At Equinor, our approach to sustainability is embedded in how we work. This includes our corporate governance principles, performance and reward framework and management system. These elements are described in the Equinor book, available here.
The Equinor ASA Board of Directors (BoD) and The Corporate Executive Committee review, monitor and discuss sustainability issues. This includes business risks related to safety, security, climate change, energy transition, human rights, environmental and social issues. The Chief Executive Officer is day-to-day responsible for Equinor’s management actions related to sustainability, hereunder climate change and the energy transition.
Climate change and the energy transition are discussed in most of the ordinary board meetings either as integral parts of strategy and investment discussions or as separate topics. In 2020, as part of establishing a new climate roadmap for Equinor, the board participated in a half-day workshop which included climate risk training. In the annual board evaluation for 2020 where the board evaluates its own work and competence, climate change capabilities and knowledge were included as key components.
The BoD members are elected by the corporate assembly. In addition, there are employee-elected representatives as required by Norwegian company law. The board’s composition is diverse in terms of expertise and background, enabling the board to address the company’s strategy, goals and challenges. The BoD members’ background includes experience from oil, gas, renewables, shipping and telecom businesses, politics and climate policy.
The BoD has three sub-committees which act as preparatory bodies; the safety, sustainability and ethics committee (SSEC), the compensation and executive development committee (BCC), and the audit committee (BAC).
The SSEC assists the BoD in its supervision of the company’s safety, security, sustainability, including climate, and ethics policies, systems and principles. This includes quarterly reviews of risk issues and performance, including climate-related risks and performance, and an annual review of the sustainability report. The instructions for the committee can be found here.
The role of the BCC is to assist the BoD in its work on terms and conditions of employment for the CEO, and on the philosophy, principles and strategy for the compensation of leading executives in Equinor. In order to better reflect the Equinor strategy and the energy transition, the instructions for the BCC was updated in 2020 to include that also achieving goals related to climate and energy transition should be part of the remuneration policies.
BAC’s role is to assist in the exercise of the BoD’s management and control responsibilities and to ensure that the group has an independent and effective external and internal auditing system. As part of this, the committee also supervises the implementation of and compliance with the group’s expectations, commitments and requirements for ethical conduct concerning financial reporting.
The company has a separate corporate risk committee chaired by the Chief Financial Officer. The committee meets at least four times per year to give advice and make recommendations on Equinor’s enterprise risk management, including climate-related risks.
Group level functions responsible for sustainability-related issues include safety and security, sustainability, people and leadership and legal. These functions are responsible at group level for setting strategic direction, to give advice and report on risk and performance to the corporate executive committee and the BoD, including relevant committees. The corporate sustainability function is responsible for overseeing climate change (including climate-related risk), environment, social performance and human rights. The corporate safety and security function is responsible for safety, health, work environment and security. The chief compliance officer is responsible for business ethics and compliance. The people and leadership function is responsible for our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
The business line is accountable for executing the company’s sustainability ambitions and for managing relevant risks and performance. Dedicated safety, security and sustainability staff in the business line is part of company-wide functional networks and provides advice and support to the business line.