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Ipieca Principles: what we stand for

Executive Director Brian Sullivan explains how the newly launched Ipieca Principles demonstrate Ipieca’s commitment to working with members and stakeholders to lead the global oil, gas and alternative energy industry through a sustainable energy transition.

One of the things I get asked a lot is ‘what does Ipieca stand for?’ I understand why this comes up: the name looks a bit like an abbreviation and indeed used to be an abbreviation for what was previously quite a long name. Now though, it’s just ‘Ipieca’, not an abbreviation or anything else.

Names aside, what Ipieca stands for as an organization has always been abundantly clear to me, our members and key stakeholders. As a non-lobby sustainability association, we are completely focused on advancing climate action, environmental responsibility, social performance and sustainability across the oil and gas industry including their growing activities in alternative energies. Now, with the launch of the Ipieca Principles, what we stand for is even clearer.

At the end of June, eight Ipieca Principles became a new condition of Ipieca membership. If existing companies wish to stay members and new companies want to join our group of industry sustainability leaders, then they have to agree to support these eight principles.

Grouped around our four strategic pillars of climate, nature, people and sustainability, each thematic area includes two principles: the first drives support for a UN convention or initiative, the second advances the environmental and social performance of member companies’ operations.

The principles are a big step for Ipieca and our members. By setting sustainability expectations for members, the principles demonstrate Ipieca’s commitment to working with members and stakeholders to lead the global oil, gas and alternative energy industry through a sustainable energy transition.

Through our global membership and its reach and influence, the principles align a significant portion of the industry around the Paris Agreement, the UN Convention for Biological Diversity, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. The principles also clearly demonstrate the important contribution our industry can make to these UN conventions through operational good practice.

The principles help to guide members and indeed the wider industry – who I hope will be inspired by them - through their sustainability journeys, providing shared pathways in support of our vision to advance the oil and gas industry’s environmental and social performance and contribution to the energy transition in the context of sustainable development.

As you can see the Ipieca Principles are not just words – they are meant to inspire action. To help members and the whole industry operationalize the principles we’ve created an accompanying toolkit with voluntary actions – plus good practice guidance, materials and references to support with these  – to put the principles into practice. It’s my hope that the Ipieca Principles will soon become shorthand for excellence in environmental and social performance.

We’ll be sharing case studies on our website demonstrating the work our members are doing in support of the principles to tackle climate change, protect nature, support local communities, accelerate the SDGs and advance the energy transition.

I’m quite looking forward to the next time I am asked ‘what does Ipieca stand for?’ and the chance to explain the Ipieca Principles. These are a real game changer for Ipieca and its members, please do get in touch with me if you want to know more or you can click here for more details.

About Brian Sullivan

Brian joined Ipieca as the Executive Director in 2011 following a 23 year career in bp. He graduated in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Imperial College, London, UK and was recruited into bp’s Refining and Marketing international graduate programme in 1986.

Over the course of 23 years, his career included assignments in London, Copenhagen, Budapest, Athens and Johannesburg, and business experience in over 60 countries. During his time with bp he has had a varied career of technical, commercial, financial and leadership roles across the downstream value chain including crude and products trading, marine fuels, lubricants and alternative energy.

Brian is a Fellow of the Energy Institute.

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