Energy Companies NOW BEGIN Embracing Sustainability as Key Operational Issue, According to Speakers at CERAWeek 2012

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (March 27, 2012) – Energy industry companies are now incorporating sustainability into their core business operations in order to reduce growing risks and complexities that threaten their ability to meet their business performance goals.

During CERAWeek 2012, which was held March 5-9 in Houston, industry and policy leaders observed that energy companies are taking proactive steps to ensure compliance with proliferating regulations while also responding to investors and customers who demand transparent reporting of progress against voluntary sustainability goals. By looking for opportunities to innovate and streamline critical workflows, many of these energy companies are now transforming sustainability into a competitive advantage.

“We are seeing more energy companies embrace sophisticated enterprise sustainability management strategies that enable them to lower their risk exposure and uncover opportunities for new operational efficiencies,” IHS Senior Vice President Woody Ritchey remarked at a dinner where he joined Connecticut Commissioner for the Environment Dan Esty and ERM Partner Matt Haddon to discuss a variety of issues with a select group of industry executives.

ERM, an IHS alliance partner and CERAWeek sponsor, recently conducted an analysis of major capital projects that have experienced significant delivery delays and found that 70 percent were attributable to unresolved environmental or sustainability challenges. As a result, companies are incorporating sustainability in their management systems alongside operational and technical issues.  

In a plenary session on “Strategies for a Growing World,” Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of exploration & production and gas & power at Total SA, said: “I would like to make it clear that our business will not be sustainable if we are not responsible operators accepted by all stakeholders, including the civil society. We need to strongly commit to excellence, first and foremost, in safety and environment. We also need to promote transparency with regards to our operations. These are prerequisites to get our license to operate.”

This year CERAWeek, the world’s premier energy conference, featured increased focus by industry experts who offered insights around sustainability issues and how they impact the global energy marketplace as well as new approaches and tools for addressing sustainability and environmental challenges. CERAWeek 2012, chaired by IHS CERA Chairman and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, framed the sustainability discussion for this year’s conference by asking the question, “How do you attain your energy and environmental objectives at the same time?”

During the conference, executives and thought leaders discussed a wide array of sustainability-related topics, including: 
• Lessons learned in the past decade and emerging strategies for success
• How sustainability challenges are redefining the competitiveness in the industry 
• How effective sustainability programs can boost an organization’s bottom line
• The outlook for new regulations or standards and how they may impact energy companies

“The depth and breadth of issues that were addressed at CERAWeek this year is another clear indication that enterprise sustainability management is emerging as a business imperative for energy industry executives around the world,” Ritchey said. 

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