Communicating Environmental Performance: Engaging Internal and External Stakeholders in an Oilfield Services Company Environmental Program
- Ian Michael Sealy (Schlumberger) | Mary Louise Stott (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, 12-14 April, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.1.1 HSSE Management Systems, 6.1 HSSE & Social Responsibility Management, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
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Environmental management practice over the past 30 years has generally used systems based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) quality management approach. Internal stakeholders have been engaged in the process through targets or objectives often applied in a top-down manner through the organization.
While this approach continues to be practiced, it has important limitations. First, recognition of local initiatives and achievements can be difficult, especially in large or geographically dispersed organizations. Second, external stakeholders may not accept reaching organizational objectives as an indication of environmental achievement, or best practice. Third, internal stakeholders may not always be sufficiently motivated by a management-by-objectives approach.
This paper describes a program developed to overcome these limitations and examines the importance of communications to further drive environmental performance improvements within an oilfield services company.
Initially sourcing material from established health, safety and environment (HSE) recognition programs and from management recommendations, an environmental case study project was launched. Each case study describes a unique example of an environmental practice that reflects the realities of environmental performance improvements and offers a structured way of thinking about both direct and indirect improvements—challenge, solution/process, results. Topics include resource efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and local compliance programs, among others and increasingly individuals are named to highlight the important role everyone can play.
In order to reach the broadest possible audiences who wish to know about these practices, a wide range of communication channels have been used including internal websites and direct presentations to selected audiences. Case studies are intended for an audience comprising both internal and key external stakeholders.
Two years into the program, as awareness increased, environmental case study contributions have increased from locations worldwide. This has incentivized improved environmental performance by sharing knowledge and indicating direction as well as recognizing individuals and teams. Further, the case study library has shown that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and that the improvement journey is made up of many small steps.
Over the past 30 years environmental management practice has favored process improvement systems based on the quality management approach known as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). In the PDCA process, internal stakeholders are engaged through objectives applied by managers throughout the organization in a top-down manner (Deming, 1986).
Invented by William Deming, an American statistician and professor, the PDCA continuous improvement approach to organizational management was adopted for health, safety and environment (HSE) programs in the 1970s. The approach continues to enjoy widespread use in many industries and forms the basis of the HSE management system in the oilfield services company referred to in this paper (Sealy, 2005).
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