2004 CoreNet Global Innovator's Award
BP International's 'Green Office' Initiative
Innovations in Corporate Real Estate & Workplace Management
CoRE 2010 Tie-in: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
When BP, Plc, CEO Lord John Browne proclaimed in 1997 that "We believe our company should be a force for good in the world," the petroleum company's commitment to sustainability was born. A team of BP International executives presenting their case for the 2004 CoreNet Global Innovators awards showed that seven years later the company is living up to its commitment to the triple bottom line of social, financial and environmental corporate responsibility.
The BP team provided an inside view of the company's global BP Green Office initiative impacting 35 sites totaling 9.8-million square feet of office space in 14 countries.
In its profiling of several sustainable projects, the BP representatives stressed their objective of deeply embedding sustainable practices with the company culture. The focus was best exemplified through a new property built in Angola, where a fragile peace of only two years has left a multitude of social and economic challenges confronting the local people. With a 56% local unemployment rate, the company - which joined with Exxon-Mobil in developing and occupying the 19-story high rise - recognized and addressed a key question: 'What is the social impact of the building,' related Juliette Filose of BP.
The answer was to extend opportunity to the local community - hiring local suppliers, buying local materials and running the whole building as a green office.
The approach is commendable, and effective. "We wanted to teach (our) people to ask three questions," recounted Susan St. Lawrence of the BP team: "How will it impact me and the people around me; how will it affect the environment; and how will it improve our financial position?"
The company, which spends $1.3 billion on its outsourced property services model, has extended the commitment to its suppliers, in addition to integrating the green approach internally among other shared services partners in IT, HR and Facilities Management. Part of the overall emphasis also includes an intiative to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide emissions from office buildings worldwide. Measurement of impacts is also part of the BP approach, according to Simon Patten. "What gets measured gets managed," he said, citing performance results that include operating buildings that use half as much energy over a year's time than is usually the case. Pointing to the holistic value of the Green Office program in terms of social and environmental benefits, Patten also observed, "We make money, too."
Thus triangular relationship of the corporate sustainability model is fully realized: social, environmental and financial accountability.
– Richard Kadzis, CoreNet Global