Petronas committed to foster sustainability in workplace

The need to adapt and embrace the new normal is now imperative to remain at the forefront among other players in the energy industry

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic courtesy of Petronas

NOW more than ever, sustainability in the workplace has become an integral part of doing business and is no longer simply an option for many companies around the globe.

Stakeholders are assessing companies based on not only their deliverables and offerings but also on their impact on the community and the environment.

Businesses are becoming more aware of the many benefits of adopting green office practices including reduced costs, improved productivity, better employee wellbeing and enhanced brand reputation.

Similarly, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is continuously improving its sustainability efforts in the workplace, focusing on managing the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit to achieve its long term goals.

As a progressive energy and solutions partner, the Group noted that the need to adapt and embrace the new normal is now imperative to remain at the forefront among other players in the energy industry.

The Group will continue to introduce new ways of working since its digital journey foray began in 2017, ultimately becoming a data-driven organisation to deliver new value and sustainable solutions for the energy industry.

In moving forward, Petronas acknowledged that to fully optimise the implications of digital transformation requires a capable workforce.

On that note, the group is looking to continuously invest in upskilling and reskilling staff to ensure they can better sustain digital efforts, as well as to be responsive to evolution in digital and technology.

These ongoing efforts driving internal transformation will continue to steer Petronas forward to becoming a progressive energy and solutions partner, aligned with its four sustainability lenses.

The upskilling and transitioning of talent into new energy also enable Petronas to be on track with its Net Zero Carbon Emissions aspiration by 2050. This clearly indicates that investing in talent is key to transforming a business and Petronas is a firm believer in that.

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Sustainability is a term Petronas is familiar with, as the group has been on a sustainability journey for over 20 years by integrating feasible practices into its business strategies and decision-making.

Over the years, this practice has led Petronas to develop the right mindset, working environment and develop talents who understand and are equipped to drive a sustainability journey for the company.

For Petronas, sustainability is also defined as providing a workspace that is inclusive, safe and fair for all its employees.

The Group highlighted that respecting human rights is a key pillar of sustainability and is closely reflected in its workplace, which is exhibited through training and policy implementation that embraces diversity and inclusion.

The goal is to provide a fair space for all to grow and advance in their career while various policies have been implemented like flexible working arrangements, newly designed workplace, unpaid study leave, extended maternity leave, returnee programmes (upon resignation) and improved medical benefits.

This has named Petronas as one of the most attractive employers in Malaysia for three years in a row by a recruitment agency, Randstad Employer Brand Research.

Additionally, providing a conducive workplace has also seen a rise in capable female talents across all working levels in the organisation, and this can be only achieved with the right mix of a conducive workplace, alongside opportunities to drive the engine of growth.

As such, this has enabled the group to transform, nurture and shape its talents who are key to driving future growth for the business.

Investing in the Right Talent for Sustainable Growth

Talent management continues to be an important factor in achieving Petronas’ sustainability goals, especially in the age of digitalisation and automation, as well as energy transition.

The Group is continuously investing in talent development to create a pool of highly knowledgeable and skilled workforce to support its growth and drive Malaysia’s energy industry forward.

The establishment of various educational institutions under Petronas has successfully developed a range of world-class academic and training centres to train the next generation of specialised talents.

Supporting Petronas towards its goal is Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP), a state-of-the-art technical training institute established in 1981.

INSTEP’s goal is to accelerate human capital development in the oil and gas (O&G) industry through experiential learning and delivering customised niche programmes.

The establishment of INSTEP has helped Petronas to recognise that talent development is key towards an organisation’s sustainability and future.

Since then, it has established other institutions namely Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Akademi Laut Malaysia (ALAM) to collectively train and develop the next generation of talents, who will be crucial for the growth of the energy industry.

These institutions continue to be instrumental in accelerating the development of human capital for the industry, equipping them with the right expertise to address emerging global challenges.

The group has also aggressively expanded its network of academic collaborations in the pursuit of pushing an all-round technological advance to support the delivery of energy solutions sustainably and responsibly.

This collaboration currently involves over 15 local universities and 10 foreign tertiary institutions, leveraging each institution’s expertise to develop technological solutions centred on driving positive social and environmental considerations.

Part of the collaboration involves the setting up of three new technology and research centres in Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

They are the Petronas Technology Centre at UTP; Petronas Centre for Engineering of Multiphase Systems (PETCEMS) at Imperial College London; and Petronas Centre of Excellence in Subsurface Engineering and Energy Transition (PACESET) at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering of Heriot-Watt University (HWU).

These centres demonstrate a shared ambition to push for greater technological advances in low-carbon and cleaner energy solutions to address energy transition responsibly.

These collaborations are in line with Petronas’ Technology Agenda to innovate technological solutions that will bring about positive impacts to its business and the societies at large.

Putting Sustainability at The Heart of Business Strategies

Ranked among the largest corporations on Fortune Global 500, Petronas believes that people constitute the strength for its business growth.

This allows sustainability to continue to be the core of everything that Petronas undertakes, despite the Covid-19 pandemic having severely destabilised markets across the globe.

Petronas was able to shift its business dynamics swiftly to adapt to the changing environment and this is attributed to its dynamic and agile workforce.

While the effects of the pandemic are difficult to estimate, Petronas will continue to embark on more innovative solutions while diversifying its portfolio.

This will all be centred around evolving into a more customer-centric workforce, committed to the pursuit of its growth strategies.

This continuous effort has proven successful as Petronas remains resilient to weather through this unprecedented period, which continues to impact the world since 2020.

It is the collective ability of the organisation and its people to adapt to changes and processes that will drive resilience and sustainability.

With the O&G industry being jolted by Covid-19 and the consequential slowing down of energy demand, Petronas had to plan for its survival and business continuity, and this includes investing heavily in its people.

Thus, the type of skills that Petronas needs to pivot to this new way of doing things will be very different.

Matching the right talent to the right opportunities in meeting the business needs will be central to Petronas’ sustainable growth, while the Group must also rethink the way it develops, identifies, acquires, and retains its talents for both core and growth engines.

This includes rethinking how to manage talent (empower), reskilling talents for Petronas’ future growth (agile) and the ecosystem where the group inculcates innovation (enable).

Through these efforts, Petronas is on track to adjust to the new way of working, while deploying new methods to continue empowering and training talents in delivering excellence in a highly volatile business environment.