Since 1974, Ipieca has convened industry and stakeholders to work on a broad range of environmental topics associated with oil and gas operations. This allows Ipieca members to identify and address environmental risks and impacts, facilitate the sustainable use of natural resources and promote environmental good practice throughout the supply chain and across the energy transition.

Stakeholder engagement is essential to achieve more robust and higher quality outcomes on environment and Ipieca works in partnership with UNEP-WCMC and IUCN with whom it holds a Memorandum of Understanding as well as other stakeholders.

Environmental management good practice

Ipieca develops, shares and promotes good practice and knowledge to help the oil and gas industry improve its environmental stewardship. Our suite of world-leading, freely available good practice guidance enables members and the wider global industry to adopt responsible environmental practices.

In 2020, Ipieca jointly with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) launched the second edition of Environmental management in the upstream oil and gas industry. The report serves as an introductory document on managing the risks from potential impacts to the natural environment during the exploration and production of oil and gas.

Monitoring emerging issues and trends

Ipieca continuously scans the horizon for any emerging issues that relate to the oil, gas and alternative energy industry and the environment. A variety of frameworks and standards with disclosure requirements for impacts and dependencies of businesses on nature have emerged. The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), the Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN), and other initiatives are all under development and Ipieca’s role is to prepare and equip members for new disclosure requirements when they are launched.

Another key area of focus is impact assessments. Conducting project specific Environmental, Social, and Health Impact Assessments (ESHIAs) has become an integral part of oil and gas industry project planning, permitting, and management processes. Ipieca works to improve member understanding and competence around evolving expectations and trends related to ESHIAs, such as the growing expectation that climate change risks be incorporated in ESHIAs.

Nature positive

The private sector can play a vital role to reverse the current decline in biodiversity and help species and ecosystems move to a full recovery. Partnering with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Ipieca is exploring how we can support the energy sector to align with the global ambition of achieving nature positive.

Circular economy

The oil, gas and alternative energy industry is actively striving to achieve circular economy through resource and energy efficiency, ensuring product stewardship (including end-of-life management), optimising decommissioning, utilising waste streams and seeking new feedstock. Some members have already integrated circularity into their strategies and value chains.

Ipieca has a role to play to explore opportunities and enhance knowledge sharing to improve members’ capacity to implement circular economy in their business decisions and supply chains.

Nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are one of the most cost-effective mitigation strategies for climate change and a key enabler of the energy transition, providing simultaneous benefits to human well-being and biodiversity. As part of its 2021-2024 strategy, Ipieca will leverage member expertise and collaborate with external stakeholders to enhance the sustainable scale up of NbS. Ipieca is uniquely positioned to explore the cross-cutting environmental and social aspects of NbS, and enable companies to address local and global risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

In 2022, Ipieca, in partnership with the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), published guidance on designing natural climate solutions to ensure they deliver positive outcomes to mitigate climate change and also additionally benefit people and nature.

Globally Harmonized System

The UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is a single worldwide system for classifying and communicating the hazardous properties of industrial and consumer substances and mixtures. The consistent classification and labelling of petroleum substances is essential to understanding their hazards, ensuring their correct handling and protecting nature and people from adverse impacts.

The oil and gas industry, represented by Ipieca, was the first sector to present guidance on its products to the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on GHS (UNSCEGHS) in 2010. The Ipieca guidance document, The application of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) criteria to petroleum substances, was revised in 2019 to include new research on the hazards of petroleum-related substances and constituents. Ipieca continues to monitor developments at the UNSCEGHS meetings on behalf of the Ipieca membership.

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