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BP launches award scheme to rally employee support for renewables

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Oil supermajor BP is launching a share award scheme for its 60,000-strong workforce to rally support for the company’s renewable energy shift spearheaded by chief executive Bernard Looney who took the reins a year ago.

Reuters reported, citing a meeting between Looney and all of BP’s employees last week, that the award scheme will envisage a locking period of four years for the stock and will start this year.

“Whether you are a barista in New Zealand, a drilling engineer in Azerbaijan, a pump clerk in South Africa or an analyst in India – over 60,000 people in 66 different countries will receive a share in BP’s future,” Looney told the meeting, according to the Reuters report.

The chief executive added the reward scheme, which is the first share-based rewards scheme in BP’s history, will not have an impact on the company’s debt reduction plans, which should see the total load reduced to $35 billion this year, or its cost-cutting efforts, which have a target of $2.5 billion in reductions.

BP is among the most ambitious green shift leaders in Big Oil. The company plans to reduce its oil production by 40 percent by 2050 and become a net-zero company by that year—the latter being a goal shared by fellow supermajors Shell, Total, and Eni.

Despite the green shift, BP is still mainly an oil and gas company, and as such, it suffered its fair share of pain during the pandemic, which prompted cost cuts, a portion of which took the shape of layoffs. The long-term reorientation of the company also involved sacrificing jobs, with the total number to be shed at 10,000, as announced by Looney last year. The Reuters report suggests the share award scheme aims to build trust in the company’s new direction among the workforce.

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