Conducting our business ethically

Our code of conduct is based on our values and sets clear expectations for how we work at BP

Our code applies to all employees and members of the board and we expect and encourage our contractors and their employees to act in a way that is consistent with our code. We take appropriate action if those expectations are not met.

Each year, our employees and board members certify that they understand the code, have fulfilled their responsibilities and reported any breaches. Our code specifically prohibits any form of abuse or harassment. We train our employees on applying the code in their daily work. This includes training on harassment awareness and prevention.

Speaking up

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 unsafe or unethical.

To this end, we encourage employees 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 817 concerns or enquiries were received through OpenTalk in 2017, down from the previous two years.

OpenTalk cases (by code of conduct chapter)

OpenTalk cases (by code of conduct chapter) - chart

The concerns most commonly raised are about fair treatment of people, 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.

Our businesses dismissed 70 employees for non-conformance with our code of conduct or unethical behaviour in 2017. This excludes dismissals of staff employed at our retail service stations.

Promoting ethical behaviour with our suppliers

We hold sessions with suppliers on our code of conduct. For example, in 2017, we held an event in Azerbaijan and invited companies who we thought would benefit from extra guidance, such as those working in multiple countries or who use sub-contractors. Around 50 suppliers participated. We discussed possible scenarios, including examples of breaches, and shared lessons learned.

Anti-bribery and corruption

We operate in some of the world’s highest risk countries from an anti-bribery and corruption perspective. 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.

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 the 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 audits on a number of suppliers in higher risk regions to assess their compliance with our anti-bribery and corruption contractual requirements. We issued a total of 36 audit reports in 2017. 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 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.

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. We feel it is important to participate to make our views known.

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