It was a pleasure to take part in the SDG Week last month, organized by the Center for Responsible Business and Leadership at CATÓLICA-LISBON.

I joined the Biosphere Workshop together with representatives of Águas do Tejo Atlântico and Jerónimo Martins to share good practices in support of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 7, 13 and 14.

It was a great opportunity to share with the audience bp’s new purpose, ambition, and strategy towards a more sustainable energy future.

Starting with the obvious: the world today is very different from the world we were originally built to serve, 100 years ago. The world is changing and so are society expectations on us - people want affordable, reliable energy, but it also needs to be cleaner.

Additionally, we face the most disruptive of all changes: our planet's carbon budget is finite and running out fast. Fortunately, climate action is building momentum across countries and governments and two-thirds of the world is aiming for net-zero.

So, considering this, what does an oil company with 111 years old do? There is simply no option but to recognize the change and adapt.

And it is not just the case that we need to change. We want to change. We want to change because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is a huge business opportunity.

In the next 30 years, trillions of dollars will be invested in rewiring and replumbing our existing energy system and transforming it, where renewables (like solar and wind), hydrogen and biofuels will play a bigger role.

Providing the world with clean, reliable, affordable energy will require nothing less than reimagining energy. And so, since February 2020, this has become bp’s new purpose: to reimagine energy for people and our planet.

But how do we turn this new purpose into reality? We do it by announcing a bold new ambition: to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world to get to net zero.

Rightly, there were questions about how we would do it and what the milestones would be along the way. 
So additionally, we have announced a new strategy that will reshape our business, as we pivot from an international oil company focused on producing resources to an integrated energy company focused on delivering solutions for customers.

Within 10 years, we aim to:

  • Increase our annual low carbon investment 10-fold to around $5 billion a year.
  • Focus our oil and gas business on value, reducing production by 40%, with no exploration in new countries.
  • Partner with 10-15 cities and three core industries in decarbonization efforts.


And to deliver on our net-zero ambition by:

  • Lowering emissions from our operations by 30-35% by 2030.
  • Lowering emissions associated with carbon in our upstream oil and gas production by 35-40% by 2030.
  • Reducing the carbon intensity of the products we sell by more than 15% by 2030.


Of course, to drive the necessary change in global energy systems will require action from everyone. And companies that are at the heart of the energy system, like bp, will play a critical role in helping the world to decarbonize.

Around 70% of global emissions come from energy consumption across industry, transport and the energy sector itself. So, these sectors need to be transformed and supported in their transformation.

In a crisis everyone needs to pull together - climate change is no exception. Some people say green companies are the answer. They’re right, the world does need more green companies to help meet the Paris goals (to keep the global temperature rise below 2ºC). But they are too few and mostly too small to have impact at the scale and pace we need.

So, to get to Paris we need to support not just green companies but greening companies too, meaning companies with scale and know-how, with the ambition to become lower carbon and a plan for how to do it.

Have a great and impactful week!

Helena Tomázio
Communications & Advocacy Advisor

This article refers to edition #110 of the "Have a Great and Impactful Week" Newsletter.
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