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Mainstreaming sustainability across the industry

Repsol Sustainability Strategy and Coordination Manager and Ipieca SDG Task Force Executive Committee Champion Mar Granados Calatrava explains how Ipieca is accelerating SDG action across the oil and gas industry.

The 2030 deadline to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is rapidly approaching. Faced with climate change, nature loss and the unprecedented social and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for concerted action and coordinated solutions is greater than ever if we are to achieve the SDGs.  

The oil and gas industry is an essential partner in realising the ambitions of peace and prosperity for people and the planet at the core of the SDGs. It can provide the affordable and reliable energy essential for economic growth, employment, education, eradication of poverty and global health, and in doing so, contribute to all 17 SDGs.

Sustainable development at the heart of Ipieca’s strategy

At the beginning of 2021, Ipieca launched its 2021-2024 strategy and a new vision, which excitingly builds on Ipieca’s core goal of advancing the oil and gas industry’s environmental and social performance to also support the sector’s contribution to the energy transition and sustainable development.

To achieve its vision, Ipieca’s strategy includes four pillars: sustainability, climate, nature and people. This recognises the interconnection between these four areas. It also makes the most of Ipieca’s unique ability to convene experts from our member companies and stakeholders across all four systemic areas, enabling them to work together and maximise our impact on these important cross cutting issues.

Ipieca’s sustainability pillar

Ipieca’s thematic strategy for sustainability focuses on a range of sustainable development issues including: mobilising industry action on the SDGs, scaling-up industry wide sustainability reporting and managing sustainability risks and opportunities in the supply chain.

Industry action on the SDGs

In response to the critical need for SDG action, and recognising the industry’s huge potential to support the SDGs, Ipieca joined forces with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to produce Accelerating action: An SDG Roadmap for the oil and gas sector (Roadmap).

Launched in April 2021, the Roadmap aims to accelerate the realisation of the SDGs by aligning the oil and gas industry around the SDGs. It identifies 93 actions across the systemic themes of climate, nature and people which Ipieca and companies working within the sector can take to maximise the oil and gas industry’s contribution to the SDGs.

It’s no coincidence that the Roadmap and Ipieca’s strategy both include the systemic themes of climate, nature and people. This framework means we can feed the actions from the Roadmap into Ipieca’s yearly Business Plans.

By providing a common direction on the SDGs, advice on where to focus collaborative efforts and a platform to form partnerships, it is hoped the Roadmap will stimulate cooperation across the industry and beyond, allowing synergies to be adopted, accelerating the delivery of the SDGs.

We are now in full implementation mode for the Roadmap and are working hard on delivering on Ipieca’s actions as well as supporting our members and the wider industry to take forward the Roadmap’s recommended actions.

We will be regularly reporting on progress, as well as sharing case studies and examples of SDG action through our channels to demonstrate industry progress against the Roadmap.

Demonstrating sustainability performance

In Ipieca’s 2021 Sustainability reporting survey, 100% of responding Ipieca member companies said they produce a sustainability report. Members understand the value of reporting on the sustainability risks and opportunities they face, showing clearly how they manage these.

The oil and gas industry was one of the first sectors to produce non-financial reports. Ipieca has been supporting members and the wider industry improve the quality and consistency of their sustainability reporting since 2003.

In 2020, we released the fourth edition of the Ipieca, API, IOGP Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry. The guidance provides oil and gas companies with a clear framework to demonstrate how they manage sustainability impacts and opportunities.

Our work over the next strategic period will see us continue to support oil and gas businesses to communicate their sustainability performance and the actions they take to manage climate, environmental and social impacts and opportunities. This will be achieved through promotion of our guidance, engagement with external stakeholders and raising awareness of emerging standards and changes in the reporting landscape.

Embedding sustainability across supply chains

The oil and gas industry is dependent on suppliers and has huge global supply chains. By helping Ipieca members and the wider industry manage sustainability risks in their supply chains we are making a real difference to the worldwide sustainable development agenda.

Ipieca has produced a wide range of practical tools to help the industry identify, manage and mitigate sustainability risks among its suppliers, with some recent examples being the Supply chain library of questions and resources and Labour rights risk identification in the supply chain. The aim is for companies to share these tools with their suppliers to facilitate a common understanding of expectations, as well as allowing suppliers to manage risks in their own supply chain, cascading environmental, social and climate good practice down through the supply chain.

As part of our strategy, Ipieca will produce a good practice guidance on measuring and reporting on local content and broader socio-economic impacts for supply chains.

The future we want

The next eight years are not just crucial to achieving the SDGs; the action we take collectively during this decade will also be essential to keeping the world on course to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

These two global challenges are brought together in Ipieca’s vision and work. I am excited to be a part of the sustainability solutions Ipieca is working on with its members and stakeholders from across UN, NGO, civil society and academic institutions to help deliver on the SDGs and the Paris Agreement and contribute to the wellbeing of all people and the planet.


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