Accountability and Governance

All ConocoPhillips business units are responsible for sustainability integration into day-to-day operations

Each of our various businesses is responsible for integrating sustainability issues into day-to-day operations, project development and decision-making, and are held accountable through an annual performance management process. Members of senior management have final responsibility for:    

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

Our reputation and integrity depend on each employee, officer, director and those working on our behalf assuming a personal responsibility for our business conduct. Led by our Chief Compliance Officer, our Global Compliance and Ethics team was established to ensure adherence with applicable laws and the highest ethical standards, promote a positive corporate reputation, prevent criminal and civil liability, and set the tone for an ethical work environment. The team includes local ambassadors embedded in business units and functions who help support and administer our global compliance program.

Code of Business Ethics and Conduct

Our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct explains our standards as well as our legal and ethical responsibilities and provides concrete guidance for expected behaviors. It covers a range of topics including business ethics, anti-trust, anti-corruption, gifts and entertainment and political involvement.


New employees receive training on the Code of Business Ethics and Conduct and all employees receive Web-based training periodically. All employees are also required to read the code annually and confirm compliance. Employees who are most exposed to corruption and other legal risks take part in web-based training and other targeted training. In addition to corruption training, we also teach employees how to deal with political activities, antitrust, economic sanctions, export control legal risk topics to name a few.

Systems and practices for reporting violations

We encourage employees and contractors to ask questions and seek guidance about ethical concerns and to understand their responsibility to report actual or suspected misconduct. We have several confidential reporting mechanisms including speaking to a trusted manager, supervisor, human resource representative or a Global Compliance and Ethics representative. Additionally, there is an anonymous option. Any stakeholder, whether employee, contractor, shareholder or the general public may report an actual or suspected violation anonymously through our 24-hour Ethics Helpline. The Ethics Helpline is hosted by a third party to ensure anonymity and available worldwide via the web or phone in multiple languages. ConocoPhillips prohibits retaliation of any kind against employees for raising an ethical or legal concern.


Sustainable Development Governance includes direction and oversight from the Public Policy Committee of the Board of Directors and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Please edit WebPart and add an image, then drop a dot on it to begin.
Click here to open Interactive Map popup.
Edit this text link or insert an image as icon

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, currently comprised of 4 independent directors, convenes at least quarterly and is regularly updated on sustainable development issues.

ELT Champions – 4 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 key global 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 communicates regularly and holds a standing monthly meeting to review performance and share learnings from incidents and HSE management practices, and provides the conduit for implementation of company-wide initiatives. The team is led by the vice president, HSE. The global head of sustainable development sits on the HSELT.
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. About 80 full and part-time subject matter experts and over 800 additional employees and leaders are engaged through the networks. Additionally, the SD Networks of Excellence and issue discussion forums are available to all employees.

Performance and Compensation

Executive Compensation - 3 of the 4 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 – Incentivized performance indicators vary among different corporate, business and functional units, and include, but are not limited to: 

Health, Safety and Environmental Performance – We set very high operations excellence standards for protecting and respecting people and the environment. Therefore, 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 this function.

Non-Employee Monetary Rewards – We are leading a joint industry project to sponsor the US $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 displays the best combination of good science, economic realism and political acceptability.