Caring for our planet matters. The continued decline in biodiversity, the degradation of our environment and the increasing scarcity of clean water pose serious risks to our wellbeing, as well as the diversity of species that inhabit our planet.
These changes can also reduce the ability of ecosystems to take carbon out of the atmosphere, making it harder to tackle climate change.
We have set five aims to help care for our planet. They cover biodiversity, water management, nature-based solutions including those that reduce or remove carbon emissions, circularity and sustainable purchasing.
Our aim 16 is making a positive impact through our actions to restore, maintain and enhance biodiversity where we work.
We will do this by putting our biodiversity position into action. In doing so, we expect that from 2022 all new bp projects in scope will have plans in place aiming to achieve net positive impact (NPI), with a target to deliver 90% of actions within five years of project approval. We also aim to enhance biodiversity at our major operating sites and support biodiversity restoration and sustainable use of natural resource projects in the countries where we have current or growing investments.
We will also continue to work with others, including our joint ventures, to influence and promote collective action on biodiversity.
Our aim 17 is becoming water positive by 2035.
We aim to replenish more freshwater than we consume in our operations. We will do this by being more efficient in operational freshwater use and effluent management, and by collaborating with others to replenish freshwater in stressed and scarce catchment areas where we operate.
Our aim 18 is championing nature-based solutions and enabling certified natural climate solutions.
We aim to use nature-based solutions (NbS) to deliver value and contribute to our people and planet aims in our operations and through our business activities. We will also support the development of scalable markets for certified natural climate solutions that help the world reduce deforestation, get to net zero and deliver environmental and social benefits.
Our aim 19 is to unlock new sources of value through circularity.
We want to keep materials in use for longer and value them throughout their life cycle. We’ll do this by using resources responsibly and embracing circular principles in design, operations and decommissioning and aim to work with partners and our joint ventures to create opportunities.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human wellbeing and biodiversity benefits. Some examples are coastal erosion control, soil erosion control, green roofs, soft green engineering or wastewater treatment. NbS include natural climate solutions (NCS) that focus on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through nature conservation, restoration and better land management.
We aim to use nature-based solutions (NbS) to deliver value and contribute to our people and planet aims in our operations and through our business activities. We also support the development of scalable markets for certified natural climate solutions that help the world reduce deforestation, get to net zero and deliver environmental and social benefits.
Using NCS is not new to bp. We have already supported more than 50 million tonnes of forestry offsets in the US, originated projects in 6 countries and are currently building integrated partnerships to support more in the future.
Our aim 20 is developing a more sustainable supply chain by working with our key suppliers to embed sustainable practices, focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the circularity of what we buy.
We currently operate in more than 70 countries and have around 46,000 suppliers. These include contractors, vendors, service providers and contingent labour. Our annual third party spend is approximately $49 billion (2019 $59 billion).
Our 2020 focus was primarily driving a consistent strategy across our supply chain in relation to human rights, labour rights and modern slavery. We took some specific, local actions to reduce the resource intensity of our supply chain, such as establishing several renewable energy partnerships, extending the usable life, recovery and recycling of certain equipment. We piloted questions on greenhouse gas emissions in our request for proposals in our upstream purchasing, and have raised awareness of environmental sustainability with our purchasing teams by running briefing sessions to help them understand Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.
We take environmental factors into account when we decommission or close down a site, paying particular attention to how we can reuse, recycle or appropriately dispose of materials. We see waste from decommissioning as an opportunity to reuse and recycle materials back into the production system rather than sending them to landfill.
Severe weather events and climate-related impacts, such as floods or rising sea levels, could pose risks to the local environment, surrounding communities and the continuity of our operations.
We’re working to improve our understanding of the severe weather and climate related physical risks we face. We’ve reviewed the way they’re documented across bp, and have updated our practices to require all new major projects (and resultant operations) to assess these risks and identify appropriate preventative and mitigation barriers. We track relevant external risk indices and academic advances in climate and severe weather science and modelling, while also maintaining modelling capability and the relevant tools to help us meet critical business needs.
We’ve already carried out severe weather risk assessments at a number of our assets and have prioritized additional assets for assessment across our portfolio.
We actively participate in relevant industry forums and initiatives, including development of the IOGP Recommended Practice document on assessing severe weather and climate change, and the IPIECA Adaptation and Resiliency taskforce.
We recognize how important it is to reassure local communities that we’re effectively managing the environmental impacts of our unconventional oil and gas operations, including water contamination, chemicals use and the hydraulic fracturing process.
With the acquisition of BHP’s American shale assets into bpx energy, we’ve significantly upgraded our US onshore gas portfolio. We take action to minimize the environmental impacts associated with our operations. We design, operate and decommission our wells in ways that reduce water contamination. For example, we install multiple layers of steel into each well and protect freshwater aquifers with cement barriers. These are all tested before any hydraulic fracturing.
To reduce friction and bacterial growth, chemicals are added to the water and sand mixture that makes up 99.5% of the injection materials we use. We publish details of all these chemicals, although their formulas are owned by our suppliers.
The hydraulic fracturing process creates very small earth tremors. These are rarely felt at the surface and before we start work, we assess their likelihood. For example, we try to identify natural faults in rock formations, which enables us to mitigate the risk of tremors through the way we design operations.
Find out more about our approach to reporting, including our ESG datasheet, HSE charting tool, reporting standards and frameworks, materiality assessment and TCFD disclosures
Our reporting centre brings together all of our key reports, policies and performance data, including our annual report and ESG datasheet