For more than twenty years, Emisoft has been meeting the needs of one of the world’s most carbon-efficient oil and gas producers
On the sustainability page of their website, Equinor boldly asks “Can an oil and gas company be part of a sustainable energy future?” Clearly, they believe the answer is yes. Every element of production and innovation at the Norway-based energy producing company is designed and executed with an eye on sustainability—and Emisoft has been helping Equinor to manage and report on their environmental performance since 1993.
Norway introduced its carbon tax in 1991, becoming one of the first countries to do so and affecting both upstream production and the cost of producing oil and gas. The following year, laboratory testing of chemicals used in offshore energy production became a requirement for upstream of oil and gas companies. Like most companies, Equinor relied on a complex system of linked spreadsheets to comply with regulation and monitor environmental performance. They recognised that Emisoft could provide a more robust and efficient environmental management system to cater for their needs and ensure sustainable environmental management.
“That was really the start of the Emisoft solution,” explains Hilde Hushagen, key account manager at Emisoft.
“We were tasked with a joint project from both Equinor and Hydro, the two largest oil and gas companies at that time in Norway, to design a system to keep track of their environmental performance, achieve sustainable environmental management and meet regulatory requirements. So version one of our environmental management system was made based on the needs of the two major oil and gas companies in Norway.”
Equinor and Emisoft have developed and matured together over time. While Equinor has focused on compliance, improving sustainability performance and continuously enhancing the efficiency of environmental reporting and accounting, Emisoft has focused on developing environmental management software that provides traceability and transparency, and ensures compliance. At times, a new requirement from Equinor informed a development by Emisoft. At other times, an improvement of the solution such as a new configuration or a report could enable Equinor to work faster or better manage and understand their environmental performance.
Along the way, the Norwegian government’s commitment to high environmental performance standards has informed the development of the two companies. “Particularly when it comes to keeping track of chemical use and discharge, in Norway it’s been really detailed and complex,” says Hushagen.
In 2001 environmental authorities introduced zero discharge requirements for chemicals along the Norwegian continental shelf, a goal that was to be fulfilled by 2005. Hushagen recalls a project involving Equinor, Hydro and ConocoPhillips that challenged Emisoft to develop their environmental management software to support a zero discharge strategy for chemical use. “We developed a more complex and sophisticated model for calculating chemical discharge to enable the companies to reach the goal,” she explains.
“Based on the needs of Equinor and the need of all our other customers, we’ve always been very detailed about how they calculate, what the models are, how their requirements are met.”
The zero discharge goal was met in 2005, and chemical discharges have been consistently lowered in subsequent years. Equinor’s strong focus on sustainability has earned them recognition that is traditionally uncommon for the oil and gas industry. In 2014 they ranked as the fourth most sustainable corporation in the world regardless of industry and the most sustainable energy company, according to the Corporate Knights Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable organisations. For 2015, they received a disclosure score of 100 and a performance score of 80 from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and in 2016, were ranked as the very top of the CDP survey.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is another example of a complex regulatory requirement where Emisoft has provided a sustainable environmental management system that secures compliance. The EU ETS includes requirements for the submission of reports for all CO2 emissions, third-party verification of the emission data and payment of CO2 quotas. Equinor uses Emisoft’s environmental management software to make all the necessary calculations and required reports, relying on the system’s inbuilt traceability and transparency to ensure complete, accurate and valid results.
Environmental data is managed in one common system. Data is accessed, updated and reviewed at site level and aggregated, monitored and reported on corporate level. Having access to quality environmental data is fundamental for how Equinor conducts its business—a carbon intensity KPI is even included in the CEO Eldar Sætre’s score card. And how Equinor conducts business is equally important to Emisoft.
“The knowledge we gain working with our clients, especially Equinor, informs where we set the benchmark of how good our system needs to be,” says Jon Eivind T. Strømme, CEO of Emisoft. “With Equinor, we are always striving to meet the needs of one of the world’s most sustainable energy companies.”
On the same page of their website, Equinor answers their own question regarding sustainability in their industry: “ Equinor aims to be recognised as the most carbon-efficient oil and gas producer, committed to creating lasting value for communities.” They proceed to demonstrate exactly how they do that, offering statistics about energy needs and sustainability alongside detailed explanations of how they monitor their environmental impact and downloads of their annual disclosure reports—the reports made possible by and created with the Emisoft environmental management software solution.
As Equinor continues to innovate for a sustainable energy future, Emisoft remains committed to helping them achieve their aim.
This case study was written for Emisoft, the environmental data reporting SaaS company. View the original here.