BP operates in many countries around the world and has established a process that seeks to provide consistent identification, management and reporting of potential environmental and social impacts, including those associated with sensitive and fragile environments.

Environmental requirements for new projects have been in place in BP since 2006 (Rogers and Spence, 2008). In April 2010 the company updated the requirements and approved them as an environmental and social practice. This BP practice now integrates and mandates environmental, social, community health, security and human rights issues. It requires applicable projects to identify very early in business planning what the potential impacts might be and how they will be avoided and/ or managed.

This paper describes the methodology of this integrated practice and presents specific examples of how it is implemented in our business. Case studies describe the types of issues that are typically identified and the business advantages of early identification, avoidance and reduction of potential impacts. The impact identification methodology is described in relation to examples taken from projects in diverse environments. Two years of implementation experience including unintended release identification and management are shared through specific project examples.

The process for managing potential impacts to International Protected Areas, set out in this practice, is described using examples from seismic activities in Australia and exploration drilling in the UK. Assurance is a vital part of assessing progress, and the paper concludes with a review of implementation progress.

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