…Gets NSE’s applaud on robust sustainability achievements
…Adheres to flare-out to reduce carbon footprint, establishes GHG science-based assessment, reporting
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, a leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), says it is strongly committed to deploying resources and expertise to create and deliver sustainable value to meet the expectations of its various stakeholders through a responsible approach in the management of its environment, social, and governance (ESG) imperatives.
The energy company is committed to driving operational excellence in optimizing benefits to society and minimizing the negative impacts of its activities, at the same time as making significant contributions towards sustainable development, and pursuing continuous improvements in its key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure a better world without losing focus on the future generations.
Roger Brown, chief executive officer of Seplat, speaking at the facts behind the sustainability report presentation to the Nigerian Stock exchange (NSE) in a virtual session, said, Seplat’s sustainability policy is based on: commitment to transparent and complete disclosure of its ESG performance; encouraging responsible use of resources – energy, water and others; implementing human rights and gender equality; needs assessment of stakeholders to identify appropriate solutions; considering natural and cultural circumstances of Seplat’s host communities in the implementation of CSR initiatives; and setting science-based targets to deliver on environmental footprint.
“We adopt an inclusive stakeholder management approach; integrate sustainability into our core business model and strategy; embed sustainability concept and practice companywide; operate the highest standard of corporate governance; leverage on stakeholder engagement in determining materiality; and exhibit a strong belief in our shared value philosophy,” Brown said.
He noted that the company is strongly driving Nigeria’s transition to gas, delivering significant environmental, economic and social benefits that support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
On Seplat’s response to climate change, the CEO said the company is strongly adhering to its flare out campaign to reduce carbon footprint, and has gone ahead to establish a science-based assessment of its greenhouse gases emissions (GHG) and reporting; adding that Seplat is currently investing in new infrastructure and R&D to help capture some of the emissions not previously reported.
“We are developing a Carbon Calculator for continuous sustainable deployment to highlight the most negative carbon emission activities. Our investments in gas at Oben, Sapele and ANOH is aimed at reducing GHG emissions. SEPLAT has created a new energy group to manage our midstream gas business and explore the adoption of renewable energy,” Brown explained.
According to him, Seplat’s operations impact a wide range of stakeholders; as the company has continued to deploy proactive and effective stakeholder engagement framework, identify and classify stakeholders and their expectations, build mutually beneficial relationship with stakeholders, engage its stakeholders regularly and consistently, and deliver consistently on its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) commitments.
He explained that the company has invested extensively on development of local suppliers, of which over 98 per cent of materials are sourced from Nigeria; adding that: “We have a deliberate policy of encouraging local contractors in the award of some jobs. The company takes the issue of local content delivery seriously.”
Over the years, Seplat has: improved economic empowerment of women and youths with customised empowerment programme; sustained skills acquisition program for youths in its communities whilst creating jobs and developing local suppliers. The company has also improved access to quality education through customized CSR programmes, improved community infrastructure development, engaged 534 employees in its Nigerian and UK locations.
Oscar N. Onyema, the NSE chief executive officer, applauded Brown and the company for the robust achievements and strides in the sustainability journey. He urged companies to learn from Seplat, saying that reporting sustainability could help organisations create a sustainable future.
Onyema noted that there is a recognized need for enhanced levels of corporate transparency on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), and as an exchange “we are well positioned to encourage and even require listed companies to produce better sustainability reports that are issued consistently and with comparable information.”
On governance, Brown said Seplat operates with the highest standard of corporate governance, with the board oversight of all sustainability issues and the CSR board sub-committee having direct oversight of sustainability issues. This is in strict compliance with the company’s corporate governance policy and companywide compliance with the code of business conduct.
Jude Chiemeka, the divisional head, trading business at the NSE, said sustainability is a journey, and various companies are in their different stages of achievement and reporting. He said the NSE will continue to promote global best practices as is seen in sustainability reporting, whilst also encouraging companies to do likewise.