With its unprecedented challenges, 2020 was a year that exposed fragilities in the global systems and caused tremendous pain in our societies. However, 2020 was also the year when adaptability and collective efforts rose to new heights. At OMV Petrom, we delivered on our promise to provide energy, while keeping the safety, health and well-being of our employees and partners a top priority and helping society fight against COVID-19. I am extremely proud of the high engagement, genuine care and resilience shown by all our colleagues and partners in a year of huge disruption.
As we have entered the second year of the pandemic, we also recognize the scale of other challenges ahead of us: in particular that of climate change. In this regard, 2020 was also the year in which OMV Petrom strengthened its position as a partner in the energy transition and advanced in its journey towards carbon efficiency performance. Oil and gas are essential for our lives today and will continue to be valuable resources in the future. To meet the climate targets set by the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the industry is going through a massive transformation, and our sustainability report looks to demonstrate the progress we made and reinforces our commitments at OMV Petrom.
Climate change and energy transition: we are part of the solution
The energy transition presents a set of challenges specific to each region, which we need to meet in a way that supports sustainable growth and economic prosperity. We believe the natural gas discovered in the Black Sea represents the fuel of choice to reshape Romania’s and the region’s energy system, providing the flexibility and security of the electricity supply with lower-carbon energy solutions.
At the same time, we have continued our investments in a portfolio of projects aimed at optimizing the production of low GHG-fuels. For example, in 2020, we increased the blending capacity of bio-content in fuels produced at the Petrobrazi refinery.
Our commitment to climate change mitigation is reflected by the consistent efforts undertaken in the past decade to reduce the emissions from our operations, across all business segments. In 2020, we achieved a 26% reduction in carbon intensity (vs. 2010), which means we are ahead of progress on our target set for 2025 (-27% vs. 2010). We also halved the level of methane emissions compared to the previous year, making strong progress towards our 2030 target of zero routine flaring and venting.
Beyond our core activities, we also take an active role in raising the level of awareness and education on the energy transition topic. We all know the cleanest energy is the one that is not wasted. Thus, in 2020 we have continued our investments in the “România Eficientă” program (Efficient Romania) to promote energy efficiency measures and projects at the national level.
Relentless focus on safety and health and genuine respect for diversity
Our foremost sustainability priority is the safety of our employees and partners, in line with our vision Zero harm-NO losses. All the efforts made in recent years to improve the Health, Safety and Security areas are showing progress: last year, we recorded the lowest LTIR (Lost-Time Injury Rate, 0.15 vs. target < 0.3) since 2004. Our focus will remain relentless.
The robust structures we had set in place enabled us to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis and take rapid actions to protect our employees, our customers and partners, all across the company, from production, to refinery and to retail stations. In these special circumstances, our people went to great lengths to ensure we kept our commitments towards customers and ensure business continuity.
As the pandemic forced organizations, including ours, to accelerate their digitalization agenda, we have also stepped up our efforts to equip our employees with the necessary skills for the future. And despite the challenging conditions of 2020, we have made further progress on our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, as we truly recognize the role that age, nationality and gender diverse groups have in challenging the status quo and creating business value. We particularly value the role that women can play in leading a resilient and cleaner energy sector. Thus, we are committed to advancing their representation in managerial positions to 30% by 2025, from a 26% level in 2020. To this end, we have implemented several programs to ensure we attract talent and inspire our colleagues to achieve their full potential.
Acting as a responsible corporate citizen
OMV Petrom plays a vital role in the economic and social fabric of society. We have built a reputation for our responsible business practices, in line with our values and commitments to international standards and guidelines. We have zero tolerance towards any form of corruption, and we expect the same from all our partners.
We are constantly assessing the challenges that the communities we operate in are confronted with, from an environmental and social standpoint, and invest in their development in the long run. We took measures that help prevent land degradation and mitigate climate change effects. As one example, in 2020, we started a three-year forestation program, the largest private initiative of its kind in Romania, aiming to plant 1,500,000 trees. At the same time, we also act when and where it is needed most – and in 2020, this meant easing the burden faced by the medical system.
All these actions show our commitment and support for the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainability Strategy 2025 is part of the company DNA, with colleagues across all business segments and functions working together to achieve its targets.
As we see an acceleration in expectations from stakeholders, we have also taken several steps to improve the level of transparency on our sustainability performance. In 2020, we became the first Romanian company to support the TCFD recommendations and we were evaluated by external rating agencies, receiving the evaluation from ISS ESG.
This year, we continue acting on integrating sustainability at the core of our business and accelerating our transformation towards a low-carbon future. We will take further action to reduce our carbon footprint with an updated corporate strategy, which will set new targets and launch new programs to deploy new energy solutions. All while leveraging our leading position, integrated business model, existing assets and capabilities. We will use our resources to protect the environment and pay full consideration to the region’s economic and social conditions. This is the prerequisite for an inclusive energy transition. This is our promise to provide the energy for a better life.