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Sustainable and responsible in the oil & gas industry – we were, we are and we will be

Sustainability is for many probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the oil and gas industry. But Bernhard Heneis, Head of Sustainability & Reporting at OMV, will be the first to tell you: Shaping the future of energy in a sustainable way is at the core of OMV’s long-term strategy as well as our daily business.

OMV’s Sustainability Strategy 2025 as integral part of our daily business

“It is important to understand: Our Sustainability Strategy 2025 is not a separate, added layer on top of our Corporate Strategy 2025. For us, sustainable development encompasses the economic, ecological and social dimension. It makes me proud that responsible behavior is part of the OMV DNA. With 15 measurable sustainability targets, we are taking our comprehensive sustainability approach to the next level”, says Bernhard, who is proud of the new strategy and its underlying commitment. 

The strategy does not necessarily prioritize sprawling new initiatives, but instead focuses on the way OMV does business now as well as in the future, and sometimes this means doing things differently. Consequently, departments and business units will operate and have their business goals as usual. However, the manner in which they are going to reach their goals will include sustainability factors.

It makes me proud that responsible behavior is part of the OMV DNA. With 15 measurable sustainability targets, we are taking our comprehensive sustainability approach to the next level,” Bernhard Heneis, Head of Sustainability & Reporting OMV.

Making it concrete with 15 binding and measurable sustainability targets

This all comes together in 15 targets for the 5 focus areas “Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE)”, “Carbon Efficiency”, “Innovation”,  “Employees” as well as “Business Principles and Social Responsibility”  that are at the core of OMV’s Sustainability Strategy. To now have measurable targets is the main factor for the success of our strategy, says Bernhard. 
Among the targets are several initiatives towards improving our carbon efficiency, such as reducing the carbon intensity of operations by 19% until 2025, a zero routine flaring and venting policy by 2030 or developing ReOil to an industrial scale process (unit size of 200.000 tons per year). 

The birth of the strategy and the role of external recognition

Bernhard and his team worked with different departments and business units across OMV, conducted several workshops with the OMV Executive Board to define what sustainability means for OMV as a company and how to include sustainability in the business strategy.

To be able to put such a strategy in place takes time, but previous external recognition and success stories showed that the chosen route was the right one for Bernhard and all teams involved. “With the HSE report 1999/2000, OMV published the first report for non-financial topics. From this point onwards, we have been constantly evolving and adapting to greater transparency needs of our stakeholders in this area. This meant including their questions and expectations towards our reporting and programs. And it pays off – we are enormously proud to be the only Austrian company listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2018.”  

This is not “greenwashing”, it’s our way of doing business

OMV’s sustainability approach states clearly: We shape the future of energy in a sustainable way. With oil and gas at its best. OMV sees it as its core mission to provide affordable energy in a responsible way. For the transition into a future of lower carbon emissions, a sensible and responsible usage of oil and gas is necessary. Especially with our focus on gas and petrochemicals and with the commitment of investing up to EUR 500 million in innovative energy solutions for a lower-carbon future, we will contribute to the energy transition.

The answer Bernhard would give to critics calling sustainability efforts from an oil and gas company “greenwashing” is, “If you have a comprehensive approach, a long-lasting history of credibility and a full alignment of sustainability with your business model, there is no “greenwashing”. That’s called doing business. OMV ratings from objective external experts underline clearly this is not marketing. Our actions and the independent ESG rating agencies speak for us.”

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