Our Approach to Sustainability

​​​​​​As a core value, working sustainably is embedded throughout every level of our company.

Our approach to sustainability is underpinned by our sustainability principles. These principles commit us to operating with transparency and integrity, fostering our organisation and culture, building a resilient business, operating responsibly and creating shared value through relationships with our stakeholders.

Our principles are integral to our company's drive to become a global leader in upstream oil and gas which underpins our company mission, vision and values. At Woodside, sustainability encompasses not just the environmental footprint we leave on the air, water and land but also our long-term engagement with communities.

View our detailed response on our approach to sustainability​ in the Sustainable Development Report 2016. ​​​​​

Our Principles

Operating with transparency and integrity
We are open, honest and fair and we have the courage to do what’s right, balancing short- and long-term interests. This section focuses on our values-led approach in the areas of regulatory compliance, code of conduct anti-bribery and corruption, payment transparency and human rights. Learn more

Organisation and culture
We focus on having a values-led, high-performance culture. We develop our people so we can meet our own leadership and technical requirements. All employees are assessed against the company values in their performance reviews. This section focuses on how we are growing outstanding leadership, building diverse capability from within and driving an inclusive high-performing culture enabled by technology.

Building a resilient business
We acknowledge economic risks and uncertainties in a changing world. We are committed to supporting a sustainable energy future. This section focuses on the future we see for oil and gas and on our ability to build a resilient business capable of responding to challenges and creating new opportunities.
Operating responsibly
We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our operations are safe. Effective risk management is essential to ensuring that we are best positioned to prevent and respond to any incidents that have the ability to impact our people, our communities and our environment. This section focuses on the personal health and safety of our employees, the integrity of our facilities, our ability to respond appropriately to unplanned events, our community engagements and our environmental performance. An overview of stakeholder engagement is also included.

Creating shared value
We understand that our social licence to operate relies on establishing and maintaining meaningful and long-lasting relationships with our stakeholders. We believe that there is shared value for our business and our communities in the co-creation of opportunities in education, employment and enterprise as well as supporting communities to be resilient maximise the value of these opportunities. This section focuses on our economic and social contribution, commitment to indigenous relationships and opportunities and a summary of our supply-chain performance.

Identifying and Managing Risk

By understanding and managing our risks, we provide greater protection to our people, communities and environment. We recognise that effective management of risk is vital to a sustainable future.

Woodside’s Board Audit & Risk Committee oversees our Risk Management Policy and is responsible for satisfying itself that management has developed and implemented a sound system of risk management and internal control. During 2016, the Audit & Risk committee reassured the company’s risk management framework.

Our most significant risks, and how they are being managed, are continually reviewed and summarised in a corporate risk profile. Stakeholder feedback and the risks and responsibilities outlined in our management framework are the two primary sources of information considered when determining our material issues.


Our approach to sustainability is incorporated in our policies, standards and Code of Conduct.  We are committed to a high level of corporate governance and fostering a culture that values ethical behaviour, integrity and respect.  We believe that adopting and operating in accordance with high standards of corporate governance is essential for sustainable long-term performance and value creation.

Woodside Management System

The Woodside Management System (WMS) provides a structured governance framework with defined accountabilities and performance requirements.  It describes our Woodside way of working, enabling us to undertake activities across our value chain that are consistent with our internal standards.

In 2016, Woodside launched the revised WMS following an extensive streamlining activity of all documentation across the business. The WMS is now company-wide and its content is grouped by key business activities to ensure the system remains independent of organisational structure, globally applicable and is scalable where required.

Board and Committees

The business and affairs of Woodside are managed by or under the direction of the Board.  The central role of the Board is to set Woodside's strategic direction, to select and appoint a CEO and to oversee Woodside's management and business activities.  The Board Charter sets out additional information on the powers and responsibilities of the Board

The Board has established four standing committees to assist in the discharge of its responsibilities.  These are the Audit & Risk Committee, the Human Resources & Compensation Committee, the Nominations Committee and the Sustainability Committee.  Each committee has a charter detailing its role, duties and membership requirements.

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee assists the Board to meet its responsibilities in relation to the company’s sustainability policies and practices.  The Sustainability Committee, as at 31 December 2016, was comprised of independent, non-executive directors.