Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of investments. A growing number of investors rely on these factors to determine whether they ultimately want to invest or continue to invest in a given business. While ESG investment may be characterised as ethical in its approach to capture environmental and social impacts, at its core, ESG investment involves gauging a company’s long-term, rather than short-term sustainability.
ESG investing is quickly emerging as one of the most prominent and long-lasting megatrends of the oil industry as support grows for initiatives to promote renewable energy, sustainability, and the energy transition. As it has a significant impact on how investors make investments in the sector and may ultimately select winners and losers in the market moving forward, the perception of ESG in the energy sector has changed from being a nice-to-have feature to a must-have prerequisite as oil and gas firms who ignore ESG will be at a competitive disadvantage and will be vulnerable to regulatory sanctions.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand the ESG’s basis and how these principles relate to the oil sector.
ESG Requirements In The Oil Industry
Achieving ESG standards is particularly important to the oil industry due to increasing regulatory pressure on oil companies to address environmental issues as a result of the world’s efforts to meet international climate and other environmental imperatives, such as the 2030 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels. In order to accomplish these ESG targets, several oil majors that are either publicly traded or already burdened with millions of bank loans must increasingly appease their stakeholders. Following this, they have come forward and have promised to meet the emission and greenhouse gas reduction goals in the coming years of 2030 to 2050.
Let’s look at the goals the oil industry holds for each ESG sector, as well as the investment and development efforts they have made to reach these ESG goals.
Climate change is a major factor in ESG issues related to the environment sector. Examples include; the burning of pills and natural gas, fugitive gases from factories, carbon emissions from compression machinery, and transportation emissions. Companies in the energy sector have started to respond to these issues by adopting more effective production techniques, such as the use of biofuels to cut carbon emissions and expanding the use of alternative energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal. These initiatives may result in cost savings, increased public favorability for the business, and ultimately, value generation for all stakeholders involved in the business.
Social criteria look at the way a company maintains its relationships with its customers, suppliers, employees, and the communities in which it operates. Human rights problems, including child labor or unequal pay, might be considered to be social concerns. The majority of businesses deal with these issues through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which may include company-wide regulations that forbid child labor or promote moral business conduct.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is another issue that the social sector has serious concerns about. It has greatly accelerated global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels because of its method of extracting oil and natural gas from deep underground wells. Groundwater contamination, air pollution, earthquakes, noise pollution, and other problems are all brought up by locals who live close to fracking sites. Oil firms are therefore attempting to find solutions to the issues faced by the populations who live close to fracking sites. Examples include using water-free fracking techniques, brine or recycled water in place of fresh water, solar panels in place of diesel-powered machinery to cut down on the number of harmful gas emissions, and the addition of waste purification methods and replacing traditional pressure-monitoring pneumatic controllers with lower-bleed designs to reduce methane leaks when fracking. In addition, oil companies are searching for more technologically advanced approaches for oil extraction from unconventional reserves besides fracking.
Governance can refer to a variety of corporate management-related concerns, including management, executive compensation, audits, internal controls, shareholder rights, etc. This can cover internal organisation and external relationships, as well as transparency and conflict of interest guidelines. For instance, businesses often have internal conflict of interest regulations to prevent management from granting contracts based on personal connections rather than merit, and oil firms are striving diligently to only work with vendors who share their ESG philosophy.
Why ESG is important In The Oil Industry ?
Many oil and gas businesses are starting to see environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors as opportunities to create value and boost operational efficiency rather than as a barrier. Here are some advantages that the oil business will experience if ESG requirements are met.
- Top-line growth
A strong ESG concept supports business growth in both existing and new markets. Governmental bodies are more inclined to grant corporations the access, approvals, and licences necessary to take advantage of new growth prospects when they have confidence in the corporate players.
- Cost reductions
ESG also has significant cost-cutting potential. Among other benefits, successfully implementing ESG can assist in reducing rising operating costs such as raw-material costs and the true cost of water or carbon.
- Reduced regulatory and legal interventions
Companies may be able to exercise more strategic independence thanks to a stronger external value proposition, reducing regulatory pressure. In fact, the strength in ESG strength lowers the probability of unfavorable government action for companies. Additionally, it might get the support of the government.
- Employee productivity uplift
A strong ESG proposal may support companies in attracting and retaining quality employees, improving employee motivation by fostering a sense of purpose, and increasing overall productivity.
- Investment and asset optimization
By allocating money to more attractive and sustainable alternatives, a strong ESG proposition can improve investment returns, for example, renewables, waste reduction, and scrubbers. Additionally, it can assist businesses in avoiding stranded investments that would not be profitable due to long-term environmental problems such as massive write-downs in the value of oil tankers.
5 Ways To Achieve ESG Standards Within The Oil Industry
- Reducing emissions
- Companies can have their emissions measured, audited, and matched to the pledges the jurisdiction has made to international agreements.
- Those who go above and above to address significant ESG issues can give investors a thorough ESG story.
- Improving efficiencies
- Technology advancements, both analogue and digital, have opened doors to new efficiency; the oil sector has always embraced this culture by pushing the limits of what is technologically possible.
- Being bold about equality
- Companies can evaluate their D, E, and I shortcomings and take action. It’s crucial to be bold about equality and promote diversity, from the boardroom to low-wage workers.
- Connecting with the communities
- The social license to operate is given on the basis that directly local communities benefit economically, that the environment is not harmed, and that they are socially included.
- Product governance
- Companies can concentrate on creating high-quality, low-emission products that consumers will feel confident buying.
Winson Oil Working Towards Achieving ESG Standards [Infographic]
About Winson Oil
Winson Oil, as one of the leading oil industries in Asia, is also working towards achieving ESG Standards in order to reach the carbon neutral goal in 2050. With over 50 years of industry experience, Winson Oil is committed to providing outstanding service and guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
To learn more about us, visit Winson Oil.