Seplat at 10, pledges to drive sustainable business practices
… says it will invest in renewable energy sector
Seplat Production Development Company has marked its tenth anniversary pledging that economic sustainability and governance will guide its actions, elevating it to a board function within the company.
In its inaugural summit on business sustainability and strategic leadership in Africa, held on Thursday by video conference, the indigenous oil company marked 10 years of pioneering participation of oil exploration by Nigerian firms and formally presented its new CEO, Roger Brown, the former Chief Financial Officer, who takes over from Austin Avuru, retiring from the company.
“It is time for Seplat to audaciously participate and contribute our voice towards climate change narrative, towards ESG initiatives in the business world,” said Ambrose Orjiako, chairman of Seplat.
Orjiako said that Seplat will continue to be a trail blazer “and as the business environment changes, we are also a strongly innovative company, our growing gas business will be a first step towards making sure that our operations are aligned with climate change narrative, the ESG initiatives in business environment and it will indeed be our main contribution towards the carbon neutral operations in the energy value chain.”
Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) are standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature, social criteria examines how ti manages relationship with employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates and governance deals with leadership, executive pay, audts, internal controls and shareholder rights.
As oil and gas companies come under intense scrutiny over their roles in climate change and environmental pollution, there is a new consciousness that old ways will no longer suffice. The fact that Tesla and renewable energy companies are now atttracting more investments and are becoming more profitable than oil companies is shifting the balance of power to cleaner energy sources.
Austin Avuru, the outgoing CEO of the company said the ESG has become so important that it is function to be driven by the company’s board. He also said that the company is open to even investing in the renewable energy sector.
Since Seplat acquired its first blocks and commenced production in 2010, the company has increased oil and gas production and grown reserves in each year of operation and is today widely recognised as a leading Nigerian independent oil and gas operator.
In April 2014, Seplat completed the first ever dual listing on both the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Seplat raised US$535 million in an initial public offering that ranked as the largest for a sub-Saharan Africa company since 2008 and the second largest ever for a Nigerian company, demonstrating the international investor appetite for leading Nigerian indigenous players in the oil and gas sector.
The capital raised allowed Seplat to further implement the Company’s business strategy, including the acquisition of additional blocks bringing the total oil blocks it manages from three to eight.