Sustainability Reporting Standards | Hess Corporation
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Approach to Reporting

In our 2018 Sustainability Report, we provide descriptions of Hess’ 2018 strategy and performance regarding material economic, environmental and social issues. Our annual report, Form 10-K filing and proxy statement detail our financial and governance information and can be found at


Reporting Standards

Our sustainability report was prepared in accordance with the Core option of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. Our reporting is also informed by: 

  • the Oil and Gas Industry Guidance on Voluntary Sustainability Reporting document jointly developed by IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry organization for environmental and social issues), the American Petroleum Institute and the International Oil and Gas Producers Association;
  • the United Nations (UN) Global Compact’s Ten Principles;
  • key environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and scorecards;
  • recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure; and
  • oil and gas industry metrics from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).


A GRI Content Index, cross-referenced with IPIECA indicators, SASB metrics and the UN Global Compact principles, is available at



We determined the content for the report by applying GRI’s reporting principles, including consideration of our operations and performance in the wider context of sustainability issues as well as ensuring stakeholder inclusiveness and completeness of information. Consistent with the GRI Standards’ materiality guidance, we identified and prioritized new and emerging issues important to our stakeholders. Engagement with our stakeholders – which include employees, suppliers, customers, communities, shareholders, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, industry peers and academics – enables us to strengthen our license to operate and brings increased focus to our transparency goals. 


In 2015 we conducted a survey of select industry peers and a subset of priority external stakeholder groups to validate and expand upon our prior materiality assessments. We then supplemented the survey results with desktop research on a larger group of peers and stakeholders by reviewing public reports and websites documenting key issues for our industry, including key topics and disclosures from GRI’s Oil and Gas Sector Supplement. This process allowed us to validate that stakeholder expectations are being addressed. 


We reassess and validate our list of key material issues each year based on issues raised through our enterprise risk management process, those receiving attention from Hess’ and our peers’ shareholders in sustainability surveys, and those identified through ongoing benchmarking efforts that assess stakeholders’ issues of concern. In 2018, as we have for the past several years, we conducted research on key concerns raised by shareholders and other stakeholders by reviewing shareholder resolutions, ESG investor ratings and reports, sustainability reporting and disclosure frameworks, regulatory activity, relevant nongovernmental organization and academic studies, and other sources, as part of our ongoing process for validating our material issues and defining report content. 


The material issues identified through this process, which have informed our environment, health, safety and social responsibility (EHS & SR) strategy and helped to define the boundaries of the report, are presented on the Reporting Boundaries page.


While we validate these issues on an annual basis, we are planning to undertake an updated materiality assessment in the 2019–2020 timeframe as a first step in refreshing our EHS & SR strategy.


Boundary Setting

Included within the scope of our report are the principal facilities and assets operated by Hess Corporation and our subsidiaries during calendar year 2018, unless otherwise indicated. Data presented are gross figures from operated facilities, unless specified otherwise. 


The report includes partial-year data for the following assets that were divested in 2018:

  • Utica shale operations in Ohio. Period of data included: January−August 2018.
  • Ghana development. Period of data included: January−May 2018.


We report GHG emissions on both an operated and equity-share basis in accordance with the GRI G4 Oil and Gas Sector Supplement and the IPIECA Petroleum Industry Guidelines for Reporting GHG Emissions (3rd edition, 2015). We report social investments for our operated assets, joint ventures and nonoperated facilities in which we hold a significant interest. We include in our workforce metrics contractors whose hours we track. 


The table on the Reporting Boundaries page provides a cross-reference with the relevant GRI categories for each issue and identifies the boundary for each issue


We believe our approach to restating data complies with the GRI Standards’ principle of comparability and specific disclosure regarding restatements of information, as well as IPIECA guidance. For GHG emissions, in cases of acquisitions and divestitures and other source ownership and control changes, we adjust our base year emissions if the change exceeds 10 percent of the original base year emissions total. The exact timing of the adjustment depends on several factors, as described in the Hess GHG Inventory Protocol. We also review and adjust targets included as part of our annual incentive plan formula to account for divestitures as needed. In 2017 and 2018, this included restating our targets and associated annual metrics for severe safety and environmental incident rates to account for the Permian, Equatorial Guinea and Utica divestitures.


Hess divested several operated assets in 2017 and 2018, including our interests in Equatorial Guinea and enhanced oil recovery assets in the Permian Basin in West Texas, as well as those in the Utica shale. After completing a review of our emissions baseline and 2020 targets per the Hess GHG Inventory Protocol, we have determined that the divestitures will not necessitate a change to our 2020 flaring and GHG intensity reduction targets, which were established in 2014 with an emissions baseline that included these now-divested assets. We have however, restated our 2014 baseline in accordance with the Hess GHG Inventory Protocol. Our methane emissions reduction target, which relates to U.S. assets, was not impacted by these divestitures. 


Also as required by our GHG Protocol, we adjust our reported emissions data if changes in quantification methodologies result in a 5 percent or more change in the Hess GHG inventory base year emissions total. Based on the methodology established by IPIECA in 2016 (in Estimating Petroleum Industry Value Chain (Scope 3) Greenhouse Gas Emissions), we are restating our Scope 3 emissions for 2014–2018. IPIECA’s guidance, which is currently the industry standard, is based on the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development Scope 3 guidance. Further detail on this methodology and our associated emission estimates can be found in the Climate Change and Energy section of our 2018 Sustainability Report. Our restated Scope 3 emissions for 2014–2018 can be found in the Performance Data table in our 2018 Sustainability Report.


Internal Quality Assurance

Our internal information systems promote the centralized collection of data from Hess-operated and joint venture assets around the world. In order to evaluate accuracy and reliability, we conduct quality assurance/quality control reviews and validation of both aggregated and facility-level data. Individual numbers in the charts, tables and text may not precisely sum to the total amounts shown due to rounding. All currency found in the report is in U.S. dollars.


External Assurance

Our 2018 Sustainability Report, including our sustainability data and self-declared GRI “in accordance” status, was assured by ERM Certification and Verification Services. This external review helps to ensure consistent and objective data collection and reporting of our sustainability performance. The Independent Assurance Statement is provided on page 62 of our 2018 report.


In addition to providing assurance in relation to our sustainability report, ERM CVS also conducts a separate verification of the GHG emissions data provided in the report and in our CDP Climate Change response.