Canadian oil and gas companies have made great strides on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and are demonstrating their commitment to operate at the highest standard, according to lawyers with Torys LLP.
“Recognizing that the long-term growth in global energy demand will require a combination of conventional and renewable energy sources for decades to come, [Canadian companies] have continued to grow production while improving their ESG profile across environmental, social and governance factors, positioning the sector as the responsible energy supplier of choice on a global scale,” Toronto-based David Cuschieri, Peter Danner, and Taylor Campbell wrote in late March.
Companies are taking “a characteristically Canadian approach” that focuses on all three areas of ESG, rather than for example the European approach, which to-date has focused on environmental impacts with less emphasis on social or governance factors, they wrote.
The Torys lawyers outline the unique challenges Canada has faced – including “well-organized and well-funded campaigns by climate change advocacy groups” – as well the industry’s successes, such as the oil sands sector’s 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity over the last decade.
Canadian oil and gas companies lead in Indigenous participation, particularly on pipeline projects, they write, as well as the sector’s “progressive, clear and measurable targets for diversity.”