Our Approach

We are here for the long term. We look after each other, our communities and the environment. We keep each other safe.

For us, working sustainably is about doing what’s right, so that we can perform to our very best. It is a core value embedded at every level of our company, across our value chain and wherever we work. It is essential to realising our vision as a global leader in upstream oil and gas.

Our approach to working sustainably supports our corporate strategy; maximising our core, leveraging our capabilities and growing our portfolio.

Managing the material issues identified by our stakeholders informs our decision-making, guides our operations and enables us to maintain our position as a partner of choice.

Our ability to respond to the issues and concerns of the communities where we operate is important.  For us this means doing the right thing by our people, partners and broader society and keeping them safe and healthy.

Equally as important is the need to meet the rising demand for energy.

We know the world is in the early stages of an energy transition. We are committed to developing resources responsibly and being considerate of global sustainability issues including climate change and air quality.

For this reason, we believe natural gas can – and needs to – play a pivotal role in the future energy mix.

Innovation and the application of leading-edge science and technology are important differentiators for any company here for the long term. Our ability to innovate has ensured our position as a leader in the Australian oil and gas industry for more than 60 years. From deepwater drilling to production in remote and challenging environments, we integrate world-class environmental management into our exploration, development and operational activities.

To be here for the long term we must be part of a sustainable energy future.

Sustainability priorities

Our highest sustainability priorities are identified and categorised into four distinct aspects.


We report against these priorities, including our approach, actions and performance in our Sustainable Development Report. We report annually in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA).


Our approach is incorporated in our policies, standards and Code of Conduct.

Our community relations framework enables our people to have a shared understanding of the purpose, value and management approach to community relations practice across the business. It guides our approach to communities as we seek to understand local community issues, aspirations and expectations through three key areas:

  • Stakeholder engagement – creating stakeholder relationships outside issues-based interactions to support long-term trust;

  • Social impact management – providing a consistent and strategic approach to understanding and mitigating negative social impacts and creating positive social impacts; and

  • Social contribution – comprising contributions mandated by law or an agreement and voluntary contributions (philanthropy, partnerships and collaborations). With an emphasis on contributing to the meaningful, long-term socio-economic development and capacity building of local communities.

Our taxation policy and governance framework, together with ongoing engagement with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and other revenue authorities, demonstrates our commitment to transparency and compliance with the law. Read about our Australian tax contribution for the 2014-15 income year in The ATO’s Tax Transparency Report for the 2014-15 Income Year – Additional Information​​.

The Woodside Management System provides a structured governance framework with defined accountabilities and performance requirements for Woodside managers, employees and contractors. Woodside's sustainability performance is linked to remuneration for employees and executives. Read more on remuneration in our 2015 Annual Report 52 to 70​.

Governance structure

Woodside's Board of Directors has oversight of the company's management and business activities. The Sustainability Committee assists the Board to meet its responsibilities in relation to the company's sustainability policies and practices. The committee is comprised of five independent, non-executive directors.

Identifying and managing risk

By understanding and managing our risks, we provide greater protection to our people, communities and environment. We recognise that risk is inherent to our business and that effective management of risk is vital to our sustainable future. Woodside's Board Audit and 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 2014, the Audit and Risk Committee reviewed the company's risk management framework and confirmed that the framework was sound.

Our most significant risks, and how they are being managed, are continually reviewed and summarised in a corporate risk profile. It is the primary source of information when determining our material issues from a company perspective.

Read more on risk management in Woodside's 2014 Annual Report.