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Sustainability

Vopak is storing vital products with care. Our work enables people to meet basic needs.

We enable people to cook, heat their homes, go to their jobs and travel the world. We help keep airplanes flying, cars driving and houses maintained. We enable factories to operate and companies to manufacture products that we use in our daily lives. We realize that our long-term success depends on our ability to innovate and respond to changing demands from both the market and society.

Today, the vital products we store are chemicals, oil, gases, biofuels and edible oils; in future, we may well store products like hydrogen and CO2. While the products in our tanks are crucial to people’s daily lives and the economy, they can endanger their health and the environment if stored or handled inappropriately. This comes with a huge responsibility; our role is to ensure safe, clean and efficient storage. Our commitment to care extends to all our stakeholders, including our own people, our customers and the communities in which we operate.

Sustainability Policy

Vopak aims to create value for all our stakeholders, from customers, business partners, employees and investors, to governments, local communities and society at large. In our view, sustainability is about caring for people, planet and profit. It boils down to a simple question: if we continue to do the things that we do today, will we still be a leader tomorrow? Sustainability means keeping our company relevant, healthy and fit for the future. Our choices today must contribute to our long-term relevance in society and the well-being and development of future generations.  

As a service provider, we do not determine what type of products are in use. Yet we strive to be a responsible member of the communities in which we operate, a company that our employees and contractors are proud to work for. This is why we commit to maximizing safety. We work hard to reduce our environmental footprint and minimize any negative impact of our operations on people’s safety, health and wellbeing. We invest in training, talent development and a diverse and inclusive workforce. To contribute to a more sustainable economy,  we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products and facilitate the energy transition. Our Vopak Values serve as our moral compass and we embrace the selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create focus on where we can contribute to society. Our ambition is to be the sustainability leader in our industry and to be as good as the safest and most sustainable of our customers. We allocate an adequate budget to achieve the sustainability ambitions we set ourselves.

Vopak Values

The shared values of everyone working at Vopak are driving our behavior:

  • Care for Safety, Health & Environment - Sustainability is at the core of every decision
  • IntegrityWe can look at ourselves every day in the mirror
  • Team SpiritWe work together, we excel together
  • Commitment - We do what we say, and say what we do
  • Agility - We learn, adjust, improve and change

At all levels of the company, people in leadership positions and management are expected to set the standard, by living the Vopak Values and embracing the Vopak Code of Conduct.

Whistleblower

The Vopak Whistle-blower policy encourages and enables employees and other stakeholders, including contractors, suppliers and neighbors, to raise serious concerns within the company, acting in good faith. This regards in particular irregularities, behavior and other issues which are not in line a breach of the Vopak Values Integrity and Care for SHE, the Vopak Code of Conduct or the Vopak Supplier Code. The position of the Whistleblower who reported a suspected irregularity in accordance with the Whistle blower Rules and who has acted in good faith, shall not be affected in any way as a result of the notification. Employees shall report suspected irregularities and/or other issues to their management and/or to the Trusted Person. Other stakeholders shall report to the Trusted Person. The Trusted Person can be reached at whistleblower@vopak.com.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has set a common priority agenda for sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To contribute to a more sustainable society, we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products while at the same time facilitating the energy transition.  We embrace the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a focus on where we can contribute to society. Our ambition is to be the sustainability leader in our industry and to be as good as the safest and most sustainable of our customers. 

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

At Vopak we facilitate the energy transition by creating reliable access to energy and cleaner fuels and by exploring ways to develop storage and handling solutions for a low-carbon future. We aim to reduce our own footprint and improve our energy efficiency.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

In storing vital products today and tomorrow, safety is our first and foremost priority. This includes ensuring a safe and secure working environment for all people working at and for Vopak.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

To realize our purpose, we develop, maintain and operate reliable, sustainable terminal infrastructure in ports around the world. We adopt and invest in environmentally sound technologies and processes. We explore the introduction of more sustainable technologies and processes and work on the digital transformation of our company.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 12- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We strive for environmentally sound management of the products we store and handle, and we work hard to minimize any negative impact on the environment, in particular by reducing releases to air, water and soil.

More detailed information on our ambitions and targets related to the selected SDG's is published in our annual report.

Materiality assessment

Together with our stakeholders, we have identified the following sustainability topics as being material* to our business:

Environmental topics

Financial & governance topics

Social topics

1 VOC emissions  9 Business ethics & integrity 19 Process safety
2 Soil & groundwater pollution 10 Application of best practices 20 Occupational health & safety
3 Water pollution 11 (Cyber) security threats 21 Talent attraction & retention
4 Waste 12 Threats of natural disasters 22 Nuisance
5 CO2 emissions 13 Consumer acceptance & continuation 23 Labor conditions
6 Energy use 14 Financial performance 24 Human rights 
7 Water use 15 Innovation 25 Diversity
8 Biodiversity 16 Remuneration 26 Community engagement & charity 
  17 Supplier acceptance & continuation  
  18 Taxation   

* as defined in the materiality matrix within the GRI-4 framework.

