Hess sets new emission reduction targets in newly released Annual Sustainability Report
Hess Corp has published its 24th annual sustainability report, which provides a comprehensive review of the company’s strategy and performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs and initiatives.
“Our longstanding commitment to sustainability guides our strategy and actions to create value for all of our stakeholders,” CEO John Hess said. “Our strategy aligns with the world’s growing need for the affordable, reliable and cleaner energy necessary to ensure human welfare and global economic development. At the same time, we recognize that climate change is the greatest scientific challenge of the 21st century and support the aim of the Paris Agreement and a global ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We have set aggressive emission reduction targets and are investing in technological and scientific advances designed to reduce, capture and store carbon emissions.”
Highlights of the 2020 Sustainability Report include:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: In 2020, Hess significantly outperformed its five-year targets to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 25% and flaring intensity by 50% from its operated assets – reducing GHG emissions intensity and flaring intensity by 46% and 59%, respectively, compared with 2014 levels.
- Hess has set five-year GHG reduction targets for 2025 – to reduce operated Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity by 44% and methane emissions intensity by 52% from 2017. These targets exceed the 22% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 assumed in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Sustainable Development Scenario, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s less than 2°C ambition.
The company also is contributing to groundbreaking work by the Salk Institute to develop plants with larger root systems that are capable of absorbing and storing potentially billions of tons of carbon per year from the atmosphere.
- Conducting scenario-based carbon asset risk assessments: In line with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, Hess conducted an annual assessment using the supply and demand scenarios from the IEA to test the resilience of the company’s portfolio against a range of environmental policies and market conditions. Hess’ current asset portfolio is robust and its pipeline of forward investments is projected to provide strong financial returns under the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which assumes all the pledges of the Paris Agreement are met.
- Operating safely throughout the pandemic: In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic and the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, the company achieved a 19% reduction in its workforce total recordable incident rate and a 50% reduction in its workforce lost-time incident rate compared with 2019. In 2020, Hess also reached a five-year low in its severe and significant safety incident rate, achieving a nearly 10% reduction from 2019.
Since early 2020, a multidisciplinary emergency response team has been overseeing plans and precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19 in Hess’ work environment. The company also has provided financial and volunteer support for a variety of community relief efforts.
- Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion: In 2020, Hess extended unconscious bias training to all employees, expanded its employee resource groups and held listening sessions with employees from underrepresented groups to inform future actions. The company also continued to make investments to advance equal opportunity and economic growth in the communities where it operates, with a particular focus on education and work skill development.
- Maintaining top-quartile ESG performance: In 2020, Hess achieved leadership status in the CDP Global Climate Analysis for the 12th consecutive year and earned a place on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for the 11th consecutive year. Hess was ranked No. 9 on the 2020 list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens and was the only US oil and gas company included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Hess also was the only US oil and gas company awarded a Level 4 star rating by the Transition Pathway Initiative in their September 2020 report based on the company’s efforts to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and mitigate climate change in line with TCFD recommendations.
Hess’ 2020 Sustainability Report was prepared in accordance with the Core level for sustainability reporting under the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, an independent organization that provides the world’s most widely recognized sustainability reporting and disclosure standards. Preparation of the report was informed by TCFD recommendations and oil and gas industry metrics from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). The report has been third-party assured by ERM Certification and Verification Services.