Building sustainability into performance at Petrobras

The issue

One company that has responded to changes in public attitudes towards environmental stewardship is Petrobras, Brazil's largest corporation. After a pipeline leakage in the Rio de Janeiro area, the company decided to ensure there could be no repeat of the incident. To that end, it created a core group to coordinate the four-year Program for Excellence in Environmental and Operational Safety Management (PEGASO), involving more than 4,000 individual projects.

Our approach

PwC Brazil supported the PEGASO program for three years, until its completion in mid-2004. Our initial task was to evaluate the first year's progress in tackling environment and safety issues and benchmark Petrobras' performance against global industry best practices.

The outcome

Petrobras presented findings and recommendations from PwC’ review to its US investors and local insurers. Petrobras then retained us to support PEGASO's ongoing monitoring process and pipeline integrity program.

The scale of the environmental and safety challenge facing Petrobras is expanding in line with its business. In 2003, Petrobras acquired an oil and gas company in Argentina; PwC Argentina is now supporting local Argentinean management as it implements controls similar to those in Brazil.

PwC Brazil has also helped Petrobras' transportation division identify the environmental and social impact of potential investments and is working with Petrobras's Engineering Department as it factors social and environmental performance indicators into pipeline construction projects.