-19 has left many of the world’s aircraft grounded but Air BP teams are still at work fuelling vital flights carrying shipments to help with the global crisis.
In China, Air BP, via its two joint venture companies, helped to keep relief supplies and medical teams arriving into Hubei province – the frontline of the battle against the epidemic – following the suspension of all passenger flights into and out of the region in January.
To date, South China Blue Sky has fuelled more than 800 flights dedicated to epidemic relief, expat repatriation and chartered flights for those still needing to get to work. It also set up an emergency plan to keep fuel supplies running and carry out important inspection and maintenance on fuel facilities and equipment during the crisis.
Holden Han, Air BP cluster manager for China, said:
Elsewhere, Air BP is providing equally vital support. In the UK, offering free fuel to four air ambulance services in England and Wales, to support their life-saving work during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, in Australia, Air BP’s rapid response helped to keep a Qantas Sydney to London ‘Kangaroo’ flight going after Singapore banned stopovers in late-March. Air BP provided an average of 266,000 litres of fuel per flight at Darwin airport, enabling the aircraft to embark on the historic non-stop 16-hour flight from Sydney to London.
Castrol is supporting thousands of mechanics in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fight against COVID-19.
Hand hygiene kits containing sanitizer and other disinfecting products were delivered to thousands of mechanics and independent workshops across the UAE before the lockdown (captured here on film).
In addition, a series of short videos prepared in both English and Arabic supports the drive with tips on ensuring that workshops are thoroughly and regularly disinfected and all surfaces and tools are free of contaminants. The videos are expected to benefit more than 10,000 mechanics in the region.
JK Natarajan, Castrol marketing director in the region, praised the team who put the campaign together. He said:
BP’s retail site staff working on the frontline all over the world during the coronavirus pandemic are pulling together to keep communities moving.
Every day, they serve customers fuel and food, albeit with some notable changes to working practices.
BP has introduced safety measures at its retail sites worldwide. Read more about them here.
Despite restrictions, BP’s retail employees remain upbeat and keen to help their communities in any way they can.
In the UK, BP M&S site manager Rachael Barlow is extremely proud of the way her team has stepped up during the crisis, saying:
Reminder: discounted, or free, fuel and free hot drinks are being offered to the emergency services at many BP retail sites all over the world.
BP has donated hundreds of essential medical items to help address the COVID-19 pandemic in Mauritania and Senegal, where it is building a new gas business.
In Senegal, BP provided vital medical supplies, including infrared thermometers, medicine pumps and virus test kits, as well personal protection equipment (PPE), to support local health services. Many of the items were delivered in collaboration with BP partner Enda Santé, which is also providing education and awareness sessions for the local community.
Meanwhile, in Mauritania, BP donated 30 tonnes of supplies to the Ministry of Health and Social Care, including oxygen masks, syringes, aprons, shoe covers, face masks, bleach, cleaning gloves and hospital detergent. A BP-backed awareness campaign is also providing information on how the virus spreads, how to avoid it and guidance on hand hygiene.
And BP has provided financial support to São Tomé and Príncipe, where the organization has exploration activities, to help buy essential items, such as PPE.
BP’s business builder, Launchpad, is offering entrepreneurs and start-ups support and advice to help them navigate their way through the COVID-19 crisis.
BP created Launchpad in 2019 to help scale up disruptive new entrepreneurial ideas.
The idea for the call-out came from entrepreneur-in-residence Illai Gescheit, who says:
The team has already had interest from a handful of businesses in mobility, oil and gas, and even virtual reality, all looking for help on a range of issues, including with investment decisions, making contacts and establishing proof of concept.
If you are an entrepreneur or part of a start-up looking for some advice, Launchpad has created a simple Google form to help field enquiries.
Our employees are keeping our petrochemical plants running during the crisis to respond to the greater need for essential products deemed critical in the fight against COVID-19.
