Welcome to Know Your Resources, the news site of Equitable Origin which covers issues relating to energy, the environment, human rights and social innovation. We seek to share the diverse perspectives of our entire team as well as of leading experts across the sectors and disciplines with which we engage.

EO CEO Offers Advice on Community Engagement at Oil and Gas Industry Conference

Oct. 30, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

Equitable Origin Chief Executive Officer Stephen Newton touted the virtues of transparent and good-faith engagement with communities as part of responsible oil and gas development at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) technical conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Speaking on the panel titled People, Profit, Planet: Advancing Practices That Balance Economic Growth, Social Development, and Environmental Protection Today and in the Future, Newton shared insights gained from his time at the helm at the oil and gas industry's only independent social and environmental standards body, as well as his extensive experience in the industry prior to joining EO. His remarks focused on "above ground risks," which refer potential social and environmental conflicts (as opposed to technical and operational risks that tend to be centered underground) that can slow down or halt exploration and production operations. Newton emphasized the shared ...

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EO President Joins Other Social Enterprise Innovators at UK's Emerge Conference

Oct. 28, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

David Poritz (left) at the Emerge Conference, discussing Equitable Origin's pioneering certification system for the oil and gas industry.

Equitable Origin President and co-founder David Poritz headed across the pond to Oxford, U.K. for the Emerge Conference last weekend, where he mingled with other "young professionals aspiring to drive transformational change." He spoke on Sunday morning at the Developing and Enforcing Standards of Sustainable Business Practice track session, which explored certification as a means of promoting fair and responsible social and environmental practices and as a response to the growing movement of conscious consumption.

As part of his session, Poritz introduced Equitable Origin and described the company's evolution since its founding in 2009. He highlighted engagement with governments as a key component of effective certification standards, and noted that many governments view the Equitable Origin system and ...

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EO President Talks Responsible Development, Fossil Fuel Divestment at UMass Amherst

Oct. 27, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

EO President David Poritz (left) with Dean of the College of Natural Sciences Steve Goodwin on the UMass Amherst discussion panel following a screening of "Oil and Water". (photo: Kevin Hollerbach)

At the invitation of the school's Eco-Reps program, EO President and co-founder David Poritz visited the University of Massachusetts, Amherst last week as part of Campus Sustainability Day last week. Following a screening of "Oil and Water" at the campus center, Poritz participated in a panel discussion on the university's fossil fuel use, the Equitable Origin model for linking conscientious consumers to responsible producers, and the fossil fuel divestment movement on campus.

Poritz joined UMass Amherst Sustainability Manager Ezra Small, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences Steve Goodwin, and student Eco-Rep facilitator and divestment movement representative Kristie Herman on the panel. Small noted that UMass Amherst ...

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EO Launches EO100 Standard Consultation in Latin America with Indigenous Community Partners

Oct. 24, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila y Pablo Yépez

Introductory remarks at the launch event at the COICA headquarters in Quito, Ecuador.

On October 15, 2014, at the headquarters of the Coordinator of the Indigenous Nationalities of the Amazon Basin – COICA (by its Spanish acronym) in Quito, Ecuador, Equitable Origin hosted a workshop and launch event for the online consultation tool and comment period on the EO100 Standard. Manuel Pallares, co-founder of Equitable Origin and Pablo Yépez, Equitable Origin’s Director of Socio-Environmental affairs led the event attended by leaders and experts from the Indigenous Organizations of the Ecuadorian Amazon, representatives from the petroleum industry, academics, and NGOs. As part of Equitable Origin’s inter-institutional approach to collaboration, this diverse group of attendees came from organizations such as the UN’s Project REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), the Interprovincial Federation of the Shuar Peoples (FICSH), the ...

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EO Director of Communications Speaks at Harvard Business School Energy Symposium

Oct. 23, 2014 | Written by Equitable Origin

Welcoming attendees to the 2014 Energy Symposium at Harvard Business School

Equitable Origin's Director of Communications Josh Garrett was at Harvard Business School (HBS) last weekend to attend the 2014 Energy Symposium. The symposium, organized by the HBS Energy and Environment Club, is an annual event that brings together leaders in technology, academia, business, investing, and corporate responsibility to discuss the latest trends in the energy world and how to move forward responsibly in a world of growing energy demand.

