During that period, we have invested over $1.5 billion in the country. We paid $4.5 billion to the state budget in VAT, excise duty and fuel tax. We employ over 4,000 people directly and contribute to existence of another 4,000 job indirectly. We want to actively support the Polish market this is why we regularly use the services of Polish design studios, purchase goods from Polish suppliers and intensively cooperate with Polish contractors and subcontractors. We have been ranked among the top 25 employers in Poland, and together with Castrol we are the second largest player in the fuels and lubricants market. We are also a shareholder in the Lotos-Air BP aviation fuels join venture.
Poland is developing rapdily, with cities flourishing and new roads being built. There is still plenty of space to open new fuel stations, and BP is keeping up with the pace of development by adapting to the changing environment and following new trends. Today we are number two on the Polish fuel market, growing our network by around 20-30 sites each year, with an ambition to keep up that pace going forward. Building a network of dealer-operated stations plays an important role in strengthening the BP brand in the Polish market. This is a vital element of BP’s investment strategy in the country. BP’s proposal to private investors is a comprehensive programme based on long-term and mutually satisfactory partnership. Dealer-operated stations, skilfully managed, situated at premium locations, offering high quality products and services, are excellent ambassadors of the BP brand.
BP’s proposition is exceptional due to three distinguishing factors, with fuel slate [?] being the first among them. Thanks to our extensive developmentR&D programme, we trade fuels of the highest quality. Our BP Ultimate fuels have excellent dirt-busting and lubricating properties. They protect engines while enhancing performance. Fuels containing the Active formula stand out from fuels offered by our competitors due to the increased performance, and protective function for the engine and the environment.
In Poland we are incorporating electromobility in our strategy. In 2019, we will launch electric vehicle charging stations at selected BP stations as a pilot project. In 2018, we invested in the business of renting cars by the minute, starting a partnership with a car-sharing company in Poznań. In December 2018, we engaged in a new car-rental project called Sixt DriveSmart by BP together with Sixt Rent a Car. It offers mobility and the possibility to drive brand new cars without the unnecessary hassle that comes with car ownership.
Another factor distinguishing BP is the potential associated with our shops. We have a range of world class products and services developed on the basis of our mission, which is a unique convenience mission for all BP shops. We have an outstanding capability of combining our exceptional aptitude with the talents of our partners, and applying joint skills to launching quality products and services to customers.
Since the era of transformation in Poland, the service stations have changed beyond recognition. Currently, a fuel station is a real service hub in itself. Customers expect to satisfy their growing number of needs at one stop,at the fuel station. The quality of fuels is vitally important as it attracts customers but we see that the product-to-service proportion is changing. With our retail food offer, we successfully compete against cafés and restaurants located in city centres. Wild Bean Cafés offer more than just coffee. We offer an entire barista concept with customers having the possibility to choose the type of bean, the level of taste intensity and the way their coffee is served, as well as select between different types of milk. We want to personalise the customer experience.
We observe shops evolving towards a richer and better offer, improved quality and new formats. BP has been developing its own concept of convenience stores with a comprehensive proposition for customers who want to do their daily shopping efficiently when refuelling their cars. We continue to grow the range of our products which now comprises a few thousand items, including healthy eating products, gluten-free snacks, beverages and take-away food. We have been expanding our range of sandwiches prepared on-site as well as groceries and ready-made food, enabling customers to prepare a meal at home. A range of varied services and products is becoming available at service stations. We offer ATMs, manual and automatic car washes, with some of our stations even selling fresh flowers.
There is still room for innovation, in the form of mobile applications where you can learn about new offers and order products. BP has been responding to market needs, and increasingly stronger trends for healthy and fresh food. When looking at the forecast of key trends in the retail market in 2019 by IGD Retail Analysis, we are strongly aligned with the consumers’ expectations. According to analysts from IGD, the retail market will be dominated by trends such as corporate social responsibility activities, big data technology, health & wellness trends, as well as solutions combining online and offline channels.
The third element which distinguishes BP is our ability to develop world-class loyalty and bonus schemes. In our Payback multi-partner programme, we keep communicating to the customers that they can use the points to pay for all products at the station. This payment modality is becoming increasingly popular. In 2018 a new partner joined our scheme –- Kaufland. This made the programme even more attractive and increased the number of retail outlets where our customers can collect points.
Since 1997, BP has offered fuel cards, a perfect solution for every business which cares about optimising the costs of fleet management, regardless of the number and type of vehicles. We have been trusted by thousands of customers; our efforts in making the offer attractive and keeping the highest standards have won us numerous awards and distinctions.
Fuel cards offered by BP are an important tool for all fleets regardless of their size, type or operating area. We offer a comprehensive service package, assisting owners of transport companies in every situation. They have access to a network of over 20,000 stations run by our company and trusted partners, offering safety, online tools for managing and administration, favourable commercial terms and a wide range of additional services.
We strongly believe that a competitive advantage in business starts with believing in values.
Consumers, employees and business owners alike are very much aware of the impact and potential of their activities. Numerous global studies show that an increasing number of people look at the values the potential employer believes in before they are ready to join the team. Nowadays, the high quality of products and services is considered to be a standard deal by an informed consumer. Customers expect a brand to offer a product, as well as a set of values reflecting a socially responsible behaviours. Mere product-vs-product competition between market players is no longer sufficient. Developing technologies, rapid changes on the market and high awareness among consumers give value-driven businesses a substantial competitive edge.
Corporate social responsibility is an element of managing various aspects of a business, including human resources, finances, as well as legal, commercial and marketing affairs.
In BP we believe that business and its success depend on people, and helping is part of human nature. We are positive that the people who work for BP in Poland and our customers have social responsibility in their genes. We set ourselves a goal to stimulate the helping that gene wherever possible.
BP Poland is committed to addressing social problems locally by introducing innovative solutions to assistance programmes in liaison with selected social partners, promoting smart helping and supporting its employees and the causes close to their hearts, and believes in responsible behaviour towards the environment. We live according to the BP values embedded in our Code of Conduct.
We seek to make the best use of the opportunities available to the corporate world and the natural human willingness to help in order to accommodate real needs. We have received the Benefactor of the Year award three times. However, it is not the awards that give us the energy. Our biggest success is having activated the helping gene in so many people, including our business and social partners, and our customers refuelling their cars at our service stations on a daily basis. All of them may donate points collected in the Payback loyalty scheme to TOPR (Tatra Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service), PAH (Polish Humanitarian Action), Siemacha association, the Fields of Hope, Szlachetna Paczka (‘Noble Gift’) and the Academy of the Future.
Over 25 years of our presence in Poland, we have amassed a great number of awards and distinctions, including the recent Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2018, a prestigious award for the sum of all activities implemented for the benefit of local communities.