In our “Meet the Council” series, hear directly from the our Stewards and Allies why they are committed to making business fairer, more inclusive, and more sustainable.
Josu Jon Imaz is the Chief Executive Officer of Repsol, a global multi-energy company offering a wide range of products and services throughout the energy value chain.
Repsol has set itself the goal of becoming a net-zero emitter of greenhouse gasses by 2050. Why is that goal important to you? What series of events led to this pivotal decision?
Repsol has been committed to sustainability for more than 25 years, it’s in our DNA. We have always viewed the reduction of emissions as an opportunity because it bred efficiency, sustainability and competitivity. We were the first company to align ourselves with the Kyoto Protocol, the first to link emissions reduction initiatives to pay, the first to issue a green bond in 2017 and we continue committed with a comprehensive sustainable financing framework we launched in June 2021.
We have had emissions reduction plans since 2005 and by 2020 we had reduced more than 5 metric tons of CO2. We currently have a new target of 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 for the period 2021-2025.
The whole organization is committed, and Repsol has also linked the long-term variable pay of its managers and leaders, including that of the CEO and senior executives, to objectives that lead the company to comply with the Paris Agreement and, therefore, its progressive decarbonization.
What role does Repsol feel the energy sector has regarding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and responsible investing movements?
Energy has been and will continue to be key to economic growth and to the well-being of societies. Our duty is to continue providing society with the products it needs, with the lowest carbon footprint, and in an affordable and secure way.
Industry is also responsible for generating stable and quality employment has always been a driving force for R&D and for the development and progress of all society.
Industry has the means and know-how to drive the energy transition, both in reducing emissions in the fastest and most efficient way, and with its capacity to innovate and develop new solutions for decarbonization. It’s important to make decarbonization and industrialization compatible, so technological neutrality is necessary to allow us to find the most effective solution for every step of the way.
How is Repsol responding to that role?
Repsol has an ongoing dialogue on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters with stakeholders (including investors, associations, financial institution representatives, analysts, and proxy advisors) to learn first-hand their views and needs on these matters and explain the Company’s practices. Thanks to the commitments acquired by Repsol and its responsible management approach, the Company ranks highly within its sector in the ESG performance assessments conducted by the most renowned rating agencies operating within the market.
[We are] deeply committed to fighting climate change not with words, but with determined and measurable action in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We were the first company in our industry to set a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and we have aligned our strategy with this undertaking, in addition to setting ambitious intermediate goals for decarbonization in this decade.
Our Strategic Plan sets new and even more ambitious emissions-reduction targets roadmap, with a decrease in carbon intensity of 12% by 2025, 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 and have allocated more than 30% or all our investments to low carbon projects over the next five years.
The solution to the problem of climate change will come from a carbon-free energy mix and the use of a wide range of technological options. With all of these, Repsol will drive the transition sustainably and profitably, with a clear intention of adding value to society.
Repsol is an active participant in the Council’s workstream for a Just Energy Transition. What aspect of the workstream interests you the most? What do you hope will be the outcomes of that work?
Companies have a duty to society in terms of providing affordable services and employment. We also have a duty to be sustainable. Our hopes for any collaborative initiative are that we can better understand through dialogue what our stakeholders need to together develop solutions.
This industrial transformation can be carried out through a commitment to quality employment by updating the skills of our teams, promoting internal mobility, and training programs and learning tools.
At Repsol we have a consolidated tradition of talent development. At this stage, training programs are closely associated with digitalization, new technologies and the evolution of leadership styles. As an example, in our low-emissions business 50% of our employees have been trained in competencies of this business and the other 50% have been hires with experience in this business
Regarding the outcomes, we think a collective action across traditional boundaries, ways of working, and sectors will be key in phase 2 of this process.
How has being a member of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism benefited you personally and Repsol as an organization?
For Repsol, being a member of the Council gives us the opportunity to participate in a community of business leaders working to build a more inclusive and sustainable society. This community makes it possible to contribute ideas, share specific commitments aligned with the 2030 Agenda and create an action plan to create an economic system that is more inclusive for all of society and more respectful of the planet.
Dialogue is an absolute necessity for any entity seeking excellence. In a time of change like this it is the key to success.
What do you hope the Council will achieve in 2021? Over the next five years?
The Council … must continue to grow to have a very significant representation of the world’s economic projection. In this way, with the commitment of all its members, it will be possible to build a more inclusive and sustainable society.
I hope for a shared space of dialogue to find the best solutions for the issues that we must confront, an alliance to seek the best solution for the shared challenges.