Demand for some of the petrochemicals that go into making paracetamol, insulin and blood pressure treatments, as well as disinfectant and medical protective clothing has risen dramatically.
“One third of our production goes into the pharmaceutical and medical sectors and we have been inundated with requests,” says Akira Kirton, commercial director of BP’s European acetyls division. “We are seeing a 10-20% rise in demand; up to 50% in some instances.”
Thanking her team for their efforts during this difficult time, chief operational officer for petrochemicals Rita Griffin said:
Around the world, BP is saying thank you to key workers for their efforts on the COVID-19 frontline with free coffee from its retail stations.
In Germany, more than 20,000 coffees have already been served free of charge to emergency services, retail staff, public cleaning services and other key workers from its 2,500 Aral retail stations. The offer now also includes truck, bus and van drivers.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Luxembourg, Poland, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, France and Australia, emergency service workers can also get their hands on a much-needed cuppa at BP service stations (BP and Aral in Luxemburg).
And in the US, ampm stores will provide free coffee and other beverages, as well as some food, to all emergency service and business critical workers.
The BP Netherlands team is showing its appreciation, too, with this warming offer open to healthcare workers, emergency services and truck and van drivers.
And in South Africa, BP is offering the police, military and emergency personnel 100,000 free Wild Bean Cafe Americanos or cappuccinos during the lockdown period.
In Spain, the hunt for start-ups and scale-ups that can help the country’s recovery is under way with backing from BP Ventures and others.
Positive Energy+ (Energía Positiva+) will use the resources, networks and experience of large organizations, including BP, to support start-ups and scale-up businesses in rethinking their missions and repurposing their products and services to help alleviate the economic and social effects of COVID-19 in Spain.
Nacho Gimenez, managing director of BP Ventures in Europe, is enthusiastic about the project and its ‘bigger picture’ approach. He says:
The initiative, which was launched on 6 April and closes on 19 April, received more than 100 applications in the first 24 hours alone. To ensure all the submissions are given full scrutiny and analysis, Nacho has put together a team from across BP’s varying businesses.
Explaining their approach, he says: “We’re not asking people to invent new things. We’re asking these organizations to adapt what they already have into helping society today.”
Although a Spanish initiative, Nacho sees no reason why Positive Energy+ couldn’t be replicated in other countries as a means of effecting real change. “I see this an opportunity for us to rethink old habits and make the world a kinder and more sustainable place,” he says.
COVID-19 might be closing classrooms but BP employees are helping young minds stay open.
In Hungary, our head of country Viktor Knezevics is using Facebook to offer free digital training for teachers in Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. Viktor says:
Meanwhile, in Houston, senior learning coordinator Rae Comeaux has been offering instruction in online conferencing service Zoom to teachers and students.
And because no play makes for a dull day, employees and their families are helping to keep kids entertained during the lockdown, too.
Many more of our employees have lent their support to families as children continue their studies at home. The BP Educational Service has free teaching resources for four- to 19-year-olds.
BP’s supercomputer will support groundbreaking and potentially life-saving research to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
We are joining forces with the US government, leading universities and the world’s largest technology companies to help researchers racing to track and halt the spread of COVID-19.
BP will donate the significant supercomputing capability of its Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Houston to the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium formed in March by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the US Department of Energy, and IBM.
The CHPC has 16.3 petaflops of computing capability, allowing it to process more than 16 million billion calculations per second and complete a problem in an hour that would take a laptop nine years.
CHPC assists COVID-19 research
BP’s resources and expertise will be pooled with those of other companies, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft, and used to process massive numbers of calculations related to bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modelling. This is expected to help scientists develop answers to complex scientific questions about COVID-19 in hours or days versus weeks or months.
David Eyton, BP’s executive vice president of innovation and engineering, says:
BP will also make available the expertise of the team at its Biosciences Center in San Diego, who are authorities in the fields of computational and molecular biology and chemistry.
