Our management approach

At Statoil, the way we deliver is as important as what we deliver. This is the first part of company policy a new employee is likely to encounter. It is a belief that is reflected in our performance management and risk management systems. These policies serve as the framework for the numerous procedures and ambitions described throughout this report.

In the sustainability chapter, we discuss our overall approach to managing environmental and social impacts, how we address the main risks and opportunities, and our performance in this area in 2011.

Although we believe sustainability should be considered in its broadest context, we have grouped articles into sections in order to assist reading. The first section describes the context of our reporting and the management approach and governance structure that relate to environmental and social performance. Subsequent sections discuss:

  • Health and safety - and our efforts to achieve zero harm to people, prevent accidents and create a healthy working environment
  • Climate and environment - and our efforts to reduce the negative impact of our activities and products on the environment
  • People and the group - and our efforts to respect individuals, help others to succeed and contribute to a positive working environment
  • Society - and our efforts to act within the law and in accordance with our own ethics policy, demonstrate social responsibility and contribute to sustainable development 

Key topics

Our sustainability reporting sets out our position and strategy regarding key topics of relevance to Statoil and the industry. The report is most explicit on performance and activities during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011. We aim to report on all aspects of our business, including joint ventures where we are the operator. For a more detailed overview, see the article on "The boundaries of our reporting".

We report on topics identified by external stakeholders, internal experts and the media. We then prioritise issues based on their likely importance to our stakeholders and potential impact on Statoil's operations and strategy. This section includes a  comprehensive list of our efforts to ensure stakeholder engagement and the various arenas where we endeavour to work in collaboration with our stakeholders.

We are aware of the special emphasis that our stakeholders place on shale gas, tight oil and onshore oil and gas production. Our 2010 reporting therefore dealt extensively with our Canadian oil sands operations. For the same reason, we have chosen to include a separate section in the 2011 report on how we are preparing for shale operatorship. During 2011, our Energy Realities campaign also aimed to engage stakeholders in discussion and dialogue. Similar activities were initiated for Canadian audiences.

GRI indicator protocol

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation which, since its establishment in 1997, has worked to create a more standardised framework for reporting on issues relating to sustainability. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is widely used and enables organisations to measure and report continuously their performance on health, safety and the environment - including climate, human resources and social responsibility.

Statoil uses the GRI guidelines as a tool in our process of defining the report content. In Statoil's opinion, our reporting practice is in line with the GRI 3.0 Guidelines' basic reporting principles and the reporting fulfills the highest application level, A+. The plus sign indicates that the report has been externally assured. A full table showing how we address the GRI and IPIECA guidelines, including information on those indicators where we have not reported, is available in this section.

UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption - and to report their performance within these areas annually. Statoil has been a signatory member of the UN Global Compact since its inception in 2000 and we regard our annual and sustainability report to also be the Communication of Progress report to the UN Global Compact. Thus, the ten principles of the UN Global Compact also guide the content of our annual and sustainability report.

Statoil supports the efforts of UN Global Compact; a separate index explains how we perform in relation to its principles.


We aim to ensure that the information we publish is accurate and complete and that it thereby contributes to building trust. To achieve this, we have established an internal procedure for verifying our non-financial management information. In addition, we engage professional auditors, who combine financial auditing experience with technical expertise in environmental and social standards. Their assurance report is included in this section.

Sustainability awards and rankings

The outcome of our sustainablity policies is hard to measure. We obviously hope that the efforts will be recognised. This year, we have taken particular pleasure in noting that Statoil was the most highly ranked oil company on Fortune magazine's list of the world's most admired companies, not least due to our standing in relation to innovation and social responsibility (where we ranked number one regardless of industry). Canadian media company Corporate Knights also publishes a "Global 100" sustainability list, on which Statoil is ranked number one of all energy companies, and number three regardless of industry.