What does it mean to be EO100™ Certified?
What does certification to a reputable independent third-party standard mean?
As more interest builds from natural gas buyers as well as from the financial and investment community, we would like to clarify what certification to the EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development offers and what it does not.
The EO100™ certification is a broad evaluation against all areas of environment, social and governance (ESG) performance and is not a guarantee of a “low methane intensity” gas supply.
By taking part in the EO100™ certification process, operators undergo a qualified, independent third-party assessment that looks broadly at company practices and policies against over 500 performance targets covering these 5 ESG Principles:
- Corporate Governance, Transparency & Ethics
- Human Rights, Social Impact & Community Development
- Indigenous People’s Rights
- Health & Safety and Fair Labor & Working Conditions
- Climate Change, Biodiversity & Environment
We assure that:
- A minimum score under each of the 5 Principles has been achieved
- Product is differentiated based upon a final grade achieved from C through A+
- Transparent metrics, scores and a letter grade, and details of the certification are posted on the EO100™ website along with clarifications of how metrics were determined.
Examples of claims that an operator with a certified asset can make:
- “Our ….. asset is certified at a B grade against the EO100™ Standard”
- “25% of our natural gas production is certified to the EO100™ Standard at grade C+”
An independent assessment of an asset or certifiable unit identifies areas where an operator is either meeting, exceeding, or leading in ESG practices, but also identifies areas in need of improvement. Operators that achieve certification must commit to a continuous improvement process to address any performance gaps identified by the independent assessors. As part of the continuous improvement process, less than perfect scores achieved on any of the performance targets must be improved upon annually. No operator or site is perfect; the fundamental nature of the program is to embark upon a journey of continuous improvement that is monitored annually. The certification is not a stamp of approval.
Certification to the EO100™ standard does not ensure that the asset is a “low methane intensity” supply of natural gas. What we do ensure is that:
- Methane and GHG intensities are reported to a standardized framework.
- Methane and overall GHG intensities are publicly reported on our website separately for the segments of the natural gas value chain that the operations encompass: production, gathering and boosting, processing, and transmission and storage.
- Description of methods used to determine those intensities, including any measurement informed methane emissions estimates.
- Best practices to control methane have been incentivized, evaluated, and scored.
- The Standard encourages enhanced methane leak monitoring and has requirements that go above minimum regulatory compliance with some stretch targets that go well beyond business as usual.
Without clear and transparent messaging of what is in each standard or certification, industry is at risk of allegations of greenwashing, with certification programs enabling this to happen. We encourage other programs to also disclose what it means to achieve their certification or standard in order to bring the necessary transparency to an opaque market. With increased transparency, we can all strive for the common goal of raising industry to a higher level of performance.