At every turn, we’re improving how we deliver heat, light and mobility. These further examples illustrate how we’re doing more than just producing energy. We’re advancing it
Thinking outside the block
Cutting carbon emissions requires some concrete thinking. That’s what we’re doing at BP with our investment in a US technology company that’s come up with a revolutionary way to lock CO2 into stone.
It’s not often you find yourself looking at a picture of concrete block. But, this is no ordinary block. This carbon-guzzling brick is made by a company called Solidia Technologies® that has cleverly worked out how to radically cut the carbon footprint of concrete production by up to 70% compared to the traditional Ordinary Portland Cement method.
Solidia has found that by altering the chemistry, they can create cement using technology that radically reduces CO2 emissions during production, as well as locking away carbon dioxide when it hardens (is cured). You could say it eats carbon. The process also dramatically reduces water consumption.
This technology promises to be a blockbuster. Concrete is the second most-used substance on our planet after water and one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – some 5-7% of total global CO2 emissions today. That’s due partly to the sheer scale of cement manufacture, but some comes from the process itself.
At BP, we think Solidia has found a pretty neat solution, so we’re investing in the company to help them build their business.
We can’t promise this concrete block will ever get one million Instagram followers, but it might just one day transform the way we look at our homes, schools, hospitals and offices.
Planting the seed for engine oils of the future
We’re growing new ideas all the time. It’s how we developed motor oil made in part from plants.
Plant-based oils are really motoring. Flax seed, grapeseed, avocado and olive. Oils like these have taken over our kitchens, and now they’re creeping into our car engines, too.
Castrol EDGE BIO-SYNTHETIC engine oil is 25 percent plant-based, although you’re unlikely to find this oil in your home.
It comes from sustainably-sourced sugarcane (like that grown at BP’s biofuels operations in Brazil).
And it is the perfect ingredient for an engine oil because it delivers the same high performance as its non-bio equivalents. If that wasn’t enough, we have committed to reducing emissions associated with its production, packaging and distribution, with all remaining emissions offset through our BP Target Neutral program.
We think it’s the perfect partner to the smaller more efficient car engines of today that aim for better fuel economy with reduced emissions.
For nearly 120 years, Castrol has been at the forefront of pioneering technologies that benefit its customers globally. We think this idea could grow and grow. We see possibilities everywhere.
Stepping on the gas
At BP, we see possibilities in natural gas, the smart partner to renewables that is 50 percent lower carbon than coal when used in power generation.
How to bring greenhouse gas emissions down fast is a big question; fortunately, there is a fuel that can be a big part of the answer.
Using gas to provide electricity instead of coal can cut carbon emissions in half. It’s also a perfect partner to renewable power.
Gas can make a major difference.
When used to generate the power we need to warm our homes and charge our phones, it is 50 percent lower carbon than coal.
And, it’s a smart partner to renewables, providing a cost-effective back-up when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.
It is also an abundant, affordable lower carbon energy source that can help to provide energy to fuel growth and improve lives — but with fewer emissions.
But, natural gas has to be produced in the right way. That’s because its main component is methane – a potent greenhouse gas in its own right. So, if we want to get all the benefits from natural gas, we need to make sure we help to reduce the methane entering our atmosphere across the gas value chain.
BP was one of the first companies to join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a voluntary industry initiative between 13 of the world’s biggest energy companies.
By putting our heads together, we’re finding new ways forward.
At BP, we are targeting a methane intensity of 0.2 percent, and holding it below 0.3 percent. This includes the methane emissions from our operations where gas goes to market as a percentage of that gas.
We use technology such as infrared cameras to identify and help prevent small seeps from becoming more hazardous leaks.
We’re designing our new gas projects in ways that should reduce methane emissions from the outset.
We’re supporting Princeton University’s work to enhance the scientific understanding of methane and its contribution to global warming.
At BP, we see possibilities everywhere to make all forms of energy cleaner and better.
Oil more efficiently
They might be out on the ocean in overalls or in the laboratory sporting safety goggles. Across the world, BP has thousands of people working every day to make sure our oil is produced cleaner and better than ever before.
What sort of world would we wake up to tomorrow if oil disappeared overnight?
It not only helps us to get from A to B, by car, boat and plane but also, it heats our homes – or cools them, depending on where you live. And, it makes millions of everyday items possible, from the plastic case that surrounds the clever tech in your smartphone to the clingy film that keeps your food fresh. If you sleep sounder with polyester filling in your pillow rather than feathers, then oil has made an impression on your day even before you open your eyes in the morning.
And, because the world is demanding more, not less, oil in all its forms, BP engineers and technicians are hard at work to produce our oil in ways that are cleaner and better than ever before.
We’re so determined to do that, we’ve set a target of zero net growth in greenhouse gas emissions from our operations out to 2025. So, even as the world looks to us to deliver more energy to meet rising global demand, we’ve said our net carbon footprint will stay the same as it was in 2015.
How is that possible? Well, by taking action in lots of different ways that all add up, such as reducing the flaring of gas from our oil and gas terminals around the world, or switching to emissions-friendly robot submarines to carry out underwater cleaning operations and safety inspections.
And, if our reductions in operational emissions on their own aren’t enough, we’ll also be investing in offsetting activities, such as forest protection, that absorb carbon dioxide.
Oil looks set to continue to play a role in our busy lives for a while longer. That’s why we are looking at possibilities everywhere to allow the world’s most versatile fuel to help keep the world advancing.
Electric vehicles and fuels
But, the future is not just electric. Our economists also tell us that more than three-quarters of the cars on the road in 2040 will still have conventional engines. So, making gains in fuel and vehicle efficiency will also play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
So, wherever your day takes you, we’ll be right there, providing the fuel you need to help you keep moving, and keep advancing.
Solar and natural gas
What could you do in eight minutes?
Feed the dog? Drink a coffee? Check your messages? Meanwhile, another ray of light has left the sun and has almost reached our perfectly-positioned blue planet.
We all know our sun is an amazing natural resource, but capturing, converting and storing its power is tricky and expensive. Until now, that is. With advances in technology bringing down the cost of solar power, our economics gurus believe it could account for 10 percent of the world’s power by 2040.
To help make that a reality, we’ve teamed up with Europe’s largest solar company. Lightsource BP is looking at ways to fund, develop and manage some of the world’s biggest, most innovative solar projects, everywhere from the Americas to Asia.
"We founded Lightsource to lead the solar revolution and chose to partner with BP because, like us, their ambition is to build and grow this company for the long term. Solar power is the fastest-growing source of new energy and we are excited to be at the forefront of this development with BP."
Nick Boyle, chief executive officer, Lightsource BP
And, even the rainy days can’t dampen the excitement for this fast-growing energy source. That’s because whatever the weather our cleaner-burning natural gas1 can play a supporting role to still keep your kettle ready for action. After all, two good ideas are always better than one.
1 Natural gas is 50 percent cleaner than coal during production.