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  • Writer's pictureNuno Moreira da Cruz

BP announced new Purpose and Ambitions: "We want to be wanted, not just needed"

February 16th 2020

BP's new CEO Bernard Looney has shared this week his ambitions for BP and the role the company aspires to play in the world. Under a new Purpose, “Reimagining energy for people and our planet”, the Company has committed to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives. The pillars of the ambition:

  • Reimagining Energy, with an ambition to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner. “The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero”

  • Reinventing BP, introducing a new structure, a new leadership team, and new ways of working. Basic structure will move away from the traditional Oil industry organisation of Upstream/Downstream to one centred in Operations, Customers, Growth and Innovation. “We have got to change – and change profoundly. But it is more than having to change – we want to change, because it is the right thing for the world, and it is a tremendous business opportunity for BP”.

  • Performing while transforming, the pillar where the company shows that a few things will never change, such as the commitment to safe and reliable operations and the “investor proposition”, ie dividends policy.

Specific and measurable targets to deliver the ambition will be announced in September. It is easy to be sceptical about Companies operating in industries “responsible” for the harm done to the planet, and calling it an exercise of “greenwashing” is the natural consequence. But if one gives the benefit of the doubt and believe that indeed the company could become a force for good, is this not the type of organisations that can really help to change the world? This will certainly raise the bar within the industry and the pressure is now on its peers. "We want to be wanted, not just needed", was a powerful statement made by the new CEO. One last point worthwhile mentioning: the appointment of one VP in charge of “Strategy and Sustainability” is a very interesting move and likely to “make school”. As we have been defending there is no such a thing as sustainability strategies – Sustainability is THE strategy. Have a great and impactful week! Nuno Moreira da Cruz Executive Director Center for Responsible Business & Leadership


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