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Case study: How Bapco promotes employee development

Established in 1929 and wholly owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bapco is primarily engaged in petroleum refining, storage, and production of petroleum products. The development of a skilled and capable workforce that meets the needs of Bapco’s existing and future operations, is a top priority for Bapco.

This case study is based on the 2018-2019 Sustainability Report by Bapco published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Bapco is committed to developing employees’ lifetime skills and capabilities  Tweet This!, measuring learning and development through performance and career development reviews, to provide clear feedback on career performance. In order to promote employee development Bapco took action to:
  • offer internal and external training programmes
  • implement a Performance Management Process

What are the material issues the company has identified?            

In its 2018-2019 Sustainability Report Bapco identified a range of material issues, such as health, safety and wellbeing, value generation and distribution, emergency preparedness, human rights, asset integrity. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for Bapco.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Bapco engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Government and Regulatory Authorities


·      Formal review of company strategy and plan with third parties, including reporting on the outputs of internal governance activities where appropriate

·      Regular coordination meetings

·      Direct meetings and consultation with regards to compliance and planning of new projects

·      Bapco website, emails and letters

·      Conferences, forums and workshops

·      Events and other outreach campaigns regularly coordinated with relevant government authorities

Financiers and insurers


·      Face-to-face meetings and conference calls

·      Written communication through letters and emails

·      Site visits and inspections

Suppliers and contractors


·      Formal joint venture arrangements for projects

·      Meetings with suppliers, as mandated in relevant procurement management procedures

·      Audits and other formal feedback mechanisms on contractor performance

·      Established supplier agreements

·      Formal feedback from vendors and suppliers



·      Meetings, including direct face-to face meetings and regional sector meetings

·      Daily communications, including emails and telephone calls

·      Customer feedback

Non-Governmental Organisations and academia


·      Joint research projects and Memoranda of Understanding, including collaboration with Ph.D. students to develop innovative solutions

·      Direct meetings, company events and campaigns

Local communities


·      Focus group meetings with local community representatives, specifically for BMP, including special interest groups such as the elderly and the disabled

·      Emails, telephone calls and social media (including WhatsApp and Instagram)

·      Visual material presentation, e.g. billboards

·      Media outreach through TV and Radio

·      Company publications in the Arabic language weekly Star magazine and English language Islander

·      Targeted campaigns

Local industries


·      Direct face-to-face and regional meetings, including regular established networking committee meetings

·      Conferences, forums and workshops



·      Forums and events which run throughout the year

·      Regular meetings at all levels of the organisation

·      Communication using a variety of media, including the Bapco intranet portal, the large electronic screen placed at the Refinery main entrance, desktop screensavers, departmental posters, and various Company information boards

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Bapco engaged with its stakeholders through internal stakeholder workshops.

What actions were taken by Bapco to promote employee development?

In its 2018-2019 Sustainability Report Bapco reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Offering internal and external training programmes
  • Bapco’s Learning and Development Department offers a wide range of internal and external training programmes to Bapco’s employees. Bapco reports on a yearly basis the total number of employees trained, the total number of training programmes and the total learning hours, and continues to add new training programmes that will help the personnel and support the professional development of its employees. Bapco has also created the ‘Seed’ programme, under which employees who propose an idea receive a recognition award if their idea is adopted. During 2018-2019 the average hours of training per year per employee increased from 31 to 39 hours.
  • Implementing a Performance Management Process
  • Bapco implements a Performance Management Process (PMP), which is a tool that helps management and the individual employee to plan, manage, document, and evaluate their performance. One of the key elements of the PMP is the performance agreement, which is a ‘smart’ goal statement aligned with the department and company objectives. The PMP is used as an input to other human resources processes, such as promotions, transfers, leader development, talent identification, succession planning and rewards for good performance. Bapco has also developed Individual Development Plans (IDP) for all fresh graduates joining Bapco, to support them in their career progression.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

2) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs


Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

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By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by Bapco, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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