EO’s model for responsible energy production and our work with communities and companies, particularly in Latin America, has led to increasing recognition from various academics. Our pioneering work in the Amazon Basin during the organization’s early years offers unique insights and lessons for academics and researchers interested in local communities’ experiences with extractive industries in the region. Being the first organization to advocate for local populations with a system of voluntary standards built on the input of multiple stakeholders, EO has proven to be a focal point for research in the realm of human rights and energy development.> Read more
Since the release of our draft standards for shale development, we have been focusing a lot of our attention on fracking. As we review and refine the draft standards, we at Equitable Origin want to know: what are the most pressing public health and environmental risks posed by fracking operations, according to the latest scientific research? What are the best practices industry can use to minimize those risks?
Those questions led me to San Antonio, Texas for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Annual General Meeting in early June. ICCR is a faith-based shareholder activist group that uses its ownership of corporate stock to advocate for companies’ improvement of their social and environmental practices. I was invited to the meeting to ...> Read more
In late May of this year, two members of the EO team traveled to Puyo, Ecuador and led a stakeholder engagement workshop with members of the indigenous people’s organization Comuna San Jacinto del Pindo de Pastaza. Senior Advisor, Rene Ortiz and Director of Socio-environmental Affairs, Pablo Yépez represented EO at the workshop, which also included technical staff for the indigenous organization along with the group’s president, Gina Tibi. The meeting was held to discuss the development of oil bloc 28 in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the potential for EO certification to ensure responsible extraction.
The meeting was of particular importance given the looming prospects of the companies soon extracting ...> Read more
At the end of May, EO’s Director of Operations Sarah Coulter attended the 2015 Summit of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) in Seattle, Washington. Each year the summit provides a networking opportunity for professionals working in the sustainability industry to share ideas and learn best practices from other attendees. The conference was part of SPLC’s connect program that is designed to act as a venue for connecting responsible suppliers and ethical consumers. The summit also serves as a platform for SPLC to gain new insight and feedback for the development of its Guidance reports.
Coulter presented as part of the New Strategies in Purchasing Transportation workshop. The workshop explored how leading organizations are changing the way they utilize shipping, vehicle fleets, and energy to reduce the negative impacts of their transportation purchasing activities. In addition to Coulter ...> Read more
Last month, two EO team members, VP of Standards Soledad Mills and Director of Markets Sarah Coulter, spoke at separate sessions at the ISEAL Alliance annual conference in Berlin. Mills and Coulter shared experiences and insights from EO's six years of experience as the only independent standards and certification system for the oil and gas industry with representatives of other systems from across industries and around the world. The theme of the conference was "A Roadmap to Change" and the subjects centered on the process of moving from certification to full transformation in the various sectors where ...> Read more
In early May, Dr. Susan Brantley, a Professor of Geosciences and Director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Pennsylvania State University, sparked new interest (and reignited controversy) in the debate over the impacts of shale gas development, often referred to as fracking. Dr. Brantley, along with environmental consultant Garth Llewellyn and six other co-authors published a study in the scientific journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that included the finding that several residential water wells in Pennsylvania were likely contaminated by nearby shale drilling activity. The study was significant because it showed strong evidence, perhaps the strongest to date, that ...> Read more
We have extended the deadline to comment on the draft EO100 for Shale Oil and Gas, the first independent standards for responsible fracking, to May 31st!
In just two months since the initial publication of our draft shale standards, new evidence has emerged linking shale development activities to groundwater contamination, hazardous air pollution, and earthquakes. Our draft EO100 for Shale Oil and Gas standards include provisions to address all three of those impact categories and many more.
Help us set the most rigorous and comprehensive standards ever for shale development and fracking by sending us your comments! No comment is too big or too small; too general or too specific; too positive or too negative.
We ...> Read more
Last week, EO Director of Communications and Director of Shale Programs Josh Garrett attended a meeting of sustainability and social impact professionals on best social and environmental practices for oil and gas and mining companies. The event, sponsored by Ethical Corporation, was called Responsible Extractives Summit - North America. The main themes of the gathering were transparency, sustainability and social engagement as approaches responsible operation. As a member of a three-person panel asked to discuss different strategies for reducing social risk, Garrett emphasized the merits of voluntary certification, in particular the credibility that comes from certification by an independent organization like EO. Speaking about the EO100 Standard, Garrett explained that it ...> Read more
Following its official request to Peruvian government agencies in December of last year, the indigenous group AIDESEP called a press conference to publicly advocate for the creation of an oil development policy based on the provisions of the EO100 Standard. Held at AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon) headquarters in Lima on March 24, the press conference included presentations and announcements from the organization's president Hernderson Rengifo, Coordinator General of allied indigenous group COICA (Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin), and EO Co-Founder Manuel Pallares.
In addition to requirements for oil and gas developers operating in indigenous territories to ...> Read more
In December 2014, EO received a letter of complaint from the U.S.-based labor organization AFL CIO. Submission of the complaint, which alleged improper labor practices by certified site operator Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE), initiated an internal review, performed in accordance with EO Procedures for Certification System Comments, Complaints, and Appeals.
In January, we posted an update on the internal review process and planned responses to the concerns raised by the stakeholders. In March, EO received responses from PRE and from the assessment body that conducted the certification audit, Deloitte Colombia. You can download their statements here in English and Spanish:
EO continues to move forwards with planning local stakeholder outreach in conjunction with the verification audit planned for June/July 2015, including additional training ...> Read more