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Independent assurance statement

We have performed a limited assurance engagement on selected performance data and statements presented in the BP p.l.c. (“BP”) Sustainability Report 2017 (“the Report”).


Respective responsibilities

BP management ıs responsible for the collection and presentation of the information within the Report. BP management ıs also responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of internal controls relevant to the preparation of the Report, so that it is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.


Our responsibility, in accordance with BP management’s instructions, is to carry out a ‘limited level’ assurance engagement on selected data and performance claims in the Report (“the Subject Matter Information”). We do not accept or assume any responsibility for any other purpose or to any other person or organisation. Any reliance any such third party may place on the Report is entirely at its own risk.


What we did to form our conclusions

Our assurance engagement has been planned and performed in accordance with ISAE3000 (Revised)1.


The Report has been evaluated against the following criteria:


  • Whether the Report covers the key sustainability issues relevant to BP in 2017 which were raised in the media, BP’s own review of material sustainability issues, and selected internal documentation.
  • Whether the health, safety and environment (HSE) data presented in the Report are consistent with BP’s Environmental Performance Group Reporting Requirements and BP’s Group HSE Definitions.
  • Whether sustainability claims made in the Report are consistent with the explanation and evidence provided by relevant BP managers.


Summary of work performed

The procedures we performed were based on our professional judgement and included the steps outlined below:


  1. Interviewed a selection of BP’s senior managers to understand the current status of safety, social, ethical and environmental activities, and progress made during the reporting period.
  2. Reviewed selected group level documents relating to safety, social, ethical and environmental aspects of BP’s performance to understand progress made across the organisation and test the coverage of topics within the Report.
  3. Carried out the following activities to review health, safety and environment (HSE) data samples and processes:
        a. Reviewed disaggregated HSE data reported by a sample of 27 businesses to assess whether the data had been collected, consolidated and reported accurately.
        b. Reviewed and challenged supporting evidence from the sample of businesses.
        c. Tested whether HSE data had been collected, consolidated and reported appropriately at group level. 
  4. Reviewed the coverage of material issues within the Report against the key sustainability issues raised in external media reports and the outputs from BP’s processes for determining material sustainability issues.
  5. Reviewed information or explanations about selected data, statements and assertions within the Report regarding BP’s sustainability performance.


The limitations of our review

Our evidence gathering procedures were designed to obtain a ‘limited level’ of assurance (as set out in ISAE3000 Revised) on which to base our conclusions. The extent of evidence gathering procedures performed is less than that of a reasonable assurance engagement (such as a financial audit) and therefore a lower level of assurance is provided.


Our work did not include physical inspections of any of BP’s operating assets. Our work did not include an assessment of the data reported under the Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme, as presented on page 9 of the Report.


Completion of our testing activities has involved placing reliance on BP’s controls for managing and reporting HSE information, with the degree of reliance informed by the results of our review of the effectiveness of these controls. We have not sought to review systems and controls at BP beyond those used for HSE data.


Our conclusions

Based on the scope of our review our conclusions are outlined below:



Has BP provided a balanced representation of material issues concerning BP’s sustainability performance?


  • We are not aware of any material aspects concerning BP’s sustainability performance which have been excluded from the Report.
  • Nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that BP management has not applied its processes for determining material issues to be included in the Report.


Completeness and accuracy of Performance Information

How complete and accurate is the HSE data in the Report?


  • With the exception of BP’s share of Rosneft in relation to greenhouse gas emissions, we are not aware of any material reporting units that have been excluded from the group-wide HSE data.
  • Nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the HSE data has not been collated properly from group-wide systems.
  • We are not aware of any errors that would materially affect the data as presented in the Report.


How plausible are the statements and claims within the Report?


  • We have reviewed information or explanation on selected statements on BP’s sustainability activities presented in the Report and we are not aware of any misstatements in the assertions made.


Observations and areas for improvement

Our observations and areas for improvement will be raised in a report to BP management. Selected observations are provided below. These observations do not affect our conclusions on the Report set out above.


  • BP reports that it has been playing a role in creating a new way to compare renewable energy reserves with conventional sources and has disclosed initial information in relation to its biofuels business. By looking at the recoverability of specific renewables projects, BP should in future be in a position to disclose additional renewable energy metrics that enable stakeholders to make an assessment of the contribution that this makes in the wider context of BP’s more extensive fossil fuel reserves.
  • BP has included commitments that link reductions in operational emissions to its overall low carbon aims as a business. BP has also reported where information can be found that is relevant to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. This should help to respond to requests from stakeholders, including investors, for enhanced disclosures in this area. There is an expectation, particularly from investors, that disclosure will develop further in the next 2-3 years and that BP will be able to respond.
  • BP has continued to develop its reporting on human rights issues. The section on labour rights provides local examples of the risks associated with BP’s operations, challenges faced and improvement areas identified. The current Report includes additional human rights-related metrics and BP should continue to develop its reporting in this area.
  • BP has taken some steps to reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within its reporting, including a brief statement of how core business contributes to certain goals and the way BP operates supports the implementation of others. In the future, stakeholders may look for enhanced reporting on the indicators where companies can make a material contribution to specific SDGs. BP should consider linking more closely its reporting on the value that it brings to society with performance indicators that demonstrate the business’s contribution to the SDG indicators.


Our independence

We have implemented measures to comply with the applicable independence and professional competence rules as articulated by the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and ISQC12. Ernst & Young’s independence policies apply to the firm, partners and professional staff. These policies prohibit any financial interests in our clients that would or might be seen to impair independence. Each year, partners and staff are required to confirm their compliance with the firm’s policies.


We confirm annually to BP whether there have been any events including the provision of prohibited services that could impair our independence or objectivity. There were no such events or services in 2017. Our assurance team has been drawn from our global Climate Change and Sustainability Services Practice, which undertakes engagements similar to this with a number of significant UK and international businesses.


Ernst & Young LLP, London
16 April 2018

1  International Federation of the Accountants’ International Standard for Assurance Engagements (ISAE3000) Revised, Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.

2  Parts A and B of the IESBA Code; and the International Standard on Quality Control 1 (ISQC1)