By Francisco Arenós
In the current corporative environment, subjected to constant scrutiny by different audiences, financial results are no longer the only concern for the Board of Directors. Nowadays, creating a good working environment and guaranteeing compliance with the regulations and internal codes of conduct are aspects that hold the same relevance as annual results. Being ethical is also good business. It brings a differential value that is evidenced in the trust, not only on the part of the employees, but also from customers, suppliers, and partners.
The business approach centered on aligning the organizational strategy’s governance, risk, and compliance processes is completely assimilated into the Anglo-Saxon culture, and this is an irreversible trend that is starting to spread to other European countries. Despite the fact that Spain still has a long way to go, the significant progress made in the last five years in this regard evidences the commitment that companies have incorporated into the core of their business strategy.
As one of the major oil and gas companies worldwide, at BP we detected this rising trend and, therefore, constantly adopt policies that will help us strengthen our ethical commitment based on transparency, respect, diversity, and equality.
An example of said commitment is the existence of an Ethics and Compliance Department that guarantees the transparency and accessibility of our processes for all our employees. Thus, we establish policies that foster that visibility, for instance, by maintaining a record of the presents and attentions delivered to third parties and potential conflict of interest and encounters with members of the public administration. Filling out these records is mandatory and they are then sent to the Management for approval.
Furthermore, we abide by the speak-up culture, encouraging employees and customers to express themselves without reservation through independent channels managed by outside companies, in such a way that any comment, complaint or point of view can be listened to and analyzed objectively. One of the main goals of BP’s Ethics and Compliance area is creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, ensuring legal compliance, and even going further than legally enforceable. All of this will be enforced by means of different audits to guarantee application. In this respect, all of BP’s actions are based on its Code of Conduct, which main pillars are security, respect, excellence, courage, and teamwork.
Everything we do is based on the safety of our workers and the surrounding communities. In an industry where the stakes are traditionally high, BP is committed to an environmentally-friendly management, as well as compliance with the regulations in force in the more than 70 countries where we operate. Additionally, the systematic and disciplined management of the entire value chain guarantees quality results, a factor worth keeping in mind in the face of the relationship with customers and suppliers.
As a novelty, this year BP is engaged in a campaign to protect the information managed and avoiding problems with third parties, as well as plans aimed at improving recognition to those who show an outstanding dedication to the BP Values and Code of Conduct. Another goal is to promote gender diversity. This move is realized by creating a Diversity and Inclusion area and launching a series of programs that promote women’s development and family reconciliation.
Ultimately, at BP we are increasingly more focused on CEO Bob Dudley’s motto “how it’s made is as important as what is made.”