The theme of this year's symposium was "Finding Balance in the Shifting Landscape of Energy." The theme encompassed many different meanings of "balance": between energy development and environmental conservation, between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources, between profit and corporate responsibility, and others. Each speech and panel discussion at the Symposium touched on one or more of the ...

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Crowdsourcing Higher Social and Environmental Standards

Oct. 17, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

EO's Online Public Consultation Tool.

As part of the revision process of the EO100 Standard, Equitable Origin has launched a new online public consultation tool to solicit feedback and hear what you have to say. This crowdsourcing effort is an extension of Equitable Origin’s core commitment to multistakeholder engagement, a cornerstone of Equitable Origin’s approach to credible standard setting. Equitable Origin has a long history of consultation with diverse stakeholders – the EO100 Standard is the product of years of dialogue with communities, indigenous groups, governments, NGOs, industry leaders and relevant experts. By using an online platform, we hope to reach more stakeholders than ever before, incorporating a wider diversity of perspectives and greater insights into the EO100 Standard. Though we believe the EO100 Standard is an important step in creating a rigorous and reliable social and environmental ...

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"Oil and Water" Wins Top Doc Honors at Northampton Film Fest

Oct. 14, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

Equitable Origin President David Poritz interviewed at the Northampton International Film Festival in Northampton, Massachusetts.

"Oil and Water" continued to impress at the Northampton International Film Festival last weekend. The film's co-directors Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda took home both the jury prize and audience prize for Best Documentary from the festival.

EO President David Poritz was on hand for the Saturday screening of of the film, and offered this reaction to its double-award-winning reception: "Big congratulations to Francine and Laurel! They've made an amazing film, and I'm so glad I could be a part of it. I think that these and other awards the film has received shows that in addition to skilled storytelling, people are energized by attempts to solve some of the world's biggest challenges. The film serves as a powerful tool ...

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David Poritz Gives Talks at Brown's Watson Institute and the Yale School of Management

Oct. 11, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

David Poritz at Brown University's Watson Institute addressing Latin American scholars participating in the Botín Scholars program last week.

After the series of First Readings events, David Poritz continued his visit at Brown with a talk and discussion with students visiting the university as part of the Botín Scholars program hosted by the Watson Institute for International Studies. For the past five years, the Fundación Botín has sponsored forty students from Latin America with high potential and a vocation for public service to participate in an intensive two-month leadership and development program that begins at the Watson Institute in Providence and ends in Santander, Spain. Students attend lectures, seminars and workshops hosted by Brown faculty and visiting scholars working on projects related to Latin America. Given his close ties to Latin America and history of leadership and entrepreneurship at ...

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"Oil & Water" Comes to Brown University

Oct. 7, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

From left: Prof. James Green, David Poritz, Hugo Lucitante, Laurel Spellman Smith, and Francine Strickwerda From left: Prof. James Green, David Poritz, Hugo Lucitante, Laurel Spellman Smith, and Francine Strickwerda.

David Poritz returned to his alma mater Brown University last week as part of a weeklong series of events and discussions on the film "Oil and Water,” the documentary directed by Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda that traces the founding of Equitable Origin. The film was assigned to new students to watch over the summer as part of Brown’s First Readings program. For the past eight years, the First Readings program has asked incoming freshmen to read a selected book over the summer prior to beginning their first semester of college. Instead of discussing a book during orientation this year, new students discussed “Oil and Water” and how the themes of the film related to their lives own as they begin their careers ...

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How Can We Make Oil and Gas More Responsible? We Need Your Input

Oct. 6, 2014 | Written by Equitable Origin

We need your feedback on the EO100™ Standard to help us ensure it reflects current industry best practices and stakeholder expectations on social, environmental, and ethical performance of oil and gas operations.

Our online consultation tool is available for anyone to submit comments for a period of 60 days from October 6 to December 5, 2014. A second public consultation will be held next year. We expect to complete the review in 2016.

In the revised version of the Standard (based on changes suggested by our Standards Technical Committee), there are five Principles:

  1. Transparency & Ethics
  2. Human Rights
  3. Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  4. Fair Labor
  5. Environment

The online consultation tool allows you to focus your comments on specific areas or topics.

Each Principle includes Objectives to meet in pursuit of certified-responsible practices, and Performance Targets serve as the indicators of progress towards each ...

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