The accuracy of the information reflected in our report is very important to us. We use a triennial process for third-party limited assurance for selected metrics, including energy use, flaring, water use, and safety. We conduct annual external assurance for our Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 GHG emissions. Internal quality assurance is conducted annually.
In 2017, we conducted required and voluntary independent verification work of 2016 data in three areas:
- Reasonable and limited assurance in countries having a regulatory requirement to verify reported emissions, including the U.K., Australia, Canada and Norway.
- Voluntary limited assurance review of select corporate-level metrics, including reported overall Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 greenhouse gas volumes.
- Voluntary third-party review of asset-level methods used to report HSE data to the company’s corporate HSE metrics database.
Our internal quality assurance process begins at the business unit level. This process includes:
- Ensuring that business units understand the corporate reporting obligations associated with safety, health and environmental metrics.
- Establishing standardized methods of data collection and expected reporting procedures.
- Verifying that the data provided by business units is accurate and complete.
- Reviewing and questioning the results.
- Assessing results to identify trends and better understand the drivers of year-over-year changes.
There are three phases of data verification at this level — during submission, review and approval. Before the data is sent from the business unit to the corporate level, it undergoes vetting by technical peers and leaders, who challenge any findings that they find questionable. When the final business unit data is submitted to the corporate level, it contains an explanation for all variances greater than 10% from the prior year. Reasons for significant variances may include startups or dispositions. At the corporate level, data submitted for each asset is further reviewed and challenged by a team of subject matter experts utilizing a data quality checklist.
Once all business unit data is compiled at our corporate level, it undergoes further verification by subject matter experts. During this effort, an intensity analysis is conducted to measure total volumes and production throughput and year-over-year data changes to help identify any inconsistencies. The data is also compared to similar operations during this process. The information is then analyzed in aggregate by metric to understand the significant drivers behind any year-over-year change in company values. After this process, the data is presented to company leaders, who have an opportunity to review and challenge the information, possibly spurring additional verification. Final data undergoes executive-level approval prior to publishing.