These scientists will work closely with BP’s high-performance computing team to understand research proposals as they come in and help to prioritize work.
Like so many BP regions around the world, the team in Oman, home to the giant Khazzan tight gas project, aren’t just making sure their operations continue to provide much-needed energy, but also taking extra steps to help the wider community during the coronavirus pandemic.
BP Oman president Yousuf Al Ojaili says:
This has led to a number of initiatives, including:
As well as supporting the health service and local industry, BP Oman has helped to reunite loved ones by chartering a flight to bring back to Oman students, dependents and families of Omani nationals and expats from and via the UK as well as evacuating some expat workers and families from Oman
One BP employee is right on the frontline of the COVID-19 response in his role as president of his local Volunteer Fire Department in Texas.
This is not the first time this group of volunteers has been on the sharp end in a crisis. Just over two years ago, they were working round the clock trying to rescue hundreds of residents from the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
In his day job as a senior project lead architect in BP’s IT&S (information, technology and services) division in Houston, Greg Otto is in charge of designing, implementing and supporting communications solutions for offshore assets.
But, on nights and weekends, Greg can be found on call for the Friendswood Volunteer Fire Department, a non-profit corporation that provides all of the fire and 911 emergency services for the Texas municipality. And, as president, he doesn’t just oversee all FVFD activities; he’s also an active lieutenant firefighter and is scheduled to start his EMS training.
During the COVID-19 crisis, demand placed on the FVFD is unprecedented. It’s down to Greg and the chiefs to ensure that the teams are as prepared as they can be. He says:
As first responders, Greg and his team will often be the first people in contact with a infected individual and, as such, PPE gear is vital.
It’s potentially dangerous work, but to Greg and others like him, the service they provide outweighs the risks.“I am proud of our organization, proud of our personnel and of what we do,” he says.
Find out how BP is supporting first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers at bp.com/localheroes or by following the BP America #bpsupportslocalheroes.
BP employee Josh Townsend is using his precision digital mapping skills to help his local community find the resources they need during the COVID-19 crisis.
In his day job, Josh makes maps that help BP select the optimum location for our assets, such a wellhead placed on a seabed. He does this using his skills in geodesy – a branch of mathematics that deals with the shape and area of the earth – and a range of tools, including the BP OneMap platform.
Josh is one of a 200-strong group of volunteers in his village that make up the Lightwater Resilience Plan. As well as applying his digital skills, he is helping to deliver food, prescriptions and even post for those who are self-isolating.
Within BP, like so many companies, colleagues are selflessly giving their time, money or skills to fight the virus. Having seen this – and wanting to do their part – BP chairman Helge Lund and CEO Bernard Looney have each decided to give 20% of their salaries for the rest of this year to mental health charities.
Last week, BP made one of its largest charitable donations ever to Mind, but the BP bosses also wanted to personally support charities that specialize in helping people cope in times like this.
Bernard said: “Inspired by all of you, this is our way of demonstrating we are #inthistogether.”
During the COVID-19 crisis, flying thousands of workers home from a construction project in remotest Indonesia has become essential to continuing safe operations.
Getting those people home safely to 30 different countries has been the heroic job of BP’s John Schwebel.
The ex-Army Reservist is the construction manager at the Tannguh Expansion Project, BP’s biggest site project and the most far flung, being eight hours from Jakarta.
Weeks ago, 13,700 staff were working on this huge construction project – now thanks to John, just a core team remain.
The logistical challenge is huge, he says, but staying aware of people’s mental health is just as demanding.
“I need to stay alert to other people’s stress; help make sure that they’re not distracted by the many news stories on social media, and keep communicating our plans so that people feel confident. And, If I think someone needs to go home sooner, then we’ll make that happen.”
Three hospitals in two of Egypt’s major cities are this week receiving much-needed medical equipment donated by BP to help in their work treating COVID-19 cases.
