5 ways oil and gas firms are embracing sustainability

| July 8, 2020

Reliance on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels is one of humankind’s greatest sustainability issues. As we move towards a greener, less polluted, and more stable future of eco-friendly practices, businesses within the oil and gas industry risk not just their reputations, but becoming obsolete.

To survive, much like any species in nature, this industry needs to evolve towards building a cleaner economy for all. Luckily, this particular industry has always been at the forefront of tech innovation and embracing new and improved solutions, so it shouldn’t be any different with boosting sustainability.

There’s another perspective that adds relevance to this trend: the ongoing pandemic, which has made it extremely difficult for this particular industry to remain profitable and the demand has dwindled, increasing the need for companies to adapt.

With the right strategic mindset, the oil and gas industry can certainly greet the post-pandemic era with a greener mindset, and the following ideas will certainly help introduce even more sustainability for these businesses.

Utilising renewable energy sources

In the past few years, renewable energy options have become more widely available and far more affordable than ever before. This has made it possible for residents to choose solar energy over traditional electricity grids, and completely revamp their home’s impact on the environment. So, why can’t oil and gas giants do the same?

Every aspect of running your oil and gas business, from running your office all the way to actual work in the oilfields requires ample energy. That said, switching to renewable resources such as solar or wind can make all the difference for your business.

Cutting-edge tools and equipment

Using technology across the board in every single process for the oil and gas industry means another opportunity for discovering more eco-friendly solutions. It’s vital for companies in this realm to find, replace, and maintain their systems and equipment in superb condition to ensure greater sustainability.

Companies today have access to truly cutting-edge oilfield equipment that can help with everything from energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and reducing waste.

If companies use outdated and poorly-maintained tools and parts, they risk all kinds of devastating leaks – whereas implementing technologically superior equipment allows them to eliminate or reduce the risk in the long run.

Plus, advanced digital analytics tools based on AI can help make smarter forecasts and reduce the risk even further, thus helping your business add another sustainable dimension.

Recycling water and reducing water usage

With technology at your service and top-quality equipment at your disposal, there’s very little you cannot do. When it comes to greening up your business practices, aim for processes that are most detrimental to the environment, such as fracking and element separation, which require gallons of freshwater every day.

You have the opportunity to recycle water more efficiently and reuse it many times over to make sure that you completely reduce freshwater usage from start to finish.

Filtering water more efficiently and water decontamination are merely two of the most common steps where oil and gas companies can find advantageous and economically viable solutions to reduce overwhelming water waste.

Going paperless

There are all kinds of business processes that are flexible enough already to become more sustainable. For instance, more companies in every industry are doing their absolute best to reduce their paper usage or even completely eliminate paper and move towards an entirely digitised structure.

When you’re in the oil and gas business, you can certainly adapt well enough to eliminate all kinds of wasteful behaviours from your company procedures.

Start with paper and implement digital tools to replace your print: advertise your brand online, send e-vites to events, keep digital contracts, and look for a digital accounting solution.

Moreover, you can find ways to reduce and eliminate plastic waste from your business processes, especially your office. Don’t neglect these “minor” adaptations because they seem insignificant. In the end, every change counts.

Green investments for the long haul

For the time being, it’s true that the oil and gas industry can only do so much in terms of sustainability. That, however, shouldn’t prevent companies in this field to find alternative and equally impactful ways to make a difference, both locally and globally. One of the simplest, yet most powerful strategies any business can implement is setting up a fund for green organizations.

If you assign a portion of your profits to help preserve the environment, you can help other, dedicated companies do much more. Be it a tree-planting initiative, a river-cleaning event, or a long-term partnership with a sustainability organization, it can all be a powerful contribution to restoring balance to the natural world.

The world needs more long-term strategies that focus on sustainability rather than profit. With such an approach, the oil and gas giants can stand the test of time, manage to reduce their carbon footprint, and enable growth.

These tactics are considered the pillars of sustainability for oil and gas companies, and hopefully, more will arise over time as innovative green solutions come to light.