Jaime Menéndez Sánchez, Jorge Fernández Gómez & Andrés Araujo de la Maza
Energies 2023, 16(6), 2552
Oil and gas (O&G) companies are facing increasing pressure to transform their businesses in order to contribute effectively to the transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one driven by clean energy technologies. Understanding how O&G companies can define actions to comply with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, specifically, how they can generate a positive impact in terms of sustainability through technology innovation becomes relevant in order to guarantee the success of such transformation. To explore this issue, this article analyzes, using a case study research methodology, the sustainability strategy of an O&G company in the Basque Country region (Spain) that is undergoing a profound transformation of its overall business strategy. In particular, the analysis focuses on how the company’s innovation and research and development (R&D) activities and projects related to clean technologies contribute to fulfilling the energy- and non-energy-related SDGs. The main result of the analysis is the identification and characterization of an emerging complex public–private multi-stakeholder business and innovation ecosystem surrounding the O&G company under scrutiny with a clear focus on low-carbon technologies. This ecosystem channels knowledge and innovation synergies and spillovers at the local and regional levels, encouraging green industrial growth in different value chains, and provides insights about how O&G companies can contribute effectively to the SDGs and, at the same time, increase the sustainability of their businesses.In the face of today’s urgent societal challenges, there are constant calls for regional governments to respond to them. Yet, policies, including those developed through action research, appear to be transforming too slowly.