Preface by the CEO
"From individual behaviour to collective impact"
At SHV Energy, we recognise our responsibility as a global market leader in the energy industry. In our opinion, our business really can have a positive and significant societal impact as we play a major role in both energy transition and fostering prosperity. For instance, we can enable our consumers and business customers to switch from more polluting fuels to our cleaner products, which will have a big impact on CO2 reduction and air quality. Moreover, this transition will enhance health and safety as well, because it will lead to a reduction of dust and soot simultaneously. In addition, we know that many household and remote area accidental fires are caused by cooking on open fires and the use of kerosene (paraffin) stoves. The switch to gas can therefore lead to safer working environments, fewer accidents and less damage. As we succeed in growing our business in this field, society as a whole can benefit as well. Sustainable development and business continuity go hand in hand. That is the way we intend to keep creating value.
Sustainability is a journey
We do not only aim to help our customers reduce their carbon impact. We also look internally at our whole supply chain to minimise negative impact and create positive impact. We understand that sustainability is about consciously evolving and staying relevant to stakeholders, and we focus on making a core difference throughout our operations. As a company, we look at sustainability not as a final destination but as a journey. And I strongly believe that having a purpose and personal attention are two essential items we need to ‘pack’ for this journey.
Advancing Energy Together
SHV Energy’s purpose is to create clean air and dramatically lower our carbon emissions by growing the business. We have therefore embarked on a journey we call Advancing Energy Together. For me personally, it is very important to be part of an organisation that strives to leave the world a better place for the next generation. When I talk to our employees, I find that this is something that clearly resonates with them as well. This brings me to personal attention: making sure everybody is seen, heard and engaged with, empowering us all to contribute at work and at home.
A clear focus on shared topics
SHV Energy strongly believes in a shared approach, which means local relevance with global applicability. Anchors that have proved to be useful in this approach are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Acting as a responsible citizen, we adhere to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in order to respect the interests of all stakeholders.
In 2017, SHV Energy carried out an assessment to identify these stakeholder interests and concerns more specifically. We engaged with over 2,000 stakeholders worldwide (60% of which were external). The result is a list of shared topics that all of our business units integrate into their sustainability strategy to increase sustainability performance and improve cooperation:
Health & Safety: process-, product- and occupational health and safety
Environmental Impact: fighting climate change and improving air quality
Employee Management: facilitating employees' career development
Business Integrity: safeguarding and stimulating an ethical and compliant culture
We have also enabled our business units to add topics to the agenda that are specifically relevant to local circumstances.
Our initiatives in 2017
2017 was about building a foundation for our sustainability approach for the coming years. We established a global sustainability community in which each business unit is represented by a Sustainability Leader – a go-to-person for all things sustainability-related, and supportive in the local implementation of sustainability practices. All Sustainability Leaders report directly into their local business unit and work closely with the Group Sustainability Manager. We also established uniform standards for our carbon footprint and carbon impact measurement (based on international standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) and trained all business units in the use of these formats.
In order to increase awareness and engagement throughout the organisation, we created communication materials such as a sustainability booklet and an animation (link) that explains our way forward, and launched these materials at our leadership teams meetings. Finally, we organised sustainability workshops – in which all business units participated – with the main goal of drafting sustainability action plans for 2018.
In 2017, we switched many new customers from polluting fuels, such as coal and heavy oil, to our cleaner products. The carbon impact from these switches adds up to more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 that is saved. 2017 was the first year in which we calculated our carbon impact throughout the entire company and we will continue to do this in the future.
One of the key challenges that remains for our organisation is to make things related to our environmental impact more tangible and actionable. What does one tonne of CO2 mean? How does it relate to our organisation? How can I influence our performance? We will help our employees answer these questions, and more.
Our outlook for 2018
2018 is about harvesting the impact from our efforts so far, and of course continuing our journey by building further on our sustainability approach. After all, being on a journey means knowing where you want to go and maintaining momentum.
Moving forward, we will distinguish between actions coordinated from our head office and actions implemented within our business units. Actions coordinated from our head office relate to increasing awareness (a campaign on individual behaviour), leading by example (a mobility policy) and tracking progress (making sustainability part of the management performance review cycle). Actions implemented within the business units are all about moving the needle; examples here are the use of alternative fuels in transport, energy efficiency and renewable energy at our sites, and creating a platform though which our customers can see how we can help them become more sustainable. Of course, switching customers to our products leads to better financial results for us. However, it also strengthens our ambition to have a positive impact on society. Clearly, this is why switching customers is one of our major purposes.
I would like to thank all of our employees, customers, suppliers and everyone else who has joined us on our journey. It is going to be exciting – and challenging – and it will help us to further improve our sustainability performance as we continue to seize the opportunities ahead.
Fulco van Lede, CEO SHV Energy