The donation to the Abbassia and Imbaba Fever Hospitals in Cairo, and Alexandria Fever Hospital, includes an ultrasound machine, a digital radiography (DR) machine with lead aprons, and ventilators.
The donation has a value of around 2 million Egyptian pounds (about US$125,000).
Hesham Mekawi, regional president, BP North Africa, said:
BP Egypt is also supporting an initiative run by the Egyptian Food Bank by matching BP employees’ donations to ‘Support Day Labour’, which aims to distribute 500,000 feeding boxes and food bags to day labourers, who are one of the largest groups to be affected by the current economic conditions.
The move follows an announcement in March that the BP Foundation will match employee donations for COVID-19 response to the World Health Organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the American Red Cross.
With help from our catering partner Aramark, up to 7,000 frozen meals a week are being cooked at BP kitchens to support a local food bank in the southeast of England. The initiative came about after BP met with the local council to find out what help it needed, and where.
As a result, Aramark is now using the International Centre for Business and Technology (ICBT) kitchens and supplies to prepare and fast-freeze the meals. Head chef Paul Rodgers is also providing menu planning and food safety/allergen advice to a team of volunteers working at the food bank’s kitchen.
And we're also working with Aramark, led by James Fulcher and his team, and the local council to deliver vital food supplies to four more food banks in the area. The first delivery arrived on 27 March, providing key items, such as pasta, rice and canned foods.
In the US, meanwhile, both the Houston Westlake campus, Texas, and Naperville campus, Illinois, have donated excess food to those in need.
In Naperville, chef Chris and catering manager Denise co-ordinated the donation of hundreds of kilograms of dairy, fresh produce and perishables that would otherwise have spoiled to Loaves and Fishes, a community pantry at which many BP people volunteer.
In Houston, the Westlake campus facility team donated excess food to the Houston Food Bank.
And, in the Netherlands, BP has also donated to food banks due to oversupply at its retail sites. In cooperation with one of BP’s logistics providers, HAVI, the donations were made to high-need food banks in the cities of Nijkerk and Groningen.
Maintaining mental wellbeing is more important than ever before as the Coronavirus outbreak intensifies feelings of stress and worries for many.
Leading mental health charity Mind is seeing a surge in demand, with its online advice on staying mentally well during the pandemic receiving a million clicks already.
Today, BP is supporting Mind to help thousands more people in need access vital support via its digital channels and network of services in local communities.
BP chief executive officer Bernard Looney says:
Mind’s information page provides advice on how to look after your mental health during this period and is regularly updated. Their Mental Health at Work website provides specific information on looking after your wellbeing whilst working in these uncertain times. If you would like to donate directly to Mind, you can do so here.
Throughout April, BP and Amoco sites will offer a discount of 50 cents per gallon to first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers verified through ID.me, a digital identity verification system.
Beginning the week of 6 April, ampm stores will offer free coffee, fountain drinks, or hot dogs to all emergency service workers and hospital staff who show their official ID in store, as well as provide discounted meal bundles to those in need.
Richard Harding, senior vice president of marketing and sales for BP’s North America fuels business, said:
Full information can be found at bp.com/localheroes or by following the BP America #bpsupportslocalheroes.
BP is supporting NHS staff by providing £26,000 worth of Brompton bikes for frontline staff at key NHS hospitals.
With essential workers keen to avoid public transport, the Brompton initiative is helping to provide a way of making sure that they can continue to do their vital work during the pandemic.
Over the past two weeks, BP has bolstered its frontline UK retail staff with the addition of 200 temporary team members.
The new hires will help to manage increased demand at company-owned sites and relieve the pressure on existing staff. There are nearly 100 more roles to fill, including management jobs in stores.
Vicki Barber, from BP’s recruitment team, says:
New team members will help in all aspects of the retail business with a focus on receiving deliveries, packing home delivery orders for customers, and making sure that vital stock is on our shelves.
