Linking Strategy and Sustainability | Schlumberger
Interview
Linking Strategy and Sustainability
Lees Rodionov, vice president of sustainability
Publication Date
1/7/2022
Article Topics
Insights Sustainability Local Initiatives Social & Economic Impact Transition Technologies
Products Used

Linking Strategy and Sustainability

Lees Rodionov, vice president of sustainability, discusses how Schlumberger is operationalizing sustainability—using the UN Sustainable Development Goals—to connect strategy with sustainability.

At the 23rd World Petroleum Conference, an energy conference that brings together industry leaders from across the globe, Lees Rodionov shared her insights during the Accelerating Energy session. One month on, Lees discusses how sustainability is central to Schlumberger’s strategy and how it is embedded throughout the organization.

Why did Schlumberger integrate sustainability into its overall corporate strategy?

Access to affordable, reliable energy is essential to improving people’s lives. Unfortunately, there is still a significant portion of the population that lack that access today. Collectively, as an industry and a planet, we have to improve that access, while at the same time, significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. 

Today, nearly 200 countries around the world have sustainable development plans using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework to achieve country-specific economic, environmental, and social goals before the end of the decade.

This comes as economies are increasingly regionalizing, driven by geopolitics and energy transition. The COVID-19 pandemic gave the industry a glimpse of business continuity risk impacts to global logistics and supply chains in the absence of regional and local alternatives. Stakeholders are now even more focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability, but what that means to various stakeholder groups differs. 

At Schlumberger, we have had a comprehensive sustainability program for decades. However, we wanted to define a sustainability focus, that is fundamentally embraced throughout the organization and advances our corporate strategic agenda, which is also framed by the current environment and responsive to local goals and driven by local teams. 

We were intentional in recognizing sustainability and the impact we want to make in our vision and purpose statements, reinforcing this in our identity internally and externally—as an accessible touchstone—because our people engage and guide our impacts where they live and work. Our sustainability program is aligned to the UN SDGs and today focusses on three pillars: Taking Climate Action, Creating Opportunity, and Empowering Local Teams.

Linking Strategy and Sustainability

How is Schlumberger “Taking Climate Action?”

We made an exciting announcement earlier this year, our 2050 net-zero commitment, inclusive of Scope 3 emissions. This is an industry-leading ambition to decarbonize the entire oil and gas value chain where we can have impact. Nearly three-quarters of our emissions footprint comes from the use of our technology for customers. We simultaneously launched our Transition Technologies portfolio of solutions that target oil and gas operations emissions to help ourselves and our customers achieve their commitments. 

“Taking Climate Action” for us is also about investing in energy transition in areas beyond oil and gas, where we are leveraging our expertise, a partnership-based approach, and our ability to commercialize technology at scale globally to expand our market reach and impact across the transition. Our focus is on energy end-use efficiency and conversion. Our ventures include technologies in geothermal, geoenergy, hydrogen, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), lithium, and energy storage.

Finally, effectively understanding how both climate change and energy transition can affect our business, and consequently managing those risks as a part of our overall corporate strategy, makes us resilient and enables us to stay ahead of the competition. Given the high level of uncertainty and the extended time horizon for these risks, our approach is data-centric and scenario based. In that vein, we have used Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as a framework to conduct global and country level risk and opportunity assessments.

What does “Creating Opportunity” look like at Schlumberger?

With increasing regionalization, our formula for success is leveraging diverse, empowered local teams who understand local issues, and giving them a technology portfolio with regional agility to address local operational and commercial challenges, while at the same time creating opportunity in the value chain, and ultimately, contributing to regional energy access.

Schlumberger is well positioned for the first element—a diverse workforce is a key part of our culture and we have an essential ambition to maintain that. 

The second element for success—a technology portfolio with regional agility—is a shift from the traditional approach of a single solution that is a good fit for most of the world, with basin-specific solutions only developed as required. To make this shift, we now have formal governance in our new product development process to collect, vet, and develop fit-for-basin solutions as part of the regular new product development process. These solutions inherently have a high degree of local content—local manufacturing, local supply chain, even partnering with local competitors.

Fit-for-basin describes not only our approach to developing discrete technologies to address regional operational challenges, but also encompasses using the local value chain and tailored contract models where the challenge is commercial.  

One example is a portfolio of completions products adapted for the local market in Saudi Arabia. To manufacture these fit-for-basin technologies, we opened a new technology manufacturing center in the Saudi Aramco-operated King Salman Energy Park, or SPARK. This facility is now delivering, creating in-country value local supply, and positions us as regional leaders in production systems equipment.

Linking Strategy and Sustainability

An example of using different commercial models is our wireline technology access collaboration in China, which enables us to participate in a new market. We are contributing to the growth of the capabilities of our partner, China Petroleum Logging Company, with our ThruBit* through-the-bit logging services and leveraging local manufacturing and support.

Fit-for-basin is an approach that we believe will amplify our sustainability impact. In all cases the goal is to create shared value.

How is Schlumberger “Empowering Local Teams?”

I have been at Schlumberger nearly 30 years and I am proud of the long standing commitment to national diversity which we have established over many years. Our engaged employees around the world are attuned to their local environment. Empowering our people to drive sustainability locally, using our global program of SDG alignment as a rubric, but customizing specific efforts, is the third part of our focus.  

100% of our local operating units have SDG framed sustainability plans, with initiatives in 95 countries. Customer engagement is a key ingredient to the process also, because collaborating yields bigger impact than working in isolation. 

To help local operating units, we have mapped our corporate sustainability programs and our sustainability technology portfolio to impacted SDGs. For every country where we have a physical presence, we have an SDG pinwheel that graphically expresses the SDGs gap by sub-element for that country. In addition, through IPIECA, Schlumberger with others in the industry, has also contributed to mapping the SDGs the industry is best positioned to impact and defining what role companies can play.  

This is an exciting time in our industry. At Schlumberger, we really do embrace that challenge. We feel that by embedding sustainability to overall company strategy and empowering local teams, we can contribute to sustainable development, and do that in way that creates positive impacts both globally and locally.

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability in the latest Sustainability Report.

*Mark of Schlumberger

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