Energy companies are exploiting technological advances to innovate. From inventing new ways of harnessing energy to finding cleaner ways of using existing sources, they are embracing change and challenging the way they do business.
Businesses are, however having to drive this global liberalisation of the market in an increasingly complex operating environment. Geopolitical change, unprecedented natural events, significant change to government legislation and policy are presenting challenges.
With all this comes an increasing exposure to reputational damage as businesses and their projects are put under the spotlight by groups including the media, campaign organisations or activists, customers, suppliers and the general public.
Managing reputation risk and crisis’ is now a significant issue for key players in the market.
Potential threats include, but are not limited to:
- The challenges of doing business in multiple (often developing) jurisdictions, where business practice is not subject to the layers of regulation it is elsewhere;
- Disgruntled individuals turning to social media to vent their anger at energy suppliers;
- Challenges posed by environmental protesters and campaign groups and the associated negative media coverage;
- Heightened regulatory investigation including increasing sensitivity on HSE issues; and
- Technological advancement of systems and increased data flow including the increasing threat of cyber breaches.
The energy sector now, more than ever, has to be alert to reputational damage. Managing threats sits at the heart of this and it is important for businesses to act now to minimise their exposure and the damage done if the worst is to happen.