Vienna, July 5, 2018 - Can an oil company’s activities be compatible with a commitment to social and environmental values? In the public view, they are more likely to be associated with the opposite: environmental damage and a tough-guy image. However, maybe it is time to take a closer look. We have here singled out LUKOIL, a Russian oil and gas company with a European subsidiary located in Vienna, to show that largeness and economic prowess does not necessarily stand in contradiction to social as well as environmental commitment in a world where there is increasing awareness that economic growth and financial gain should go hand in hand with sustainable development and preservation of resources.
It is at this point that LUKOIL is setting an example. For the past ten years, ever since it joined the UN Global Compact, the company has been firmly committed to pursuing a sustainable development strategy, with special focus on the 17 UN SDGs (Social Development Goals) that make up the Agenda 2030. LUKOIL’s SDG-aligned activities and projects are especially notable in the areas of personnel, volunteering, job creation, environmental responsibility and renewable energies.
In the area of personnel, LUKOIL has set the bar high. The company is firmly committed to high standards of employer responsibility and prides itself on its efforts to improve labor conditions, create a safe and comfortable working environment, and offer health benefits to its employees (in compliance with SDGs 3 and 8), more than 96% of which are covered by collective bargaining agreements. LUKOIL is especially proud of its family-friendly employer policy – it supports the building of kindergartens and makes sure a sufficient number of kindergarten places are available for the company’s employees. This emphasis on the needs of families also reflects LUKOIL’s commitment to gender equality (SDG 5). It is part of the company’s effort to ensure women are free to pursue employment and are able to combine their professional lives with their family responsibilities.
Corporate volunteering is another key area of LUKOIL’s responsible employer activities. This effort is designed to combine team-building and integration of the employees into the company with activities to improve the quality of life in the respective regions where LUKOIL operates. Since 2010, for example, the company has been conducting blood donation drives in its headquarters and regional subsidiaries in acknowledgement of Donor Day. For 8 years, the LUKOIL employees have been taking part in a large-scale environmental protection action, called “March of Parks,” collecting garbage and helping foresters to protect unique sand dunes. “LUKOIL and children for ecology” is a landscaping project in which not just the company’s employees, but al inhabitants in the region are encouraged to participate (SDG 15).
Moreover, the LUKOIL Charity Foundation has implemented 4,859 projects and invested 12 million Euros in an effort to support civil initiatives and job creation in alignment with SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities. Highlight of this initiative is the LUKOIL Social and Cultural Projects Competition that has been held since 2002 with the aim of bolstering local community projects and supporting individual entrepreneurial initiatives.
For all those who never thought that environmental responsibility could be high on an oil company’s agenda, LUKOIL has set out to prove them wrong. The company was among the first in Russia to commit to environmental protection measures – and they have been putting their money where their mouth is. In 2017, LUKOIL spent about 42 billion rubles on their environmental efforts. Most of the money went into measures to improve air quality by considerably reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduction of associate petroleum gas (APG) flaring. Associated gas is a form of natural gas which is found with deposits of petroleum, either dissolved in the oil or as a free "gas cap" above the oil in the reservoir. Historically, this type of gas was released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. For 2018, LUKOIL strives towards attaining the ambitious goal of utilizing APG in gas processing plants and gas power stations that are built near deposits. In 2017, the company joined the World Bank initiative on aiming for a zero rate of APG flaring by 2030 (SDG 13). Clean water is likewise a top priority for LUKOIL – the company conducts marine projects (SDG 14) and strives for the development and implementation of the “zero discharge” concept, which provides for wastes from drilling, household and sewage to be collected in separate containers and transported to the land for processing, for example, to become the basis for road surface.
In accordance with this focus on environmental impact, LUKOIL puts a focus on renewable energies – and has already built up a track record in this area, starting with the acquisition of its first renewable assets in 2008 through investment into hydro power plants in Russia. The company also operates solar and wind power plants in Romania that supply electricity into local grids (SDGs 7 and 13).
LUKOIL is one of the largest publicly traded, vertically integrated oil and gas companies in the world accounting for more than 2% of the world's oil production and around 1% of the proved hydrocarbon reserves. It provides millions of consumers in over 100 countries around the globe with power, heat and other products. The company is ranked 6th in the S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Ranking. Its scope of activity is wide: operating in about 40 countries on 4 continents and has more than 100,000 employees.
For more information on LUKOIL’s activities, go to: http://lukoil-lubricants.eu/de/home
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