CSR in Jordan Petroleum

On a recent trip to Jordan, EMG founder Daan Elffers met with Mr Omar Alkurdi, Deputy Chairman of the Board at Jordan Petroleum Refinery. The refinery was built in 1958, and has been continually developed and expanded ever since, now boasting a production capability of 100,000 barrels of oil daily. The position of Jordan and the refinery was discussed with regard to CSR and sustainability.

It was acknowledged that geo-political instability within the region has contributed to heightened concerns regarding Jordan’s energy security. Imports of Egyptian natural gas, via a direct pipeline, which had previously been relied upon, have suffered continual bombing, and instability in Iraq has reduced its oil exports. The refinery’s fuel production is thus a vital component of Jordanian energy security.

Mr Alkurdi spoke about the inherent difficulties of sustainable fossil fuel usage; however it was evident that the more efficient and sensitive use of existing resources was the primary aim of the company – with a focus on protecting the environment.

“The environment is something that we live in…it’s part of us and we’re part of it. If we don’t care about it, we’re not caring about ourselves.”

The minimization of waste is also a company target, with recent efficiency improvements saving 36,000 tonnes of fuel annually. A recent EUR 16 million investment in flue-gas desulphurization has allowed the company to sell sulphur to local fertilizer producers – helping to close the loop.

Mr Alkurdi spoke of how, in his view, sustainability should be a state of mind engrained throughout an entire workforce – and not merely the responsibility of a single department. A smaller CSR department should therefore signify an organization in which best practice and sustainability are embedded into its very make-up, forming part of every worker’s everyday considerations.

He spoke of the desire for the company to forge lasting partnerships with Jordanian universities in order to educate youth in the requirements of entry-level jobs, instill a more professional working mentality amongst potential new recruits and begin the process of establishing concepts of CSR at the earliest possible opportunity. Further community-based CSR programs include a scholarship grant offered to 20 exceptional students and donations to various NGOs and hospitals.

Article: CSR in Jordan Petroleum Refinery