Taking responsibility How Wintershall is embracing sustainability
What are the material aspects of sustainability relevant to Wintershall’s work? What measures did we take last year to increase the positive impact of our activities and avoid negative impact? What resources did we use, and in what quantity? What role can we play in achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals? Answers to these questions on sustainability and others can be found in our Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
17 Goals for a Better World The Global Sustainability Roadmap
The United Nations (UN) adopted Global Agenda 2030 in September 2015. At the heart of the agenda lie the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – 17 goals for a sustainable future. The UN regards these SDGs as a roadmap for a more peaceful and just world: there must be an end to poverty and hunger. Ensuring everyone has access to water, affordable and clean energy, and modern infrastructure. The aim is to promote economic and social development and improve environmental and climate protection.
MAKING A CONTRIBUTION AND SETTING PRIORITIES
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are an important and ambitious project. These can only be realized if the worlds of politics, business, and society work together. We at Wintershall also want to play our part in this. In 2017, we analyzed the significance of the SDGs to our company in depth, asking ourselves: What exactly can we do? We followed the SDG Compass recommendations: Companies can use these guidelines to interpret the SDGs, set priorities, define specific targets, integrate them into their core business, and report on their progress. In the first step, we identified six goals where we can make the biggest contribution. At the same time, we are not losing sight of the other SDGs, because all 17 are closely interlinked. These results will now provide a framework for us to define specific company goals and determine what actions to take.
How we are implementing the Sustainable Development Goals
Goal: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Wintershall takes a conscious approach to the use and protection of natural water resources. Each of our relevant sites has a water protection plan. This is of particular importance in water stress areas, where water is a scarce resource. In these regions, Wintershall prioritizes early-stage analysis to identify potential savings and thereby reduce total water consumption.
In addition to being more conscious in our use of water, we are also working to reduce water emissions. For instance, in 2017 we adapted the way reservoir water is handled on the L8-P4 and F16-A platforms in the Netherlands. This will all be injected to the reservoir following treatment as of 2018.
More on Wintershall’s approach to water can be found on page 45 of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
Goal: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Supplying the world’s growing population with energy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. According to forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global energy requirements will increase by about 30 percent by 2040. The challenge is that energy must also be affordable and clean. Natural gas plays an important role here. As a resource, gas is cost-effective and will continue to be available for many years to come. Gas produces the lowest CO2 emissions when compared to other fossil fuels.
We strive for energy efficiency in all our activities. Among other activities designed to ensure continuous improvement, we are currently bringing our management systems in line with the international ISO standard for energy management (ISO 50001). The energy management systems on our relevant production sites are certified accordingly.
More on Wintershall’s approach to energy can be found on page 42 of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
Goal: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
There are many ways in which we can contribute to achieving this goal. On the one hand, we supply the energy needed for economic growth. On the other hand, we create jobs and are committed to the common good in a multitude of ways, wherever we do business. As an employer, we are organizing working conditions worldwide in line with our voluntary commitments, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and local requirements. We support economic and social development in the regions in which we operate. Related activities are based around the areas of education and science, culture and society.
Wintershall Norge is participating in a program to promote labor market integration as part of a partnership with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organization (NAV). Participants are guided by Wintershall employees for between three and six months and receive individual training based on a plan developed in collaboration with NAV. Twelve people took part in the program in 2017.
Goal: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Finding and producing oil and gas usually involves considerable logistical planning and resources. This is because staff, technology, and other materials have to be transported to locations that are often remote or difficult to access. That is why we are involved in developing relevant infrastructure. We also invest in projects that explore new technology and innovation. As a global company, we transfer our knowledge from one location to the next, and to local partners and research institutions through our collaborations with them.
The younger generation has strong ideas and visions. We want to promote their innovative spirit. For this reason, since 2013 we have collaborated with our partner Gazprom International to hold a regular student competition – the Young Vision Award. We seek to identify research projects that aim to combine environmental protection and economic efficiency in the production of oil and gas.
More on Wintershall’s approach to energy can be found on page 26 of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
Goal: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
We are aware of the potential impact of our business activities on people and the environment. We pursue the goal of ensuring accident-free operations, protecting the health and safety of our employees and neighbors, reducing our ecological footprint, and using resources more sparingly through our clear guidelines and systematic management.
We carry out our operations in close cooperation with external partners. These partners are informed and trained regularly on our environmental protection, occupational safety, and plant safety requirements to ensure that they are familiar with our philosophy and standards and act accordingly. In 2017, the working conditions of individual drilling contractors working for Wintershall in Norway were reviewed in respect of physical and chemical hazards.
More on Wintershall’s approach to responsible production can be found on page 42 ff. of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
Goal: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Wintershall is convinced, that the E&P industry can play a valuable role in reducing global emissions. As operator, we eliminated routine flaring of associated gas during regular oil production operations back in 2012. We also signed the Methane Guiding Principles in November 2017. The principles are a voluntary commitment by individual oil and gas companies to continuously reduce methane emissions.
As part of the reassessment of the Suderbruch oil field in Germany, we developed a mobile test production plant and equipped it with micro gas turbines. This enabled us to use associated gas already during test production for the first time. We were able to reduce our energy requirements by around 40 percent and CO2 emissions by around 50 percent.
More on Wintershall’s approach to environmental and climate protection can be found on page 43 of the Corporate Responsibility Report 2017.
Corporate Responsibility Report Facts and figures
In our annual Corporate Responsibility Report, we use key figures and examples to show how we are meeting our responsibilities to employees, the environment, and society as a whole. In 2007, we began publishing information on our health, safety, and environmental protection activities. This information is provided voluntarily and is accessible to all. We have supplemented our sustainability reporting with relevant insights into other matters since 2015, while our overall reporting is based on the standards defined by the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, IPIECA.
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