Which stakeholders are involved in setting sustainability priorities?

The following stakeholders participated in the surveys on sustainability: customers, employees, port authorities, governments, NGOs, suppliers, neighbors and investors. 

What is Vopak doing on safety and health?

Safety is our first priority. This concerns both personal and process safety. It is our responsibility to deliver services in a safe manner, to provide a safe and healthy workplace for Vopak employees and for our contractors and to minimize any negative impact on our neighbours. Continuously improving working conditions and monitoring the effectiveness of safety related controls are fundamental to our Safety, Health and Environmental policy. Link to Vopak's global Safety Fundamentals.

What is Vopak doing on environmental care?

Our objectives on environmental care are to be energy and water efficient and to reduce emissions and waste. In pursuing these objectives, we consistently comply with guidelines as set out in operating licenses, legislation and our own global standards. The care for our environment is an integrated part of our ‘License to Operate’, which means that Vopak aims to minimize its impact on its surroundings and areas of biodiversity. This includes energy consumption, emissions, treatment of contaminated water, use of the surface area, and care for areas of high biodiversity.

What is Vopak doing to be a responsible partner?

Vopak wants to be a responsible partner for all its stakeholders, from customers, business partners and shareholders, to employees, local communities and society at large. Our ambition is to be a strong link in our customers’ global value chains and a leader in our industry. We recognize our responsibility for the social, environmental and economic consequences of our activities. Vopak works with customers and suppliers to maintain long-term partnerships and ensure continuous improvement in our approach to sustainability. The Vopak Supplier Code defines the minimum standards that we require from our suppliers, contractors and their sub-tier suppliers and contractors, to adhere to and to continuously improve when doing business with Vopak. We aim to be the supplier of choice based on our service quality and sustainability approach. Likewise, we aim to choose suppliers whose commitment to sustainability matches our own. 

What is Vopak's policy on Human rights?

Vopak respects human rights as described in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and accepts the responsibility to ensure that all our entities respect human rights when conducting business. Vopak screens all major investment proposals for human rights issues. Our screening is based on the country in which the project is being carried out and the characteristics of the investment proposal. The screening includes an assessment of the areas where the risks of human rights issues are high. For these projects, specific agreements are to be made between all the stakeholders in the project which detail the manner in which parties will uphold human rights.All partners, contractors and suppliers are required to adhere explicitly to the Vopak Code of Conduct, which also covers human rights.

What is Vopak's policy on Labor rights?

In line with the aforementioned UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, we base our labor rights commitments on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on the fundamental rights set out in the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We seek to uphold these rights in our operations and in our relationships with our suppliers, our business partners, works councils and unions within the boundaries of local laws and regulations.

What is Vopak doing to attract and retain talent? 

Our ambitions and the high-quality service we aim for start with our people. Vopak aims to attract and retain the best people and create an agile and solution-driven culture. Vopak invests in long-term relationships with its employees, by creating a work environment that nurtures their talents and skills. We devote attention to job satisfaction, personal development, competitive terms of employment and a good work-life balance. We foster the Vopak spirit, loyalty and enthusiasm in our employees of both genders and of many different nationalities by being inclusive, setting clear targets and managing performance.  Fair treatment of employees: Vopak endorses the principles of the United Nations’ International Labor Organization and the OECD guidelines. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our employees. This commitment is deeply rooted in our daily activities, policies and governance structures

Does Vopak participate in community programs?

Vopak aims to support activities that improve the lives of people in the communities in which we operate. These activities may include education, health care, community building, infrastructure or nature development. At every terminal, our employees are encouraged to actively participate in community programs and to propose social projects to their site management. Nearly every terminal participates in one or more local community programs. Vopak gives its employees the opportunity to play an active role in society, for example through community or educational programs, unless participation in these activities creates a conflict of interest.Vopak is committed to being a good neighbor and engages with communities living close to our operations. We behave as a responsible citizen and work to have a positive impact on the communities where we operate. 

Does Vopak make choices not to store certain products?

As a service provider, we store and handle energy and chemical products that the market demands. Products that are critical to people’s daily lives, yet can endanger their health or the environment if handled and stored inappropriately. Our role and responsibility is to provide efficient, safe and clean storage and services. We abide by existing rules and regulations as a minimum and adopt best practices whenever possible. And we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products.

Does Vopak's sustainability approach also apply to joint ventures?

Our ambition level on sustainability is the same within joint venture companies as in 100% Vopak companies. Where our standards are not met, we will use our influence within the joint venture and work with our partners to achieve Vopak standards.

How does Vopak report on sustainability?

Vopak started publishing a sustainability report in 2009. Starting with the Annual Report 2014, the sustainability report is included in the Annual Report. Vopak follows the G4 Sustainability reporting guidelines.