Calendar19 April 2024
Authorby Sophie Depraz

Ipieca Deputy Executive Director Sophie Depraz reflects on some of Ipieca’s key achievements over the last 5 decades and what’s made them possible.

Last year was a big year for me: I celebrated 30 years with Ipieca, marking the occasion with a blog ‘30 years of Ipieca’ reflecting on some personal insights from my time with Ipieca.

Well, this year – 2024 – is an even bigger year for Ipieca as it hits the big 50! So I thought it was time to write another blog, looking back on some of Ipieca’s key highlights, major milestones and what made it all possible.

300+ good practice guidance in 50 years

The first thing that strikes me is just how busy we’ve been. One of our key roles is to provide guidance to the sector to enhance environmental and social performance. In 50 years, we’ve produced over 300 good practice guidance and tools across the areas of climate, nature, people and sustainability, freely available to the whole oil, gas and alternative energy industry.

Collaboration is at the heart of Ipieca

The other thing that I can’t fail to notice is the importance of collaboration to the work we’ve done over the last 5 decades. It’s at the core of Ipieca – we were founded at the request of UNEP with a mandate to bring the industry together to share knowledge and improve operational performance. The 300+ high-quality publications I mentioned wouldn’t have been possible without the collective expertise of our members and our partners across UN, NGO, civil society and academic organizations.

Tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges

Ipieca is about more than just good practice though – important as this is. Through our convening power (Ipieca membership represents ~50% of global oil and gas production and an increasing amount of renewables capacity); the collective expertise of our member representatives (over 1,000+ recognised sustainability leaders); a unique combination of strategic pillars (climate, nature, people and sustainability); and our non-lobby approach, we’ve contributed to some major UN conventions and initiatives, making a real difference to the sustainability landscape.

We’ve been involved in supporting major UN conventions and initiatives across all our strategic pillars enabled by our non-lobby status. Our role is to provide technical expertise and provide our members with the awareness and guidance they need to support these conve Just a few examples:

  • In 2021, the UNEP Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles celebrated the global end of leaded petrol. This multi-stakeholders partnership is one example of the need for collaboration to address the challenges that we face. Ipieca coordinated the downstream sector’s contribution to the partnership and its uptake of strategies to phase out leaded petrol.
  • Business and Human Rights, Ipieca was ready with a whole suite of guidance and tools to enable our members to support our sector to operationalise the UNGPs. It is now a condition of Ipieca membership to support the UNGPs.
  • In support of the UN Convention for Biological Diversity, which is also one of the commitments in the Ipieca Principles, we provided technical inputs into the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), and are now developing tools to help our members contribute to each and every one of the GBF’s 23 targets.
  • The International Maritime Organization is one of Ipieca’s longest standing partners. In 1996, together we launched the Global Initiative, now building capacity on oil spill preparedness and response for government and industry in over 80 countries.

The above are just a selection of Ipieca highlights and milestones. There are far too many to cover them all, but they should give you an idea of what a significant – and unique – contribution we’ve made to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world. These couldn’t have been done without the expertise and commitment of our members, working together with stakeholders. It is indeed a testament to the power of partnerships.

Reflecting upon it all is inspiring and I am proud of what we’ve accomplished in 50 years. To achieve a sustainable energy transition the world needs all parts of society and all solutions. I am very much looking forward to being part of our industry’s continued contribution to this challenge.

For those that want to explore more about Ipieca’s history and achievements, check out our key milestones timeline.

Sophie Depraz

Deputy Executive Director

Sophie Depraz joined Ipieca in 1992. As Deputy Executive Director, she is responsible for strategy development and implementation across Ipieca’s four strategic pillars of climate, nature, people and sustainability. In that role, she provides strategic direction to drive future development of the organisation as well as collaboration across Ipieca’s programme areas. Sophie leads Ipieca’s communications strategy and stakeholder engagement throughout the work programme.

Prior to assuming this role, Sophie managed the Oil Spill, Social Responsibility, Reporting and biodiversity programme areas. She played a key role in Ipieca’s engagement in the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She was involved convening members to understand the opportunities for the industry from the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

Sophie holds a master’s degree in Environmental Communications from University Paris VII and graduated from ESSEC International Business School. She also has a French Baccalaureate in Economics and Social Sciences.

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