The challenge proposed by IPBN (Ireland Portugal Business Network) to the participants in the third edition of the Sustainability Conference was to talk about the transition to clean energies, the development and creation of energy and communication networks and the path organizations will have to tread to develop solutions that support and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations (UN). These topics were taken as starting points for the presentations and the debate that enlivened the Great Hall of the headquarters of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP).
Lee Hodder, director of Strategy and Sustainability at Galp, was one of the speakers who accepted the challenge proposed by the network of Portuguese and Irish entrepreneurs. “The coming decades will be of great transformation in the energy sector and in the market”, Lee stated, by way of framing, to explain how Galp is facing and responding to this challenge. 2021 was a period of strategic alignment and redefinition of purpose. “Galps strategy refresh in 2021 and fits future ambitions were built on a belief in an accelerated energy transition and the need for low carbon focus”, was explained by the official, who reinforced that the energy system is changing and the starting point for the change is based on four strategic pillars: growth in the upstream segment; downstream transformation by taking greater advantage of asset value; growth in renewable energy through the expansion of the current portfolio; and commitment to new energies through the development of future options and from value points in the current portfolio and skills.
However, “the goal is ambitious and it will not be achieved without involvement of the teams”, Lee Hodder advocated. Part of the renovation at Galp, he explained, starts from within and with a new leadership, a new people strategy, and the strengthening of the organisation in areas of growth. “We have to deepen our understanding of how we are going to achieve these goals and our team is already working on concrete steps to do so, namely on how we can build and grow sustainable low carbon businesses for our customers”, Lee exemplified.
Collaboration is the key to a faster transition
The increase in natural disasters and global warming continues to be the most visible face and the great motivation for an inevitable energy transition. But, as Lee Hodder holds, “sustainability is much more than just CO2 and the environment”. In his opinion, it is about making business decisions, but also social ones, with an impact on markets, society and the world in general. And to achieve that, you have to work together. “Collaboration will be the key”, Lee reinforced.
Galp’s project in Sines is an example of this. “It is the perfect location for collaboration to happen”, Lee Hodder believes. Whether for the distribution of H2 or for its production, for the installation of data centers or for the generation of clean energy, Lee believes that Sines has the ideal geographical location, with a deep water port that gives access to the entire world and communications networks that link Portugal to Latin America. “We have all the ingredients for the Sines to become a world class industry hub”, Lee says. However, Lee reinforced that Galp is also responsible for contributing to this collaboration and for working together with the Government and other companies to discover how to take better advantage of these features.