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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.


Why circularity matters

We recognize the need for the world to transition from a linear economy to a circular one - ‎reconsidering how we think about waste, keeping products and materials in use for longer and ‎regenerating natural systems. Embedding these circular economy principles is good for bp and good for ‎the planet.‎


How we will meet our aim


Circular solutions are not new for bp and we have applied circular principles during decommissioning in ‎the North Sea and through our investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy. However, this is just the start and ‎there are many other opportunities to embrace circular solutions as we accelerate our journey.

By the end of 2022 we plan to improve our waste stream reporting and material flow analysis. We also ‎plan to create a circularity methodology to help our existing and new businesses to identify and ‎implement circular opportunities. We plan to set long-term targets by the end of 2023.‎

Circularity in action


Some of our businesses are already moving ahead with targeted initiatives, which we can build on. ‎Castrol is aiming to reduce the amount of virgin plastic it uses that doesn't get recycled per litre of product and to help its commercial customers save energy, water and reduce waste. And our convenience and mobility business in Europe is aiming for all the packaging on ‎bp-owned foods, including Wild Bean coffee cups, to be reusable, recyclable or biodegradable by 2025.‎


Our waste includes oil-derived substances, inorganic chemicals, steel, office paper and many other ‎materials. Some waste streams are non-hazardous and others potentially harmful, so we use a wide ‎range of technologies to treat and manage them effectively. When decommissioning our operations, a ‎very high proportion of materials are reused or recycled, often in other industries. Day-to-day we try to ‎reduce waste production at source.‎

In 2020 we launched a three-year plan to restructure the way we record and collate waste production ‎across the group, to gain more detail and find ways to design out waste and increase its circularity.‎

Waste reduction in action


In late 2019 our bp-owned retail stores in New Zealand introduced commercial composting in store, which ‎meant that all of our back of house food waste went to be composted rather than to landfill. We also ‎introduced front of house bins for commercial composting, so our Wild Bean Coffee cups could be ‎composted by customers and not sent to the landfill.‎

Castrol is delivering solutions to help reduce customer waste. Redesigned plastic bottles reduce the ‎amount of plastic used and are optimised for distribution. Roll-out started in 2020 and when completed ‎globally (excluding the Americas) by 2023 will reduce plastic use by 7,000 tonnes per year compared to ‎‎2018. In addition, Castrol’s industrial products XBB cutting fluids and XBC metalworking cleaning fluids have been designed using circular economy ‎principles and when used together are helping commercial customers reduce water use and waste.‎

Waste disposed (thousand tonnes)
Waste disposed (thousand tonnes)

Air emissions

We take air emissions into account when thinking about how to use resources more effectively.  We ‎monitor our air emissions and put measures in place to reduce the potential impact of our operational ‎activities on local communities and the environment.‎

In our unconventional gas operations in the US, we reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by using lower ‎sulphur fuels in our drilling rig engines and hydraulic stimulation equipment.‎  Air emissions reduced by 23% from 2019 to 2020, largely due to divestment of our Alaska business which ‎was partially offset by operational variances.‎

Total air emissions by substance (kte)
Total air emissions by substance (kte)