The juxtaposition of energy needs and biodiversity values has led to challenges for both the energy industry and the conservation community. For energy companies, the challenge is to find a way to meet the public demand for oil and gas products, while at the same time addressing society's expectations for corporate social and environmental responsibility.
For environmental organizations, the challenge is to be a strong voice for biodiversity conservation while working with industry to find the balance between the potential threat that oil and gas development represents and the opportunities for harnessing the influence, expertise and resources of energy companies for conservation efforts.
The Energy and Biodiversity Initiative (EBI), convened by CELB, brings together leading energy companies and conservation organizations to develop and promote a framework of best practices for integrating biodiversity conservation into upstream oil and gas development. The partners have created a set of practical guidelines and tools to minimize impacts to biodiversity and maximize contributions to conservation wherever oil and gas resources are developed.
The guidelines address all stages of the project lifecycle – from pre-bid to decommissioning – and are designed to be integrated into existing company management systems.
Completed Report and Products:
In August of 2003, the EBI member organizations published a main report Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into Oil and Gas Development along with accompanying products that contain recommendations and tools for practical steps to integrate biodiversity protection into the entire lifecycle of oil and gas operations. The process of creating these products included consultation with key stakeholders from industry, academia and the environmental community.
After the launch of the EBI report , EBI members set out to apply and test the recommendations and guidelines – along with promoting the ideas and practices into EBI products. In 2005, a progress report was completed: “EBI Report on Progress,” which outlines how the EBI recommendations have been applied, tested, and promoted by EBI members and other companies within the energy sector. Also in 2005, the EBI report was translated into three other languages – Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Disseminated Report and Products: The report and products have been disseminated directly to the employees of the partner companies as well as to other individuals in the industry through direct mailings and the Biodiversity Working Group, jointly established by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, two major industry trade associations.
The EBI report and products also were disseminated directly to a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other interested parties through direct mailings and at public presentations at key conservation and industry forums. In addition, the main EBI report was translated and made available in Spanish, French and Portuguese, so that it may reach an even wider audience.
Committing to Next Steps: The industry members of the EBI have committed to continue to work toward integrating the EBI guidelines into their individual organizations, and the NGO members have committed to continue to promote the guidelines and challenge oil and gas companies to meet their responsibilities in regard to biodiversity conservation.