E&SD WorkshopMembers of senior management have final responsibility for:    

  • Developing corporate strategy
  • Developing and reporting company performance
  • Implementing sustainability efforts


We have clear and effective governance structures in place throughout the company that are supported by standards, polices and guidelines. They are the foundation for how we operate. Our corporate governance structure includes the board of directors, four board committees, and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). We have ELT champions for key issues in sustainability: overall implementation, stakeholder engagement, human rights, climate change, water and biodiversity. Strategic planning, goalsetting, implementation performance, and reporting are reviewed by the Sustainable Development Leadership Team (SDLT), Health, Safety and Environment Leadership Team (HSELT), and stakeholder engagement leaders comprised of senior functional and operational leaders from across the business. There is an environmental and sustainable development steering committee of internal experts that advises the HSELT on key issues in more detail and depth.

Sustainability Governance Model

Click on each section of the graphic below for more information.

The Public Policy Committee of the Board of Directors oversees our positions on public policy issues, including climate change, and on matters that may impact the company’s reputation as a responsible corporate citizen, including sustainable development performance and reporting. 

The committee makes recommendations to the board and monitors compliance with the company’s programs and practices regarding health, safety and environmental protection, including climate change, water and biodiversity management; business operations in sensitive countries; government relations and political contributions; human rights and social issues; corporate philanthropy; and corporate advertising. It also approves the budget for political and charitable contributions, and monitors compliance with these plans. 

 The committee, comprised of independent directors, convenes at least quarterly and is comprehensively updated on sustainable development performance at least annually.

ELT Champions — Four executive leadership team members serve as champions for key aspects of our approach to sustainability. They provide direction, advice, oversight and leadership for our progress.  

SD Leadership Teams — The SD Leadership Team (SDLT) involves top global business and functional leaders who provide consultation and approval for the sustainable development focus areas, goals, priorities, action plans and results. The global HSE vice-president sits on the SDLT.

HSE Leadership Teams — The HSE Leadership Team (HSELT) is comprised of business and functional HSE managers across the company. The team holds a standing monthly meeting to review performance and share learnings, and leads implementation of company-wide initiatives. The global head of sustainable development sits on the HSELT. There is an environment and sustainable development steering committee to advise the HSELT on key environmental issues and technology.

Sustainable Development Team — Within corporate planning, which includes long-range planning and strategy, the company’s Sustainable Development group provides frameworks for implementation of sustainability, expertise in key topics, and regular engagement with the businesses and executive leadership. This comprehensively includes addressing the company’s risks, opportunities, commitments, performance, external engagement and reporting in sustainable development. Within this corporate team, directors are responsible for key topics in sustainability, including:

Our governance and implementation success rely on active engagement by practitioners, subject matter experts and leaders throughout the organization. For alignment and capacity building, we engage within the following structures:

  • Issue Working Groups and discussion forums 
  • Networks of Excellence 
  • Public Policy Issue Working Groups

We understand that alignment between our sustainable development positions and public policy advocacy positions is important for many issues. SD and Public Policy leaders participate in cross-cutting Issue Working Groups to ensure alignment. Additionally, the SD Networks of Excellence and issue discussion forums are available to all employees.

Performance and Compensation

Executive Compensation — Three of the four components of executive compensation are performance based: The Variable Cash Incentive Program (VCIP), the Stock Option Program and the Performance Share Program (PSP). Awards under these programs are determined by company performance measured against several criteria, including the development and implementation of strategic plans to enhance our operating and financial position. The strategic planning process includes consideration of climate change and sustainable development risks and opportunities. 

Employee Compensation — All employee compensation includes an annual cash bonus based upon company, business and individual performance. We incorporate metrics of health, safety and environmental performance in our annual incentive compensation program. 

Employee Non-Monetary Rewards — The ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Performance award is given to employees who have delivered outstanding work to advance our SPIRIT Values (Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation, Teamwork). Since its inception, many teams have been awarded SPIRIT of Performance awards for achievements related to sustainable development, indicating progress on employee knowledge of sustainability and executive leadership’s appreciation for the importance of environmental, social and economic performance in all aspects of the business.

Non-Employee Monetary Rewards — We are leading a joint industry project to sponsor the $20 million Carbon XPRIZE, which challenges innovators across the world to find novel technologies that reuse CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion into valuable products. If a way to recycle these emissions into valuable products is found, emissions can be significantly reduced from oil sands operations and other types of operations.

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment is an initiative by the University of St Andrews in Scotland and ConocoPhillips. The prize recognizes significant contributions to environmental conservation, and since its launch in 1998, has attracted entries from more than 50 countries each year on diverse topics, including:  

  • Sustainable light sources
  • Local biodiversity conservation
  • Renewable energy Chimpanzee conservation
  • Fishing net recycling 

Submissions for the annual prize are assessed by a panel of eminent trustees representing science, industry and government with the award going to the project the trustees consider to display the best combination of good science, economic realism and political acceptability.