Last edited: 1 April 2020
“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
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 today, customers can now 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.