BP issued its annual Sustainability Report this week, highlighting efforts it has made to improve its internal operations, safety and risk management practices in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the report, BP”s mission for 2011 and beyond is to grow value for our shareholders in a way that is safe and sustainable. It says 2011 will be a year of consolidation in which it focuses on safety and long-term performance drivers, such as risk management, capability and relationships. Its plans for investment include areas such as exploration.

BP also plans to divest businesses that are more valuable or strategic to others. This includes reshaping its downstream business to better reflect the changing patterns of global energy demand, where growth is concentrated in emerging markets. One outcome of this strategy is the company”s decision to divest some US-based businesses, notably the Texas City and Carson refineries.

Meanwhile, BP says it plans to develop strategic partnerships with national oil companies and other resource holders, though such partnerships as its recent work with Rosneft in Russia and Reliance Industries in India illustrate. With Rosneft, BP plans to explore and develop the Russian Arctic continental shelf, and has agreed to jointly establish an Arctic technology centre in Russia to promote safety, environmental integrity, and emergency-spill-response capability. Through its agreement with Reliance, BP says it will have a major stake in a large offshore basin and create a joint venture to source and market gas in in the growing Indian market.

In the area of alternative energy, BP says it has invested more than $5 billion in its alternative energy businesses since 2005, and it expects to invest a further $1 billion in 2011 to participate in the rapidly growing low-carbon energy markets.

Key initiatives outlined in BP”s Sustainability Report include:

Safety and operational risk: BP introduced a safety and operational risk (S&OR) function, deploying its representatives to operating businesses to guide and, if needed, intervene in technical activities. The function operates independently of the group’s businesses and is represented on BP’s most senior executive team.

Risk management system: BP is reviewing its risk management system to ensure we use simple, consistent, joined-up processes across company.

Restructuring upstream business: BP reorganized our upstream business into three separate divisions: Exploration, Developments and Production. Each division is led by a newly appointed head reporting directly to the group chief executive. According to BP, this provides increased visibility of each division at the executive level. The restructure is designed to enhance the way the segment operates, with a particular focus on how we manage risk, deliver common standards and processes, and build human and technical capability for the future.

Values and behaviors: BP says it is working to review, renew and enhance the values and behaviors expected of everyone who works for BP. It says it will be connecting the values, behaviors and the BP code of conduct explicitly, with the objective of helping to ensure that they are applied consistently in the way we work each day.

Individual performance and reward: BP”s new performance management system sets explicit links between safety and reward. The aim is to increase safe and compliant behavior by making responsibility explicit in evaluations and rewards.

Contractor management: BP is reviewing how it works with contractors and other industry partners, both onshore and offshore. The aim is to inform future relationships to optimize the oversight and management of safety and operational risk.

Technology: BP is repositioning technology to meet energy demand safely and responsibly by deepening the science base and standardizing technology management systems and processes.