During last summer’s devastating bushfires, as thousands fled to safety under evacuation orders, the supply of fuel to affected communities became a critical part of the emergency response.

For oil and gas company BP Australia it was a time to step up, moving into fire affected areas to ensure people had critical fuel supplies, working with emergency services to monitor weather conditions and ensure affected towns had enough fuel.

BP offered assistance from the early disaster stages through to the recovery stages. There was practical help on the ground as well as financial support to people who had been affected. The company donated $813,000 through its bushfire appeal which included many matched donations from BP employees across the country.

As one crisis flowed into the next and the anxiety over bushfires turned to fears about the pandemic, the problems facing Australians over supply of fuel persisted. State borders were snapped shut, interrupting supply chains and transport of the fuel needed to keep the country running. BP responded rapidly, setting up COVID-19 support teams, and working closely with emergency services, government agencies, community groups and businesses to ensure fuel moved swiftly through border checkpoints and out to communities across the country.

The company was able to provide enough fuel as well as backup in case of future short supplies in both city and rural areas.

The Biggies finalist spot also recognises the contribution BP made to community organisations last year.

Ronni Kahn, founder of OzHarvest, Australia’s largest food rescue organisation, says BP came to its rescue “immediately” when COVID-19 affected the charity, providing it with $500,000 worth of free fuel, and a $500,000 cash contribution.

“With COVID, what we’ve seen is a 100 and sometimes a 200 per cent increase in need, a dramatic rise,” Kahn says. “And BP came to our rescue immediately by releasing funds early.”

BP Australia president Frederic Baudry, says 2020 had more than ever shown the important work his business did in supporting communities.

“As an essential service, I am incredibly proud of the way BP has supported our communities across Australia in 2020,” Baudry says.

“This year has shown it is not just what we do as a business but how we do it that really matters. I am grateful for the countless hours, the energy, resilience and level of care demonstrated by our people in service of our customers. BP was called upon to help keep Australia safe in a time when our communities needed us most. I am delighted we have been able to deliver on those expectations. This is the essence of BP, with safety and community at the heart of our operations.”

Post the crises of last year, BP Australia says it will continue to work with a variety of community partners across Australia; to support communities and to keep Australians on the move.

Along with its community partnerships, the company actively encourages its staff to engage with causes they are passionate about, through paid corporate volunteering days and matched donations. In 2020 BP announced it wanted to become a net zero emissions company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero. To support this ambition, it recently launched its Sustainability Framework with broader aims to care for the planet and improve people’s lives.

Extracted in full from: BP worked hard during the 2020 crises to fuel local communities (theaustralian.com.au)