BP’s temporary workforce will play an important role in allowing us to continue supporting local communities with everyday essentials.
Air BP is providing free fuel to fly the helicopters of four air ambulance charities that collectively cover vast areas of England and Wales.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, the aviation division of BP will support the life-saving work of air ambulance crews as they provide fast medical response to the critically ill.
Included in this initiative, that will remain in place until at least the end of April, are:
Air BP CEO Jon Platt CEO said:
This initiative follows BP’s earlier announcement that it is supplying free fuel to the UK’s emergency services ground transport vehicles.
BP Turkey is donating free fuel to Istanbul’s state ambulances to support their life-saving work during the month of April.
Following the announcement, BP Turkey head of country Joe Murphy said:
The move follows a similar initiative in the UK, where BP is providing free fuel to emergency services vehicles.
While BP is donating funds, equipment and fuel, employees are taking a DIY approach to keeping frontline workers safe.
Castrol HR business partner Christine Yang heard that her local New Jersey hospital was short of surgical masks and remembered her sewing machine. She says:
After receiving instructions from the hospital, Christine used spare cotton and elastic in her home to assemble around 30 masks. The hospital is now providing kits from their own supplies, and Christine is using social media to recruit more volunteers.
Meanwhile, in Houston, business transformation team leader Ricky Burns is using his 3D printer to make parts for visors.
“I found out via a friend who works in a local hospital that they could really use extra equipment,” Ricky explains – so he contacted a group of ‘makers’ already trying to help. They needed visor parts – the plastic frame, the visor itself, which has to be laser cut, and an elastic band.
Ricky is now 3D-printing visor frames at a rate of one every 90 minutes. Each feature two messages: ‘Get well soon’ and ‘Houston Strong’ – a slogan popularised during Hurricane Harvey. Ricky explains.
At eight o'clock every evening, thousands of people across Spain line their balconies to applaud the emergency services in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.
BP Spain as a business is playing its part to support these services. Castellón refinery has donated 20,000 facemasks to hospitals in the region.
In a new retail initiative, Spanish customers can use their MiBP loyalty cards to donate points to Spain’s Red Cross (Cruz Roja) and BP will treble their value. Thus far, more than three million points have been donated – worth around €133,000, then topped up to some €399,000 by BP Spain and paid to Cruz Roja.
In a similar initiative to that in the UK, BP is also supplying free fuel to Spanish emergency services vehicles through their Routex fuel cards.
BP retail staff applaud Malaga police officers
Fuel is one thing, but police and ambulance drivers cannot work on gas alone. As such, BP Spain is also serving free coffee to emergency workers.
Free fuel and a brew is an offer that seems to be appreciated by the local police in Málaga, who generously returned the customary morning round of applause to BP staff in their local retail site. Carlos Garcia Boro, channels manager for Fuels ESA, said:
Meanwhile in Germany, our Aral brand has given away 10,000 Aral SuperCards (each worth 25€) to frontline hospital workers.
And BP colleagues at the Neuhof lubricants blending plant in Hamburg, keen to lend their own support, have donated 1,200 spare breathing masks to three hospitals in northern Germany.
A member of the plant’s facilities management team had ordered the masks in anticipation of the COVID19 crisis. However, when it became clear that several hospitals were short on equipment, the team at Neuhof offered to help. The plant manager described handing over the masks as a moving experience.
In the UK, BP Chargemaster is offering £30 credit to taxi drivers transporting NHS staff during the COVID-19 crisis via the FREE NOW and Gett ride-hailing apps.
Both companies have created a new tariff option for ‘NHS Heroes’, allowing medical staff to get to their work places quickly and at lower cost during the Coronavirus outbreak.
BP Chargemaster estimates this support could add the equivalent credit of over a million miles of black cab journeys across qualifying taxi driver accounts.
Much-needed clean water was delivered by canoe to a town in Mauritania this week after it had been cut off from its usual supplies. The river island of Ndiago normally relies on clean water brought daily from Senegal.
