2020 Annual Report

4 min read

Independent Assurance on BP’s low-carbon ambition

In the UK, we have one of the boldest greenhouse gas emissions targets in the world – to reach net zero by 2050.

As businesses across the country work to reach that target, we’re putting our sustainability and assurance expertise to good use.

We’re providing Independent Assurance on BP’s Advancing Low Carbon (ALC) programme – an initiative that’s identified an estimated 64 million tonnes of CO₂e savings or offsets since its start in 2018.

Inspiring action on climate

BP has been running the Advancing Low Carbon (ALC) accreditation programme for three years; this brings together a range of BP’s business activities that are cutting or mitigating carbon CO₂ emissions.

“This is such a huge issue for the oil and gas industry, so it’s vital that companies help highlight activities,” explains Deloitte partner Mike Barber.

The initiative encourages BP’s people – from geologists and engineers to support teams – to take part and take ownership for sharing its stories publicly.

And they do. In 2017, the programme shared 33 stories from across the business. By 2019, this rose to 76.

How does the accreditation programme work?

As a leader in sustainability assurance, our Risk Advisory team were engaged by BP to provide Independent Assurance on BP’s ALC programme; a programme that focuses on making changes across BP, leading to a lower carbon, more sustainable future.

Due to our independent assurance over this programme, BP is able to turn its ambition and enterprise into actions it can share with the world.

To be recognised by the programme, activities must deliver a ‘better carbon outcome’, meet a set of specified criteria and pass our assurance checks.

Only then can they be awarded BP’s Advancing Low Carbon mark.

Carbon savings assured

Innovation and enterprise are more powerful when they are backed by rigour and scrutiny.

We assess the activities, ensuring they have been through the correct internal processes, meet specific requirements and are aligned to global methodologies, like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (an international accounting tool for government and business leaders).

Our team also checks that reported figures for carbon savings and off-sets are accurate and engages with people across BP to understand the processes, systems and controls used in measuring, recording, validating and consolidating these.

Our external challenge and independence, as BP's external auditor, ensures the programme is run objectively and remains publicly accountable for its measurable achievements.

Investing for tomorrow

Examples of the projects we assure as part of the programme include a joint venture between BP and Chinese transportation company DiDi to provide electric vehicles with fast-charge services; BP’s investment in Birmingham energy management company Grid Edge, which uses artificial intelligence to help optimise their buildings’ energy profiles; and sustainable emissions reductions across BP’s operations.

“There’s huge variety in the projects we assure,” explains Mike Barber.

“All of us have a long way to go to reach the 2050 target – it is just the beginning and it will be interesting to see what organisations across the UK do next.”

“We began [the ALC programme] back in 2017 as a programme to encourage BP people to deliver lower carbon initiatives.

With Deloitte – who independently assure the programme – we estimate that it’s already saved or offset around 64 million tonnes of CO₂.”

Bernard Looney, BP CEO

Supporting the oil and gas industries

Providing independent assurance on BP’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions is just one of the ways we’re helping clients as we work towards a net zero future.

Deloitte has worked with the not-for-profit organisation Oil and Gas UK for the past five years. We run a survey that uses 1,400 sets of data to analyse how operators and suppliers are collaborating to reduce costs and their carbon footprint and increase safety in the UK Continental Shelf.

The survey helps to protect UK jobs, skills and capabilities in an industry that contributes approximately three percent of UK GDP. With a 63 percent increase in participants in 2019, it is vital to helping the UK reach the net zero target.

What is net zero?

Net zero means emissions are balanced by efforts to cut or offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

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