BP Australia

A world first: community protection via visionary non-sniffable petrol

Katherine Teh-White

Managing Director

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The brief:

BP had a set of company values and a vision: ‘that societies in which we operate should benefit by our presence’ that relfected a committment to corporate responsibility. Futureye was asked to assist the company in analysing the gap between existing company values and their behaviour and actions.

"Futureye gives challenging insights into how and why we can change ourselves to meet new community expectations. By thinking about corporate responsibility strategically, we were able to assess potential future risks, consider our social responsibilities and be innovative. Futureye had a key role in helping me conceptualise how corporate social responsibility could fit into BP's business which meant I could lead the mainstreaming of the agenda in our company"

Gerry Hueston Former President of BP Australia

The result:

This process stimulated BP to committ to integrating sustainability into its Australian business. Futureye also provided practical advice on processes and structure. In one of a series of workshops petrol sniffing was identified as an emerging risk. Using Futureye’s proactive risk model, BP decided it wanted to innovatively address petrol sniffing and set up a team that created, Opal a petrol product that has been chemically engineered to eliminate the damaging vapours that give petrol sniffers a ‘high’. This outcome is an excellent example of extended product responsibility. The company identified a problematic trend (petrol sniffing), applied that problem to their social responsibility commitments and strategy, and proactively dealt with the problem with a product innovation. Subsidised by the Federal Government, the rollout of Opal to Indigenous communities has been widely lauded as a positive step forward. "It's made a dramatic difference,'' says Aboriginal MP Alison Anderson. ”You don't see kids sniffing petrol any more.''[1] To date, Opal is credited with producing a 95 per cent reduction in petrol sniffing activity across central Australia.[2]

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