EO Director of Operations Examines Sustainable Value Chains at 2015 SPLC Summit

June 8, 2015 | Written by Rudy Sanfilippo

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 ...

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EO Reps Share Perspectives on the Value, Limitations, and Path Forward for Standards and Certification at ISEAL Conference

May 31, 2015 | Written by Rudy Sanfilippo

Soledad Mills Presents at 2015 ISEAL Conference in Berlin EO Vice President of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills (second from left) on stage for the opening plenary panel at the ISEAL Conference in Berlin, "The Big Picture: What can standards do?" on May 21st. (Credit: ISEAL Alliance via Twitter, @ISEALAlliance)

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 ...

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Digging into Data on the Water Impacts of Natural Gas Development with the Shale Network

May 21, 2015 | Written by Josh Garrett

A screen shot from the Hydrodesktop mapping tool showing the location of gas wells in Pennsylvania cited by the state Department of Environmental Protection for violation of environmental regulations for water use and water quality.

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 ...

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Deadline to Submit Comments on Fracking Standards EXTENDED to May 31

May 14, 2015 | Written by Equitable Origin

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!

Anyone who is interested now has until May 31st to browse and/or download the draft standards, and submit comments to shalestandards@equitableorigin.com.

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 ...

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EO Director of Shale Programs Shares Strategy for Responsible Fracking at Houston Summit

May 5, 2015 | Written by Rudy Sanfilippo

EO Director of Shale Programs Josh Garrett (top left) presents on the draft EO100 for Shale Oil and Gas standards at the Responsible Extractives Summit in Houston on May 1.

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 ...

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Peruvian Indigenous Group AIDESEP Holds Press Conference to Call for Oil and Gas Regulations Based on EO100 Standard

April 9, 2015 | Written by Pablo Yépez

Speakers at the AIDESEP press conference in Lima, Peru on March 24. Left to right: EO Co-Founder Manuel Pallares, AIDESEP President Henderson Rengifo, and member of AIDESEP Board of Directors Sedequias Ancon. (Photo: AIDESEP)

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 ...

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Updates on the Review of Complaint Related to Labor Practices at Certified Sites

April 7, 2015 | Written by Equitable Origin

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:

- PRE Response to EO100 Labor Concerns

- Deloitte Colombia Response to EO100 Certification Audit Performance

EO continues to move forwards with planning local stakeholder outreach in conjunction with the verification audit planned for June/July 2015, including additional training ...

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EO Becomes Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Member

April 1, 2015 | Written by Rudy Sanfilippo

The growing trend of heightened consciousness of the social and sustainability implications of purchasing decisions along companies’ entire supply chains provides numerous opportunities for EO to engage with consumer stakeholders. EO supports this trend by raising awareness and encouraging ethical purchasing decisions by energy consumers (people and companies) of all types and sizes. An integral part of EO’s strategy is to create demand signals for responsibly produced oil and gas in an effort to encourage certification of extraction sites and/or the purchase of EO certificates. In addition to incentivizing better practices by oil and gas producers, informing consumers and encouraging their participation in the EO system increases consumers’ awareness of their connection to energy development impacts and the spectrum of development practices within the industry, from negligent to exemplary.

In support of those consumer participation goals, EO recently ...

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New Federal Regulations for Fracking on Public Lands in Line with but Narrower than Draft EO100 Fracking Standards

March 26, 2015 | Written by Josh Garrett

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who announced the federal rule for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands on a conference call on March 20th.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) issued new regulations for oil and gas operations that use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal and Indian lands. The announcement came just four days after EO published its draft EO100 for Shale Oil and Gas standards, a supplement to the foundational EO100 Standard, for operations that use fracking. Both announcements were significant and novel steps toward making fracking operations safer for people and the environment, but each takes a unique approach and applies to a different scope of impacts from shale development and fracking. How are they alike and how are they different? We took an initial look at the DOI’s fracking rule (which ...

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Love it or Hate it, We Want to Make Fracking More Responsible

March 16, 2015 | Written by Josh Garrett

Diagram of a shale gas extraction operation using hydraulic fracturing (fracking). (image: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Say the word “fracking” to anyone who has heard it before, and you are likely to get a big reaction. To most, fracking is either the key to unlocking energy independence and an economic blessing or a pathway to public health disasters and irreversible environmental destruction. While both opinions contain a kernel of truth, neither is completely accurate. At EO, we view fracking and the shale development boom it is driving as realities of a new energy landscape that must be studied, monitored, and regulated in new and better ways. Most importantly, we believe fracking is in dire need of clear, effective, and independently-developed standards for social and environmental performance. That’s why we launched the public comment period on our draft EO100 ...

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