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Ipieca Principles: supporting Ipieca and its members contribute to a sustainable energy transition

Ipieca Chair Morten Mikkelsen (Equinor) describes how the Ipieca Principles benefit Ipieca and its members.


As the Chair of Ipieca but also a representative of an Ipieca member company – Equinor – I can see how the Ipieca Principles benefit both Ipieca and its members.

For those of you new to the Ipieca Principles, here is a quick overview. Following a strategic review, and after consulting with our members and key stakeholders in UN, NGO, civil society and academic institutions, we wanted to more clearly show what Ipieca and its members stand for in terms of commitment and performance expectations. It was decided to introduce eight Ipieca Principles as a condition of membership: members have to support them – which they all do – and prospective members have to agree to them.

The eight principles are spread across Ipieca’s four strategic pillars of climate, nature, people and sustainability. There are two in each area, one focused on increasing awareness and action on a UN convention, while the other aims to advance members’ operational environmental and social performance. So, how do they support Ipieca?

Realizing our vision

The Ipieca Principles demonstrate Ipieca’s commitment to working with members and stakeholders to lead the industry through a sustainable energy transition. By setting expectations for members’ management approach in the areas of climate, nature, people and sustainability, and providing tangible actions to achieve them, Ipieca is inspiring action on our vision to advance the industry’s environmental and social performance and contribution to the energy transition in the context of sustainable development.

Driving action on UN conventions

In addition to environmental and social performance, another core element of what Ipieca does is our role as the UN-industry interface. Founded in 1974 at the request of the UN Environment Programme, we’ve gone on to form impactful partnerships with a number of UN organizations and have taken part in some of the UN’s most important initiatives over the last four decades.

The principles have been designed to make the most of our industry convening ability and to raise awareness and drive sector action on some of the most globally important UN conventions: the Paris Agreement, the UN Convention for Biological Diversity, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Supporting members’ sustainability journeys

Looking at the principles from a member’s perspective, we are all committed to supporting Ipieca and its vision, so anything that can help with that is well received by the membership.

While each member company will activate and make use of the principles in different ways there are some benefits which I am sure all member organizations will appreciate, regardless of their company’s location, size or operational focus.

Wherever a company is on its sustainability journey, the principles have something to offer. They can act as a check in to make sure your company is on track, or provide new ideas that can take an organization to the next level of sustainability performance. As well as setting standards, we have also produced an accompanying toolkit to help members operationalize the principles through voluntary actions, with guidance and reference materials to support them.

Demonstrating high sustainability standards

The Ipieca Principles are really good for stakeholder engagement. They are clear and easy to understand. They show that as an Ipieca member your company is working seriously to help achieve a sustainable energy transition, and through its operational practices is supporting key UN initiatives. They clearly indicate to external stakeholders that as a company you are performing to high sustainability standards. As Ipieca is a global association, they also demonstrate significant industry wide commitment to the issues addressed by the principles.

They are also great for internal communication. They allow member representatives to communicate with colleagues and suppliers that the company cares about and is leading the industry when it comes to climate, nature, people and sustainability.

Inspiring the industry

While I’ve explained the Ipieca Principles from an Ipieca and member point of view, you don’t have to be an Ipieca member to support them – in fact it’s our hope that the whole industry will be inspired by the Ipieca Principles and join Ipieca and its members in supporting a sustainable energy transition.

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Explore the Ipieca Principles


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