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

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 some of the unique aspects of the EO100 Standard and certification system, namely:

  • Extensive stakeholder engagement involved in the development of the Standard and the ongoing public comment process aimed at updating and improving the Standard
  • Oil and gas sector- and site-specific scope of the Standard
  • EO system’s market-based incentives for certification and continuous improvement through the performance scoring and EO Certificate mechanisms

The meeting highlighted the pioneering work of Pacific Rubiales Energy to be the first company to achieve certification under the EO100 Standard at two of its producing sites in Colombia that represent approximately 25 percent of Colombia’s national production.

Participants discussed alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, challenges related to transparency, flexibility with regards to national interpretation, consideration of gender issues and the application of standards in project finance.

Pamela Gomez, Sustainability Coordinator for Pacific Rubiales Energy in Colombia, explained the process of achieving EO100 certification and the value it added to the company’s sustainability commitments.

Mr. Rodríguez congratulated Pacific Rubiales Energy on their achievement and encouraged the company to consider applying the EO100 Standard to projects they may enter into in Mexico. Mr. Rodríguez also stressed the need to have a framework for addressing North American energy development that respects workers, local communities and the environment, especially in light of the energy reforms underway in Mexico. Mr. Rodríguez invited Pacific Rubiales Energy to participate in next year’s Canadian Mexican Prosperity event and invited all the participants to continue the dialogue on improving social and environmental standards in energy development.