EO Awarded Grant from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA) to develop and deploy a training curriculum for social and environmental impact assessment based on the EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development in collaboration with academic institutions in Mexico.
As a result of Mexico’s recent energy reform, for the first time since the 1930s, the country’s energy resources are open to foreign development and investment. The reforms have resulted in a significant institutional re-structuring of the regulatory and oversight processes for the oil and gas industry. This has included the creation of a new government entity, the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector, tasked with regulating and supervising the industrial safety and environmental protection. Additionally, the Energy Ministry, SENER, requires a social impact assessment to be conducted for every energy project developed in Mexico.
With support from MCFA, we are working with ANUIES, the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions, a non-governmental organization comprised of 187 public and private higher education institutions across Mexico, to create an innovative and sustainable model for impact assessments based on the EO100™ Standard.
The goal of the project is to position local universities to become sustainable development hubs by enabling them to evaluate the social and environmental performance of energy projects and promote best practices.
Engaging academic institutions in the impact assessment process of energy projects not only has the potential to enhance the quality of the impact assessments and but also to create shared value for local universities, companies and affected communities:
- University students will benefit from the opportunity to apply their research and gain professional development experience, especially in rural areas where such opportunities may be limited;
- Energy companies will benefit from the uniquely local knowledge and expertise of university teams comprised of students and faculty members from the surrounding communities;
- Communities will benefit from having a trusted local institution involved in the impact assessment process that has a permanent presence and can gather and disseminate information about project risks and impacts, hold consultations and stakeholder meetings, and document grievances.
If successful, we look forward to replicating this model in the future and hope to identify additional support to expand the program outside of Mexico. Project updates will be posted on our website in the coming months.
Click here for the MCFA press release.