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Fresh future for ‘the Granite City’

Release date:
8 September 2020
bp has long ties to Aberdeen and now the two are working together towards finding climate-positive solutions in the city. William Lin, executive vice president of regions, cities and solutions, explains what this collaboration means for bp and the people of Aberdeen

For the next four years, bp will serve the citizens of Aberdeen as strategic planning and technical advisor, helping to shape solutions for the city’s net zero path. It will be the second city we will help to decarbonize after having the privilege to be chosen to partner with the city of Houston, which we are really excited about.

Both partnerships represent real progress towards our new strategy, announced last month. It will see us pivot from being an international oil company focused on producing resources to an integrated energy company focused on delivering solutions for customers. As part of it, by 2030, we’re aiming to work with 10-15 cities, helping them meet the increasing demand for bespoke energy, mobility and decarbonization solutions.

Aberdeen is a remarkable place: the energy capital of Europe, but also home to many of our people and was once ‘home’ to me. The city’s long and proud heritage in oil and gas poses a unique opportunity – and challenge – to transition to a low carbon economy. It’s just the type of challenge that my new team is eager to help solve.

Working in partnership with the Aberdeen City Council, we’ll explore opportunities like accelerating the adoption of electric and hydrogen-powered city vehicles, energy-efficiency programmes for buildings and circular economy. 

“Our task is to connect the dots between experts – both within the Council and across bp – to create the very best and most sustainable decarbonization solutions for the city.”  

William Lin, EVP of regions, cities and solutions



I’m very grateful for the trust the Aberdeen City Council has put in our partnership and I look forward to sharing our progress with this project and others.


What’s the deal?

At no cost to Aberdeen, bp aims to help Aberdeen City Council achieve the goals of its Net Zero Vision to reduce carbon emissions and become a climate-positive city. 


The Council and bp experts in low carbon energy systems, mobility and technology will work together to develop and deliver green energy solutions, exploring: 

  • Hydrogen for heat, power and transport, building on the city’s strong track record   ̶  it already has a successful hydrogen bus fleet.
  • The built environment, to understand and improve building energy use and efficiency. 
  • Mobility and electrification, to develop solutions for clean, low-emission vehicles and increase the fuel efficiency of the Council’s fleets. 
  • Circular economy, looking at the potential to produce energy from waste, for example.


Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council Councillor Jenny Laing said: “We are delighted to be embarking with bp on the next phase of Aberdeen’s drive to support local, national and international climate change targets. The Council and bp have the same goals in reducing our carbon footprint and working with bp provides a major opportunity for Aberdeen to progress our plans.”   

Spotlight on Aberdeen

  • Aberdeen is Scotland’s third-largest city with a population of 197,000.
  • It is nicknamed ‘the Granite City’ as many of its buildings are built from the local stone, the quarrying of which formed the city’s main industry for centuries.
  • It has been a hub for the oil industry since the 1970s, when North Sea oil was discovered.
  • Including bp, it is home to around 900 energy companies.
  • Aberdeen has the highest number of new business start-ups in the UK after London.
  • Transport links include an international airport, as well as train, bus and ferry networks.
  • Aberdeen is a hydrogen hotspot – home to both the largest hydrogen bus fleet and hydrogen fuel cell in Europe. The latter powers the city’s 15,000-capacity conference and events venue and delivers the UK’s largest hydrogen production and refuelling station to support the bus fleet.

Houston, we have a solution

Aberdeen is the second city bp is working with as part of its commitment to support decarbonization in the world’s urban hubs. Back in July, we announced that we have signed a Climate Action Plan (CAP) Agreement with Houston, which aims to advance major goals in the city’s CAP. 

Eleanor Tinsley Park and Houston skyline at night, Texas, USA --- Image by © RebeccaAng/RooM the Agency/Corbis
Under the agreement, bp will serve as the city’s strategic planning and technical partner on the CAP for the next four years. Focus areas will include reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in buildings.
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