Protecting people and the environment is one of our company's core values, as detailed in The Chevron Way.
In support of our values, we developed four environmental principles that define our commitment to doing business in environmentally responsible ways:
- Include the environment in decision making. From our everyday actions to major capital investments, we make better decisions when we consider the environment.
- Reduce our environmental footprint. We identify and manage risks to the environment and reduce potential environmental impacts throughout the life of our operations.
- Operate responsibly. We apply our Tenets of Operation, which are based on two key principles: "Do it safely or not at all" and "There is always time to do it right." Our aim is to improve the reliability and safety of everything we do to prevent accidental releases, including spills.
- Steward our sites. When a site has reached the end of its productive live, we work to decommission it, remediate any environmental effects and look for ways to reuse the area that will benefit the community and environment.
Our Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) is our framework for achieving outstanding environmental performance. We use OEMS to systematically manage issues regarding safety, health, the environment, reliability and efficiency.
We have a companywide, disciplined approach to identifying and managing any potential impact our operations may have on the environment, such as through waste, air emissions or water use. Our Environmental Stewardship Corporate Standard Process helps us identify and fund projects to improve our environmental performance.
We apply our Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) process to all capital projects within the company’s operational control. The ESHIA process provides a systematic and risk-based approach to identifying, assessing and managing potentially significant impacts. The assessments can include potential impacts of our activities on surrounding communities, natural resources, air quality, land and water, or community health and livelihoods. Obtaining input from communities and partners is central to the ESHIA process and occurs throughout a project’s life cycle. Our application of the ESHIA process is wide ranging: It informs facility siting, infrastructure and technology selection. The ESHIA process has also helped our project development teams strengthen the protection of local ecosystems, improve protection of endangered species and enhance our community investments. Since 2007, we have used our ESHIA process in the planning and implementation of nearly 900 capital projects worldwide.
Our measures to protect the environment are based on our awareness of the value of the complexity of the natural world. We recognize the importance of conserving biological diversity—the rich variety of life on Earth: its ecosystems and species, and the ecological processes that support them. Chevron’s Biodiversity Statement expresses our commitment to incorporating biodiversity considerations into capital project evaluations and decision making as part of our ESHIA process. Our Operational Excellence Management System includes internal processes and tools, such as our ESHIA process, for managing potential environmental impacts of all kinds, including impacts on biodiversity. Our operations personnel inventory their interactions with the environment, including those that may affect biodiversity, and develop plans for managing them. Through the ESHIA process, we conduct a baseline assessment of existing environmental conditions, such as the presence of sensitive habitats or fishing grounds, to inform our understanding of potential impacts. The assessment results are incorporated into project planning to help us avoid potentially significant impacts and protect sensitive habitats.
In addition, our business units and operating companies incorporate biodiversity protection into their operations through implementation of our corporate environmental stewardship process. Our Health, Environment and Safety staffs work to protect habitats near our operations and share their best practices through the Chevron Biodiversity Network.
Protecting and Conserving Water Resources
Chevron recognizes that water, and particularly fresh water, is a critical resource for business, our communities and the environment. Our Global position statement on fresh water, underscores the significance of this critical resource. In 2010, we launched a corporate initiative to improve our freshwater risk management and reporting practices, which included publishing our commitment to responsible management of freshwater resources. The initiative focuses on improving our corporate, regional and local water risk identification and management through the use of water mapping tools. Also in 2010, we established a corporate water metric, which collects data on fresh water. These data show that we have continually improved our measurement accuracy and data quality control.
In 2013, Chevron expanded its freshwater initiative to incorporate non-fresh sources and beneficial reuse of wastewater streams. This initiative continues to focus on water risk assessment and management through the life cycle of our assets. Our global practices in natural gas from shale operations recognize the importance of managing water use and protecting water resources. In the northeastern United States, we are working to recycle 100 percent of our produced water. By doing so, we are able to offset nearly 50 percent of our freshwater use. We also recognize that the best way to protect water resources is to use strong well design and completion standards. Our wells have multiple layers of steel casing and cement, forming a barrier between hydrocarbons and groundwater.
Updated: May 2014