Elevating the "S” In Your Energy Company’s ESG Strategy

When it comes to ESG reporting for oil and natural gas companies, environmental metrics generally receive the bulk of an energy producer's time and resources. This makes sense, of course, because stakeholders expect environmental compliance and innovation from energy companies.

Stakeholders expect strong social performance too.

A commitment to social programs is critical to employee retention—which we all agree is an unprecedented challenge today. More than 2/3 of participants in J.P. Morgan’s 2022 Business Leaders Outlook Survey say the tight labor market and current worker shortage are their greatest hurdles right now. Large percentages of mid-size business leaders also agree that the biggest benefits of social-focused initiatives are building company culture and improving employee retention.  Along with a responsibility for social performance comes opportunities which can be varied and vast. Last year the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers identified 15 complex indicators of human rights management for the industry. Within them, there are 3 tactics you can start work on immediately:

Engaging with your employees

Connecting with the people who are the heart of your company and ultimately responsible for your business success is critical. When a workplace culture is strong, the sky’s the limit; when it’s broken, a company can struggle for years until it’s rebuilt. The benefits of robust employee engagement programs are vast and continue to evolve. When trust is in place, satisfaction grows, and employees feel safe to elevate any concerns and inspired to do their best work.

Connecting with your community

Leading oil and natural gas companies must create and sustain trust within the communities where they operate. One of the first steps in building trust is to establish a clear channel for community stakeholders to share any concerns they have. This gives your business an opportunity to quickly respond in a way that reflects your social values. Your community engagement channels—from Facebook messages to a community page on your website—allow you to build and maintain positive relationships.

Bolstering social investments

Supporting local community initiatives, philanthropies, and community events clearly demonstrates your position as a socially-conscious company. Strategic social investments have far-reaching impact across communities that can span generations. And contributions can go beyond monetary donations—student mentoring and employee volunteer programs, for example.

Visionary oil and natural gas companies know that by “elevating the S” they are opening doors to opportunities that increase the success of their business. And just as important as implementing social initiatives is tracking their performance and sharing the metrics with key stakeholders. Setting goals and measuring social performance is rewarded with the most valuable currency: confidence from your stakeholders.