Big Natural Gas Customers Want Sustainability Reporting from Producers, Invite Stakeholder Comments
Investors are increasingly demanding that companies disclose climate and other operational risks to their bottom lines, and to report on sustainability efforts. Now, major natural gas consumers are getting into the act.
A very significant group of U.S. natural gas purchasers, including natural gas distribution companies and electric generating companies, is encouraging natural gas producers to increase their voluntary disclosures around environmental and community impacts of fracking. The aim of the effort is to strengthen the social license to operate of purchasers and producers alike.
The Natural Gas Supply Collaborative (NGSC) is currently composed of these companies:
- Austin Energy
- Calpine Corporation
- Consolidated Edison Company of New York
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
- National Grid
- NRG Energy
- NW Natural
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company
- Southern California Gas Company
- Xcel Energy
NGSC worked with M.J. Bradley & Associates (MJB&A) to identify non-financial performance indicators that address key questions of sustainability of natural gas production. NGSC is encouraging natural gas producers to voluntarily disclose relevant information on:
The draft performance indicators include both quantitative and qualitative measures of how natural gas producers are managing the potential impacts of their activities:
In developing indicators for NGSC, MJB&A reviewed and built on a number of existing disclosure frameworks:
- CDP’s Climate and Water questionnaires and Oil and Gas Sector Module;
- Investor Environmental Health Network’s Disclosing the Facts;
- GRI’s Oil and Gas Sector Disclosures;
- American Petroleum Institute, International Association of Oil & Gas Producers’ Oil and Gas Industry Guidance on Voluntary Sustainability Reporting
- IPIECA’s Pilot Climate Change Reporting Framework; and
- Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Sustainability Accounting Standard
NGSC has released a Public Review Draft White Paper explaining these indicators and is seeking stakeholder review and feedback before finalizing them. Comments are due to MJB&A by September 22, 2017.
NGSC intends to encourage natural gas producers to voluntarily report on the final performance indicators. When it comes to advancing the cause of sustainability, money talks; and NGSC is turning up the volume. The ever-growing business case for sustainable natural gas production is getting louder all the time.