We lay out our commitment to high ethical standards in our code of conduct
Our code of conduct is based on our values and clarifies the principles and expectations for how we work at BP. It applies to all employees and members of the board. We expect and encourage our contractors and their employees to act in a way that is consistent with our code and we take appropriate actions where we believe that they have not met our expectations, or their contractual obligations.
Each year, our employees and our board members certify that they understand the code, have abided by their responsibilities and reported any breaches of which they were aware. We train our employees on applying the code of conduct in their daily work.
Promoting ethical behaviour
Our awareness training on our code and our values is tailored to reflect local conditions. For example, in Brazil a large proportion of our workforce are agricultural employees, with varying levels of formal education and little, or no, access to computers. We designed short, interactive plays covering topics such as health and safety, workplace harassment and how to raise a concern. We also established a nominated ethics and compliance representative at each of our three mills, who helps to resolve any issues promptly through the correct channels.
We held ethics and compliance weeks in various locations, such as Angola, India and Indonesia, in 2016. During these weeks, employees participated in Q&A panels with senior leaders and took part in sessions on ethical dilemmas and legal compliance.
We want our employees, contractors and other third parties to feel comfortable speaking up whenever they have a question about our code, or see something that they feel is potentially unsafe, unethical or harmful.
Employees are encouraged to discuss their questions or concerns with their managers, supporting teams, works councils where relevant, or via BP’s confidential helpline, OpenTalk. A total of 956 people contacted OpenTalk with concerns or enquiries in 2016 (2015 1,158, 2014 1,114). The most common concerns related to the people section of the code. This includes treating people fairly, with dignity and giving everyone equal opportunity; creating a respectful, harassment-free workplace; and protecting privacy and confidentiality.
BP has zero tolerance for retaliation against anyone who seeks advice, raises a concern, reports misconduct or participates in an investigation. The consequences for misconduct or retaliation range from coaching and performance management through to dismissal.
OpenTalk cases (by code of conduct chapter)
Our businesses dismissed 109 employees for non-conformance with our code of conduct or unethical behaviour in 2016 (2015 132, 2014 157). This excludes dismissals of staff employed at our retail service stations.
Lobbying and political donations
We prohibit the use of BP funds or resources to support any political candidate or party.
We recognize the rights of our employees to participate in the political process. Their rights to do so are governed by the applicable laws in the countries in which we operate. For example, in the US we support the operation of the BP employee political action committee (PAC), which is a non-partisan committee that encourages voluntary employee participation in the political process.
All BP employee PAC contributions are reviewed for compliance, comply with the law and are publicly reported in accordance with US election laws.
The way in which we interact with governments depends on the legal and regulatory framework in each country. We engage across a range of issues that are relevant to our business, from regulatory compliance, to understanding our tax liabilities, to collaborating on community initiatives.
We are members of multiple industry associations that offer opportunities to share best practices and collaborate on issues of importance to our sector. Their positions don’t always reflect our own - given that they reflect a compromise of the assorted views of the membership.