We recognize the importance of biodiversity conservation and support it through our values, performance, communication and engagement.
Biological diversity, or biodiversity, refers to the variety of life on Earth. As defined by the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on Biological Diversity, it includes diversity of ecosystems, species and genes and the ecological processes that support them. Natural diversity in ecosystems provides essential economic benefits and services to human society – such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicines – as well as ecological, recreational, cultural and aesthetic values and thus plays an important role in sustainable development. Maintaining global biodiversity has emerged as a prominent and widespread public issue.
Protecting the safety and health of people and the environment is a Chevron core value. Therefore, we:
- strive to design our facilities and conduct our operations to avoid adverse impacts to human health and to operate in an environmentally sound, reliable and efficient manner.
- conduct our operations responsibly in all areas, which includes environments with sensitive biological characteristics.
We strive to avoid and reduce significant impacts our projects and operations may have on sensitive species, habitats and ecosystems. This means that we:
- integrate biodiversity into our business decision-making and management through our Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS).
- drive and assess our performance relating to biodiversity through key OEMS expectations and processes, including Environmental Stewardship; Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment; Risk Management; and Health, Environment and Safety Property Transfer.
- understand that humans and the natural environment interact with each other in various ways. We consider those interrelationships and the functions that ecosystems perform in supporting sustainable economic development.
- recognize that our activities could affect sensitive and valuable biodiversity inside and outside legally designated protected areas. Therefore, we:
- decide whether and how to operate in a protected or sensitive area, based on consideration of the specific circumstances of the area and operation involved.
- operate in such areas with government legal authorization when required and where we are confident we can comply with all regulatory requirements and use operating practices appropriately protective of the area.
- use our OEMS processes to avoid or reduce potential risks of our operations to sensitive biological resources and seek ways to make positive contributions to biodiversity conservation in the area.
communication and engagement
We undertake activities to raise internal and external awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity and ways the company is addressing it. These include:
- communicating about our biodiversity-related activities to employees and outside audiences, for example, through our Corporate Sustainability Report.
- engaging with government, local communities and others to understand and work to address significant biodiversity issues in areas where we operate.
- participating in industry associations and other forums to share and promote best practices for biodiversity conservation.
- seeking to understand and, where appropriate, participating in development of external policy-making activities that affect our operations, such as those adopted under the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity and national, regional and local biodiversity policies and plans.
- working with a variety of external organizations to make positive contributions to biodiversity conservation globally and in areas where we operate.
protecting marine life in the caspian sea
Ghost nets are lost, abandoned or discarded fishing nets that can be deadly to marine life. Our Tengizchevroil (TCO) joint venture identified removal of floating ghost net debris from the Caspian Sea as a key initiative in its biodiversity action plan. The 2017 debris removal pilot achieved impressive results, and due to its success, TCO collaborated with the government of Kazakhstan and two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to expand the program. As a result of these partnerships, 2,856 kilograms in nets and 6,496 kg in debris were collected in less than three weeks, in 2019. Debris identified as suitable was recycled by incorporating it into cement and asphalt mixtures for road and pavement repair. Debris not suitable for recycling was disposed of by a licensed third-party waste contractor. TCO will continue working to increase awareness of the harm that ghost nets can do and encourage operators in the Caspian Sea to develop their own programs to protect marine life.
turtle hatchlings protected on their beach-to-ocean journey on Thevenard Island
achieving operational goals while protecting the environment
Approximately 30,000 turtle hatchlings emerge from their Thevenard Island (TVI) nests during Australia’s summer months, December through March, and traverse the beach to the ocean. The 2018 migration coincided with the TVI Onshore Plug and Abandonment Project, which involved decommissioning 15 onshore wells after the TVI oil fields and production facility reached the end of their economic life.
Three species of sea turtle inhabit the waters surrounding TVI, and all of them are sensitive to light. Several Australasian business unit (ABU) teams working together identified that the 24-hour well decommissioning cycle could pose a risk to the turtle behavior, as the lights associated with the rig could distract hatchlings from their seaward journey. The project worked to develop a strategy to accommodate the project execution and the protection of the turtles.
To protect the turtles while adhering to the administrative schedule, the ABU partnered with the regulators and fauna handlers to implement risk mitigation strategies. Turtle fences were installed around well pads, regular lighting assessments to assess the efficacy of lighting controls were conducted, hatchling movements were monitored and temporary rig shutdowns occurred during high-risk periods to protect the turtles.
This quick response to the needs of the environment reduced risks to both the project and the turtles.
Chevron's management of the oil field on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of Australia, is recognized as an industry benchmark for the coexistence of petroleum development and biodiversity protection. Since operations began in 1964, Chevron has implemented measures designed to prevent the introduction of invasive mammal species and the spread of weeds on this Class A nature reserve.
Chevron supports the Lekki Conservation Center in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of our effort to preserve nature wherever we operate. Located across the street from Chevron’s Lagos offices, this urban nature preserve is the only one of its kind on the Lekki Peninsula. Its 193 acres (78 hectares) of swampland and savannah are home to monkeys, reptiles and birds.
preserving nature in lagos
Our support for the Lekki Conservation Center has encouraged local education and research on biodiversity.
Wild Files is an infographic story series that spans the world to cover interesting examples of how we deliver on our commitment to environmental stewardship.