Going green in the Norwegian fossil fuel sector? The case of sustainability culture at Equinor

Rohan Crichton, Paul Shrivastava, Thomas Walker, Faraz Farhidi, Douglas Renwick, Nicole Ellegate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As the effects of climate change continue to impact society, fossil fuel sector organisations are seen as principal contributors to the climate crisis. In the hopes of mitigating climate change at the source, we gain access to one of the largest fossil fuel organisations in Norway and conduct an exploratory case study investigation into their business practices, green ambitions, and notable results. Our analysis of executive interviews, confidential in-house documentation, media releases, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, and grey papers suggests that a strong sustainability-oriented organisational culture can contribute to reversing ‘business as usual’ practices towards seeking strategic greener solutions. Such results are partly achieved by strong responsible leaders at the organisational helm in combination with a sustainability-oriented national culture. Additionally, we critically question the secrecy surrounding the case organisation’s ‘choice’ and ‘format’ of promotion and support for their operational status quo (e.g. greenwashing), to challenge the insider perspective unearthed herein. In sum, the study contributes to the newer and under-investigated field of green human resource management by better identifying the role of organisational culture as a critical lever in bringing about much-needed greener organisational policies, and offering a critical analysis less seen in green human resource management (HRM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-158
Number of pages19
JournalGerman Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this