“Our World, Our Responsibility”

For Energean, a strong commitment to sustainability is not just a trendy catchphrase. Environmental responsibility is truly a top priority for the natural gas company, and reflected in every aspect of its business strategy

Rebecca Kopans, partnered with Energean
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Rebecca Kopans, partnered with Energean
Promoted Content

Energean, a gas-focused E&P company with operations in the eastern Mediterranean, stands out not only because of its impressive business achievements, but also thanks of its exceptional commitment to achieving and constantly improving its environmental, social and governance standards and values.

“ESG is in our hearts; it is our passion; it is at the core of what it means to be an Energean employee or leader. We don’t just tick boxes because it is fashionable – or because it meets a regulatory or policy objective,” affirms Ilia Rigas, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Energean, referring to Environmental, Social and Governance issues. Indeed, in the past few years, the company has proven itself as an industry leader for ESG, implementing numerous policies designed to spur progress on these issues.

“We have made a series of strategic decisions based on the sort of organization we want to be and the sort of colleagues we want to work with. Of course, we are focused on driving investor returns – but not to the point where we compromise our ETHOS – what Energean means to us and to the societies that host our operations”

Committed to net zero emissions

It all starts – as so often – with environmental issues. In 2018, Energean became the first E&P company to pledge that its goal is to attain net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the UN’s Paris Agreement. Far from being an empty statement, the company is implementing a range of policies in order to meet this goal.

Energean’s Climate Change Strategy

The results are unequivocal: In 2021 alone, Energean reduced its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 8% and the company is on track to eliminate over 85%of its carbon intensity by 2025, on the way to attaining the net zero target by 2050. Specifically, from 2019 to 2021, the company reduced its carbon intensity by 73% (correct!) and expects to reach an overall reduction of more than 85% by 2025. Another significant decision that has been implemented is a zero routine flaring policy. Flaring, which is traditionally used in gas exploration, releases methane directly into the air and contributes directly to global warming.

As explained by Rigas, the major positive change has been to dramatically increase the share of natural gas within its product portfolio: from a 4.8% share in 2019, to 73.5% of the production in 2021. This transformation will be enhanced further by the Karish gas field off Israel’s shore, since it will start producing its first gas this year.

This follows a path followed by global energy majors, who have transitioned from a focus on crude oil and its products towards integrated energy solutions powered by natural gas. Energean however is one of the first mid cap firms to make this decision and priorities the more environmentally friendly form of energy production. “There is a very real socio-economic value to natural gas” Says Rigas. “It is the catalyst for and foundation of a more sustainable energy system. It partners with inherently intermittent renewable energy. It provides a less carbon intensive and less pollutive energy source and finally, less coal and oil is not just about carbon. There is a verifiable public health benefit. By reducing Nox, Sox and PM in the atmosphere, there will be a lower rate respiratory disease”

Ilia Rigas

In addition, Energean has succeeded in reducing its overall energy consumption from 2020 to 2021 by 13% Remarkably, the company now recycles and reuses 90.5% of the waste generated at production sites. Energean is also investing in carbon capture and storage research with the aim of introducing low-hydrogen technology at its Prinos field in Greece – thereby preserving the environment of the nearby beaches and helping to further reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

As in every company, board of directors and senior management commitment is a key factor in creating the DNA enabling to make the difference. Rigas says “We established an Environmental Safety and Social Responsibility Committee that focuses on climate change issues, and our executives’ pay is now linked to performance in this area”. Not surprisingly, Energean’s efforts have been rewarded, among many other awards, with a high score of A- in the Climate Change rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the international NGO that ranks companies according to their environmental impact.

Uniting diverse cultures for a sustainable energy transition

ESG is not just about environmental considerations – how an organization engages with its various communities is just as important. “We thought a lot what will make a good headline for our 2021 sustainability report” says Rigas. “We looked for something that will express our unique approach within the energy world, since Energean’s strong sense of corporate responsibility is not limited to environmental concerns. We are very proud of the fact that we are a very safe workplace and that our corporate culture encourages diversity, inclusion and positive engagement with the broader societies that hose our operations”.

The chosen sentence - “Uniting diverse cultures for a sustainable energy transition” – is well represented by the approximately 800 people the company employs in its seven countries of operation – Israel, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Montenegro – and at the headquarters in the U.K. Despite the geographical spread, the company focuses on uniting diverse cultures and creating a community. This spirit was especially pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic: even when most people worked from home, the Energean community stayed connected thanks to regular online group activities, such as fitness and cooking classes.

The data for worker safety speaks for itself: the company recorded an astonishing 11 million worker-hours without a single LTI (lost time incident). “Health and safety are a high priority, and we devote a great deal of resources in order to maintain the highest standards,” Riga points out.

The company is also making considerable efforts to improve diversity within the workforce. One-third of the Board of Directors now consists of women, including the Chair, as well as 17.3% of all company employees.

Creating social values

Energean’s leadership sets the tone on prioritizing sustainability as a core value for the company. CEO Mathios Rigas and all the members of the Board fully support this strategy. “We would like all our employees to believe in sustainability, see its deep value for the business and feel personally engaged,” says Ilia Rigas.

Every year, Energean conducts a survey among its stakeholders where they are asked to rank the issues that are most important to them. In the last survey, the top three issues were: safeguarding health and safety, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and generating economic value. “We adjust our strategy to make sure our priorities are in line with those of our stakeholders,” explains Rigas. “We are also one of the few companies in our field that follows TSFD recommendations.”

The numerous awards Energean has received are a testament to its extraordinary commitment to ESG. These include being ranked in the top 8% of its sector by Sustainalytics, receiving a Gold rating in the Maala Index, and becoming a member of the “The Most Sustainable Companies in Greece,” among others. In fact, Energean’s commitment to safeguarding our planet can be summarized by its motto: “Ethos: Our World, Our Responsibility.”

Partnered with Energean