EO representatives traveled to the University of South Carolina (USC) on November 21st to meet with students, faculty and administrators about the EO system and how schools like USC could participate in improving oil and gas production practices. Along with certifying responsible oil and gas production sites under the EO100 Standard, a main goal of the EO System is to connect conscientious consumers of oil and gas products to certified-responsible sites. EO Certificates serve as the mechanisms for this connection--each EO certificate represents one barrel of crude oil (or barrel of oil equivalent) produced at a certified-responsible site. Certificate purchases serve as a market signal that consumers support responsible production practices and prefer products make with responsibly-produced oil and gas. Revenue from EO Certificate sales is invested in social and environmental improvement programs at and around certified sites.
Even if you don't dive a car, it's nearly impossible to live in the modern world without consuming products derived from oil and natural gas. From almost every type of plastic to makeup and vanilla ice cream, crude oil, natural gas, and their derivatives are all around us. Integrating this reality and how consumers could use their influence to improve production practices into educational programs brought EO and USC representatives together for on-campus meetings.
EO President and Co-Founder David Poritz, Director of Certificates Market Sarah Coulter, and EO Board Member Chris Carlisle represented EO at the university, where they met with University President Harris Pastides, Sustainability Director Michael Koman, Student Body President Lindsay Richardson, and others. USC is an innovator and leader in sustainability and reducing environmental impacts--its newly-constructed Darla Moore School of Business recently won the United States Green Building Council 2014 Exemplary Project Award and will soon receive the Council's Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design (LEED) Platinum Certification. The university literally broke ground on green building in the state with the construction of its Green Quad in 2005, and inspired South Carolina's General Assembly to pass a law in 2007 requiring many state-sponsored construction projects to be LEED certified.
With that kind of history, it was no surprise to Poritz and Coulter to hear USC students voice their dedication to pragmatic and tangible measures to improve sustainability in their daily lives while meeting with them in the Green Quad. The students were interested in EO's mission to reduce negative impacts of oil and gas at extraction sites and curious about how EO Certificates could be used as mechanisms for addressing localized impacts of oil and gas production that feed into the production and distribution of products used on campus every day. Students and administrators alike identified many different ways the EO System and EO Certificates could be integrated into studies of energy consumption and its impacts based in real-world data and specific production areas.
The productive meetings between EO and various groups and individuals at USC illustrated how EO's innovative approach to raising awareness of and reducing the negative social and environmental impacts of oil and gas production at the local level can be a point of interest and collaboration with others seeking out new solutions to energy-related challenges. The EO100 Standard and EO System hold potential value for many different stakeholder groups, not least of which is curious and concerned consumers.
Of course, the EO team's visit to USC ended with attendance at the school's legendary tailgate party and football game, which the USC Gamecocks handily won 37-12.