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Material topics

Annual Report 2023: Our material topics are linked to our strategic pillars: always safe, high value and low carbon. We have identified eight material topics that we believe are key to delivering on our strategy.

In line with the concept of double materiality, these are topics that may significantly affect our financial or operational performance, or that may significantly impact societies and ecosystems in which we operate.

In section 2.2 of the Annual Report for 2023, we provide more detail on each of these eight topics, their significance for Equinor and our stakeholders, the way we manage them, the metrics we use to monitor progress, and our performance in 2023.

Our strategic pillars

  • Always safe

    • Safe and secure operations
    • Protecting nature
    • Respecting human rights
    • Workforce for the future
  • High value

    • Profitable portfolio
    • Energy provision and value creation for society
    • Integrity and anti-corruption
  • Low carbon

    • Net-zero pathway

Materiality assessment

A materiality assessment was performed to identify and determine Equinor’s material sustainability topics for 2023. The basis for the materiality assessment is the approach described in the GRI standard 3 Material topics 2021 universal standard issued by the Global Sustainability Standards Board, but expanded to a double materiality assessment informed by the approach described in the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS 1). The process included involvement of Equinor subject matter experts, engagement with external stakeholders and calibration and validation by executive management and board committees.

Building on more than 20 years of sustainability reporting and topics included in ESRS 1 appendix A, internal subject matter experts participated in topic- related workshops to assess our impacts on nature and society, while sustainability-related financial upside and downside risks were assessed together with our risk assessment experts.

For each topic assessed, an overall impact materiality score and a financial impact score was given based on the guidance in ESRS 1, enabling a ranking of the topics in a two-dimensional plot for further discussion and calibration.

The views of external stakeholders were included in the assessment based on feedback received through dialogue with different stakeholder groups. Furthermore, we conducted a stakeholder survey, covering a broad range of stakeholder groups representing industry, suppliers, investors, lenders, non-governmental organisations, academia, and trade unions, in which they were asked to provide feedback on the impact and financial materiality of the material topics reported in our 2022 annual report. They were also asked to provide other improvement proposals and additional topics to be considered.

The survey, with about 40% response rate, showed a large degree of alignment with our internal assessment on relative materiality of the different topics. Through the survey we also received feedback that contributed to the decision to have Respecting human rights as a separate topic and include Diversity and inclusion in Workforce for the future. The survey also contributed to merging the two low carbon topics; Net-zero pathway and Emissions reductions, into a single Net-zero pathway topic for current year reporting.

Building on the initial assessment and ranking by Equinor subject matter experts and input from the stakeholder survey, relevant functional leadership teams and the executive management committee, including the CEO, were engaged through workshops for calibration and further refinement of the materiality assessment and relative importance of the topics considered. Finally, the Board’s Audit Committee and the Boards Safety, Sustainability and Ethics Committee were engaged in a joint workshop for the same purpose. Prior to several of these meetings, participants, including executive management and board members, were asked to do individual survey-based assessments to provide starting points for the workshops.

The material topics concluded for 2023 are listed in the Material topics table (below), including assessment of relative impact materiality and financial materiality for each topic. The topics are grouped into our three strategic pillars: always safe, high value and low carbon.

Material topics

Strategic pillar

Material topic

Impact materiality

Financial materiality

Always safe

Safe and secure operations

◼◼◼

◼◼◼

Protecting nature

◼◼◼

◼◻◻

Respecting human rights

◼ ◼◻

◼◻◻

Workforce for the future

◼ ◼◻

◼ ◼◻

High value

Profitable portfolio

◼◻◻

◼◼◼

Energy provision and value creation for society

◼ ◼◻

◼ ◼◼

Integrity and anti-corruption

◼ ◼◻

◼ ◼◻

Low carbon

Net-zero pathway

◼◼◼

◼◼◼

Key:

◼ ◻ ◻ Material

◼ ◼ ◻ More material

◼ ◼ ◼ Most material

Material topics’ performance

Material topics performance
Material topics’ performance, Annual Report page 60 (download PDF below)