Equinor’s commitment to a
just energy transition
As part of the company’s strategy and our Energy Transition Plan, Equinor sets the ambitions and actions for how to reduce emissions, build a renewable energy portfolio and develop low carbon solutions. For Equinor, how we do business is as important as what we do. We are committed to contributing to a transition that is just and inclusive and brings about long-term social and economic benefits.
Since Equinor was first established 50 years ago, as the then Norwegian State Oil Company, we have played a key role in building a strong energy industry in Norway, as well as investing to develop the energy sector in other regions around the world. We aim to become a leading company in the energy transition and to have a positive impact on the societies in which we operate. This is reflected in our purpose: “to turn natural resources into energy for people and progress for society”.
Moving towards a low-carbon future is a big and complex task. With an evolving geopolitical situation, societies around the world are looking afresh at how to find the best balance between energy security, energy affordability, and energy sustainability. Equinor will supply the energy needed today, while simultaneously investing in and shaping the renewable and low-carbon systems of tomorrow.
The energy transition brings up many dilemmas and trade-offs. It will require the development of new technologies, new value chains, and new ways of working, as well as firm leadership from policy makers. To ensure that the transition is just, governments must act with foresight and collaboration, and ensure that the benefits of the transition are shared across the societies we operate in.
A common agenda
Equinor is committed to play a key role in the energy transition. To achieve a just energy transition, we must engage in dialogue and collaboration with all our key stakeholders – our workforce, supply chain, partners, industrial customers and local communities.
Our priority is to avoid or minimise any negative impacts of our business. Our high focus on safety, environmental management and business integrity is a testament to this commitment. But, in face of climate change, nature loss, and rising inequality challenges, we need to go further.
At Equinor, we are guided by Paris Agreement, the International Labour Organization, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. For a transition to be just, it should build on respect for human rights and integrity.
Inspired by the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, our Just Transition approach has five main areas of focus:
Respecting human rights
Our commitment to respecting the rights of people affected by our business stays firm and at the core of our just transition approach. We will continue to further develop and refine our human right agenda based on our own experiences as well as learning from good practices by others – focusing on achieving positive outcomes for people.
Our ongoing efforts to respect human rights seek to prioritize the parts of our activity entailing greatest risks– including to labour rights within our supply chains. For the higher-risk activities, we have procedures for early engagement and continuous follow-up embedded in our project and supply chain processes. Our aim is that workers involved in our activities should have decent living and working conditions and earn a living wage. However, we recognise that we, together with our suppliers and business partners, need to step up efforts in this regard. Tackling what often is systemic issues requires broader collaborations with both government and private actors, building on international standards and mutual openness.
As we accelerate our growth in renewables and develop low-carbon solutions, more of our operations will be onshore facing new challenges. Listening to the voice of our neighbours and ensuring a respectful and sustainable coexistence is essential, whether onshore or offshore.
Promoting transparency and advocacy
To be a leading company in the energy transition, Equinor must be trusted and respected.
Transparency in what we do and how we do our business is crucial to build trust. We see transparency as a cornerstone of good governance, allowing our decisions to be scrutinised, promoting accountability, and enabling our business to prosper. We also see it as a prerequisite for an open and direct dialogue with stakeholders.
Our approach to financial transparency includes reporting contributions to public finances , and we promote industry initiatives aimed at strengthening revenues and tax payment transparency. We are committed to transparency on emissions, environmental and social performance. We continue to develop our disclosures in this regard, including through annual reports and our sustainability data hub, and by making environmental and social impact assessments publicly available.
We partner with institutions that will advocate for an equitable transition, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Business Commission to Tackle Inequality. We will continue to maximise the existing strong collaboration with trade unions and employee representative groups globally, focusing on initiatives that delivers tangible outcomes where change needs to happen.
Preparing people for the future of work
The energy transition will have an impact on the type of jobs we provide and the skills we need, and we are scaling up to meet the challenge.
Our aim is to provide opportunities for existing employees, to attract people from different backgrounds, and to grow the next generation of talent. So, we will continue to invest in upskilling through formal learning, on-the-job training, and partnerships with educational institutions.
We value the views of all employees and will continue to seek opportunities to hear their voices - including through formal surveys, and more informal employee networks and forums for engagement.
And, of course, we will continue to promote a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion throughout our worldwide operations.
Enabling sustainable supply chains
Equinor has a global supply chain of more than 8,000 direct suppliers. The way we select and work with our suppliers represents an opportunity to influence industry standards and bring progress to society.
Thriving domestic supply chains are important for regional economic development and for us, as we deliver new projects and invest in long-term infrastructure that will be operational for decades. Working with our suppliers and industrial customers to transition together will enable safe and sustainable projects.
The shift to a more resource-efficient, circular economy is an opportunity across our activities - for example, in the decommissioning of offshore facilities and wind turbines, and by ensuring sustainable use of materials and components in our different value chains.
Bringing resilience to local communities
Being a partner to our host communities is important to ensure our long-term relationship and the success of our activities. We believe that we can bring a range of positive benefits to the societies where we operate, when these are pursued in collaboration. Due to our global presence, we cannot adopt a one size fits all approach, and understanding the needs of local communities, including how we tackle inequality in specific contexts, is important.
We will continue to support education initiatives and invest in skills building to develop future-fit workforces, and we aim to empower marginalised or underrepresented groups.
We support humanitarian efforts and will explore solutions to support access to energy for vulnerable groups - which, in turn, can address inequalities in health, education, and employment. We also invest in local nature conservation and restoration projects.
Examples and case studies: A Just Energy Transition in practice.
Getting to a net zero society by collaborating closely with our stakeholders is a priority for Equinor. We have highlighted some cases below.
- H2H Saltend – More than a net zero industrial region
- Community-driven development of the offshore wind industry in New York
- Brazil: Diversity and inclusion – Our core values in action
- The tripartite collaboration has been essential in establishing the industry
- Human rights: Ensuring a just energy transition is about people