One aspect of cultivating sustainability internally is expanding awareness of the business benefits of social and environmental issues. The ConocoPhillips approach encompasses a broad range of activities and tools. The company has helped create, adapt and apply training materials by IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues) and other best practice groups, and rolled out training to new hires, key functions and leaders. ConocoPhillips has also focused its internal networks on further integration of sustainable development commitments into business planning and processes.
ConocoPhillips developed a video within a larger strategy for employee awareness of sustainability. The corporate sustainability group teamed with a business unit and developed a short, fun video to tie the concepts together with real operational examples. Backed by research that compiled a variety of stories and tested ideas with global internal focus groups in operations and offices, the video was designed to deepen education about the economic, environmental, and social implications of the business and bring to life the company’s successes and challenges. The information and stories clarify the business value of sustainability and encourage everyone to be a leader who includes social and environmental understanding in day-to-day decision-making processes.
The video instills a consistent, global level of knowledge about sustainability. Once employees have an understanding of the concepts, business value, goals and expectations that apply globally, each business unit is better equipped to implement specific actions that relate the global concepts to the uniqueness of the individual operating business unit. This is done through a framework of business unit and company-wide action plans in key sustainability topics.
Thirty percent of all employees voluntarily watched the video in the first few weeks. Leaders at all levels talked about it. Practitioners used the video for “lunch and learn” discussions within work groups. The effort was so popular that employees requested the company to share the video externally. As a result, the company posted two four-minute modules in its online Sustainable Development Report.