BP is convinced that, if produced with the right processes and technologies, biofuels can contribute to reducing climate change.
The discussion on the sustainability of biofuels has attracted a lot of attention over recent years. There are doubts as to whether land use for the cultivation of biofuels will affect food supplies, if biofuel raw materials contribute to water shortages or soil erosion or if rises in biofuel consumption really do produce significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. BP is convinced that if produced correctly, biofuels can contribute to a reduction in climate change without affecting food supplies. It also believes that they can have an even wider positive impact. For example, the cultivation of the raw materials required could encourage the introduction of better faming skills and techniques to common practice – mainly in parts of the world where crop yields are normally low. Therefore, faced with the growing global demand for energy and the parallel need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we believe that biofuels have the potential to fulfil BP’s mission to supply energy to the world in a safe and responsible way.
Our commitment to sustainability
The success of our biofuel production depends on the integration of sustainable practices into our operations, these being fundamental if we are to retain our licences to operate. Making the right choices in terms of geography, technology and cultivation we will be able to maintain our position as a company that excels at sustainability. We know that a sustainable biofuel business demands continuous and effective management of the key issues relating to our operations. This includes protecting ecosystems, minimizing negative effects on the environment and communities, using natural resources without exhausting them, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, respecting the rights of workers and communities and providing safe working conditions. We work diligently to develop next-generation biofuels, backed by principles of sustainability that we incorporate into every step of our strategy. We use the best possible biocomponents and develop raw materials that minimize any effects to the food chain. We also invest in cutting-edge technology in order to produce advanced biofuels with lower carbon emissions using inedible materials, such as bagasse and grasses.
Our three biofuel operations in Brazil were granted certification by the Brazilian government for their working standards, with the Tropical plant being one of the first in the world to receive the SA8000 Standard, an international social responsibility standard. We have also been granted Bonsucro certification, the first based on the impacts of sugarcane production and which uses criteria based on impacts to human rights and the environment. We are now working on obtaining Bonsucro certification for all of our plants in Brazil.