As Potential Oil and Gas Development Moves Forward Near Peru's Protected Natural Areas, EO Brings Stakeholders Together

Nov. 18, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

Geological map of Lot 76 showing its overlap with different provinces and protected areas.

From the 3rd to 5th of November 2014, Equitable Origin held a workshop on the EO100 Standard and its ability to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of oil and gas development in Peru. The workshop was hosted by FENAMAD, the Native Federation of the River and Tributaries of Madre de Dios, at their headquarters in the city of Puerto Maldonado. The meeting was called to discuss the applicability of the EO100 Standard in the Madre de Dios region, where proposals for oil and gas development of Lot 76 have come under increasing scrutiny and caused considerable controversy between indigenous groups, NGOs, government ministries and private oil companies. Located deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Lot 76 straddles three provinces and overlaps four protected natural areas ...

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EO President Talks Indigenous Rights, Legal Theory with "Oil and Water" Co-Subject at University of Arizona Film Event

Nov. 14, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

EO President David Poritz (left) on stage for a discussion of "Oil and Water" with Hugo Lucitante (center) and James Anaya (right) at The Loft Cinema in Tuscon, Arizona.

"Oil and Water" was once again the central topic of an interesting academic discussion on Wednesday night in Tuscon, Arizona. EO President and Co-Founder David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante, co-subject of the documentary film and representative of the Amazonian Cofán community attended the screening at the Loft Cinema and participated in a discussion that ranged from Lucitante's experiences in his native Cofán village to the effectiveness of EO's model of improving oil and gas development practice with voluntary standards.

Presented by Arizona State Museum’s Native Eyes Film Showcase with the Indigenous People Law and Policy Program of the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law ...

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EO's Soledad Mills at BSR Conference 2014

Nov. 11, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

The BSR Conference 2014 brought together industry experts and leaders at the forefront of business and sustainability.

Equitable Origin’s VP of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills attended the BSR ’14 Conference last week to present on the panel “Changing the Conversation: Addressing Tough Issues through Proactive Transparency” along with Libby Annat, Ethical Trade and Sustainability Controller at Primark, and Daniel T. Bross, Senior Director of Global Citizenship at Microsoft. BSR is a global nonprofit dedicated working with companies through research, consulting and collaboration to develop sustainable business solutions for the future. BSR holds a yearly conference to bring together thought leaders at the intersections of business and sustainability to discuss their work and collaborate across a variety of issues.

The theme of this year’s conference was Transparency & Transformation, a fitting topic for Equitable Origin given its focus ...

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Equitable Origin Vice President Meets with Government, Business Leaders from Mexico and Canada to Discuss EO Standards and Site Certification

Nov. 10, 2014 | Written by Josh Garrett

EO Vice President of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills (right) with NAFTA Office Representative in the Ministry of Economy of the Mexican Embassy in Canada Mario Rodríguez at the meeting in Ottawa.

EO VP of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills joined business and government stakeholders in Ottawa, Canada last month to discuss social and environmental standards in the energy sector. Minister Mario Rodríguez, Head of the NAFTA Office Representative in the Ministry of Economy of the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa hosted the October 23rd event, which was attended by representatives from the University of Calgary, Pacific Rubiales Energy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Export Development Canada. Mr. Rodríguez emphasized the importance of voluntary standards that take into account impacts on local stakeholders and invited Mills to describe how the EO100 Standard was developed.

Mills touched upon ...

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EO Offers Advice on “Challenges of Hydrocarbon Development in the Amazon” at Government Meeting in Colombia

Nov. 3, 2014 | Written by Ben Vila

EO Project Manager Sebastian Perez (standing) presenting the benefits of the Equitable Origin system and the EO100 Standard.

On October 23rd and 24th Colombia’s National Agency for Hydrocarbons (ANH – Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos) co-hosted an event on the social and environmental challenges of hydrocarbon development in the Amazon. The event was part of the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) and was co-organized by Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, National Natural Parks of Colombia, the US Department of the Interior, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was held at the ANH offices in Bogotá.

The two-day meeting served as a regional forum for businesses, government and civil society involved in the energy sector to discuss the implementation of social and environmental best practices in hydrocarbon projects in the Colombian and Peruvian ...

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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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