But, last week, the spread of Coronavirus forced the Mauritanian government to close its border with Senegal, leaving Ndiago, a town of 2,000 close to our Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project, without a source of clean drinking water.
Our social development partner in the region, Ecodev, alerted us to the situation it described as ‘critical’.
After meeting with Mauritanian authorities, BP and our partners identified a temporary solution. The team repaired an old water tank nearby, then organized canoes to transport water from the tank across the river to Ndiago, and then made sure the water reached communities in need.
The water-by-canoe method is a temporary solution. BP is already working with NGOs and the local authorities to permanently upgrade Ndiago’s water infrastructure.
Like many countries, Brazil has seen alcohol-based products for cleaning and disinfection disappear from shelves as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
BP Bunge Bioenergia, a 50/50 joint venture between BP and Bunge producing biofuels, sugar and bioenergy in Brazil, has stepped up to support the country.
It has adapted some of the sugarcane-based ethanol it produces to make a product suitable to disinfect surfaces.
Over the next days, it will donate this product for use by the national health system in 32 municipalities surrounding the 11 BP Bunge Bioenergia operational sites. The system cares for more than 1.4 million people in this area.
Biofuels production is considered an essential activity by the Brazilian government, so operations are continuing with strictly essential personnel in place and measures to protect colleagues.
Mario Lindenhayn, BP Bunge Bioenergia’s executive chairman, said:
BP Bunge Bioenergia produces ethanol fuel from sugarcane. This has around 99% alcohol content. By lowering the concentration to 70% and offering the product in small packages, BP Bunge Bioenergia can offer a product that is suitable to disinfect surfaces.
The donation is part of a joint initiative coordinated by UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association, which will donate a total of 1 million litres of ethanol to the national health system.
In rural Aberdeenshire in Scotland, BP’s Camilla Bush is working nights on her partner’s organic dairy farm (forestfarmdairy.co.uk), as well holding down her day job as HR business partner.
Camilla has been helping out any way she can, from feeding cattle to filling milk bottles. With supermarket shelves emptying, the farm’s self-service shop is providing a much-needed lifeline for the people of the nearby town of Kinellar.
Camilla insists she’s just doing her bit.
From 23 March to 30 April, bp offered delivery of food and convenience goods purchased from its network of operated convenience stores without charge. Customers could use the Deliveroo app to order products, including milk, bread and juices and a range of pizzas and ready meals, without a delivery fee from 120 BP M&S company-owned and operated stores.
The scheme was set up quickly to help enable more people to stay at home. The participating stores can all be found on the Deliveroo app.
UK trading manager Allan Abernathy said:
BP’s team in China has been helping in the fight against the virus since the start of this year. The team has been finding new ways to care for each other and the community, from distributing face masks to providing free vegetables.
Wait, free veg? That’s right. In Zhejiang Province, an area severely impacted by the virus, vegetables planted by the staff for their own consumption were offered to neighbouring residents free of charge.
Neighbours struggling to find fresh food could pick up home-grown turnips, cabbages, kale, eggplants and chilis, with around 300 kilograms given away so far.
In BP offices in China, life is now gradually resuming, with precautions in place. Qin Zhang, BP Beijing team member, said:
BP is proud to play our part by contributing to the World Health Organization (WHO) with a BP Foundation donation of $2 million USD to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The Fund supports medical professionals and patients worldwide, providing critical aid and supplies.
It also helps to track and understand the spread of the virus and supports efforts to develop tests, treatments and, ultimately, a vaccine.
Bernard Looney, chief executive officer
In addition, the BP Foundation is to match employee donations for COVID-19, in response to colleagues worldwide asking how they could help.
Three organisations are being supported:
Working with our partners and suppliers, we’re using our UK fuels business and network of retail sites to provide support to essential services, and people staying at home in the UK during the current coronavirus pandemic.