ESG actions across the L1 portfolio
Wintershall Dea has clearly defined targets across all aspects of ESG; however, as an oil and gas company, climate change is clearly the most significant issue it faces. It has set a goal to be net zero emissions across all upstream activities by 2030 with clear reduction targets for Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions and a commitment to address Scope 3 emissions too, which is a significant challenge for companies in this sector.
To achieve these aims, the company has put into place a four-pillar climate action strategy. The first pillar relates to its portfolio, which is predominantly (70% of reserves and production) natural gas. GHG emissions are a key metric when making investment decisions and Wintershall Dea has set an internal price of carbon to assist in this process.
Second is management and achieving energy efficiency and emissions reduction in existing activities; for example reducing methane emissions and using renewable energy.
The third pillar, and for emissions that cannot be avoided at a reasonable cost through portfolio changes and emissions management, is offsetting through investments in nature-based solutions, such as afforestation or conservation projects. Wintershall Dea will develop its own projects rather than simply buy offsets on the market and is beginning the process of identifying the right prospects and talking to potential partners.
Finally, technology and in particular carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, which will both be essential to decarbonise the economy. The company has set aside around €400m to invest over the next ten years in low-carbon initiatives and technologies and has established an internal team to evaluate opportunities. For example, it is considering how it might capitalise on existing assets, such as using depleted fields in the North Sea for storage and its significant infrastructure of pipelines for hydrogen transportation.
DIA’s strategy is focused on “closeness” – closeness to its customers, its communities, its employees and to wider society – and the company’s unifying narrative is to be “closer every day”.
In 2020, following the onset of COVID-19, DIA utilised the “closeness” enabled by its network of 6,169 stores and 2,682 franchises to continue to support local communities and vulnerable individuals during a uniquely challenging year.
As part of DIA’s support initiative, labelled “DIAContribuye2020”, the company distributed 2.5m kilos of products between 54 Spanish food banks supporting more than a million beneficiaries and 8,000 charities. It also launched a Community Collection initiative whereby online donations from customers were turned into essential food items for the food banks of Spain. DIA’s unique footprint, with the largest number of points of sale in Spain, the majority of which are focused on local communities, were fundamental in enabling the support it provided.
As well as implementing initiatives to alleviate some of the immediate impact of the pandemic, 2020 was also an important year for DIA in reviewing and renewing its approach to ESG. Following an internal assessment, the company identified 15 key areas of focus that encompass the breadth of the ESG agenda: food safety, nutritional profile, accessible feeding, sustainability of raw material, human rights management, employee and team development, employee health and safety, diversity and inclusion, franchise satisfaction, provider satisfaction, excessive packaging, waste and food waste management, climate change, business ethics, and community support. These are areas where DIA has identified it can make a real difference and will underpin the company’s initiatives in the near and mid term.
VEON’s approach to ESG is based on the concept of using technology to empower communities. This includes a digital entrepreneurship programme and a range of digital skills and literacy initiatives, which are intended to increase socioeconomic, educational, and vocational opportunities in the communities in which the company operates.
For example, JazzCash provides a comprehensive range of digital financial services to 12.2m people in Pakistan, which is ranked as one of the world’s most unbanked nations. Close to 80% of its adult population lacks access to a bank account; a percentage that is higher for women, who face additional social challenges to financial inclusion.
By delivering mobile banking services, JazzCash helps to overcome these challenges and bring about greater social and economic empowerment.
In Kazakhstan, VEON is a key player in the national 250+ project, launched in 2020, which aims to extend highspeed internet to all villages with a population of 250 or more. Once complete, the project will see almost 1,000 rural settlements, with a combined population of 600,000, offered 3G and 4G connections. Beeline Kazakhstan connected 500 remote villages to the internet in 2020, which are home to around 400,000 people. Of these, 54 were given access to mobile communications and the internet for the first time. This is helping to transform opportunities for individuals and communities, whilst accelerating the economic development of the Kazakh countryside.