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Conducting our business ethically

We are committed to conducting our business in an ethical, transparent way, using our values and code of conduct to guide us


We expect our employees to treat others with respect, fairness and dignity. Our code of conduct sets clear expectations for how we work at BP. It applies to all employees and members of the board. We also expect our contractors and their employees to act in a way that is consistent with our code. If those expectations are not met, we take appropriate action.

We train our employees on how to apply the code in their daily work. In 2018 this training focused on raising awareness of workplace harassment, conflicts of interest and protecting confidential information.



Speaking up

We want our employees, contractors and other third parties to feel comfortable speaking up whenever they have a question or concern about our code or if they see something that they feel is unethical or unsafe.


That’s why we encourage employees to discuss their questions or concerns with their managers, supporting teams, works councils or via OpenTalk, BP’s confidential helpline. A total of 1,712 concerns or enquiries were recorded in 2018 through these channels. The most commonly raised concerns were about fair treatment of people, workplace harassment and protecting BP’s assets.

Total number of concerns raised
Total number of concerns raised
Concerns recorded (by code of conduct chapter)
Concerns recorded (by code of conduct chapter)

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. 


Our businesses dismissed 50 employees for non-conformance with our code of conduct or unethical behaviour in 2018. This excludes dismissals of staff employed at our retail service stations.


Engaging with suppliers

We hold sessions with suppliers to help them understand our code of conduct and how we do business. We held an event in Trinidad & Tobago in 2018 with around 50 suppliers to share BP’s expectations of working. Topics discussed included anti-bribery and corruption, conflict of interest scenarios and grievance processes. We also issued our supplier expectations to our key suppliers in Indonesia.


Anti-bribery and corruption

BP operates in parts of the world where bribery and corruption present a high risk. Our code of conduct explicitly prohibits engaging in bribery or corruption in any form. Our group-wide anti-bribery and corruption policy and procedures include measures and guidance to assess risks, understand relevant laws and report concerns. We provide training to employees appropriate to the nature or location of their role. A total of 10,957 employees completed anti-bribery and corruption training in 2018.

We assess any exposure to bribery and corruption risk when working with suppliers and business partners. Where appropriate, we put in place a risk mitigation plan or we reject them if we conclude that risks are too high.


We also conduct anti-bribery compliance audits on selected suppliers when contracts are in place. For example, our upstream business conducts a number of supplier audits in higher-risk regions to assess their conformance with our anti-bribery and corruption contractual requirements. We issued a total of 27 audit reports in 2018. We take corrective action with suppliers and business partners who fail to meet our expectations, which may include terminating contracts.

Lobbying and political donations

We prohibit the use of BP funds or company resources to support any political candidate or party. We recognize the rights of our employees to participate in the political process and these rights are governed by the applicable laws in the countries where we operate. For example, in the US we provide administrative support for 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 with federal and state law and are publicly reported in accordance with US election laws.

We are members of multiple industry associations that offer opportunities to share good practices and collaborate on issues of importance to our sector. We aim for alignment between our policies and those of trade associations, but understand that associations’ positions reflect a compromise of the assorted views of the membership.


Participation in trade associations

BP is a member of many trade associations across the world. We join associations, in part, so that our views on a variety of topics are considered. We engage in policy debates on subjects of legitimate concern or opportunity for BP, our staff and the communities in which we operate.


The document below describes the role of trade associations and the principles that guide BP's membership and participation.