For Trina Engels, newly hired director of ESG at Talos Energy, pivoting into ESG was a conscious decision. 

“I started thinking about it in 2018 and I wanted my next role to bridge my unique and diverse background,” Engels told Hart Energy.

“I have a Civil Engineering undergraduate degree, Environmental Engineering master’s degree, and have worked 24 years in the industry in a variety of roles including engineering, regulatory, commercial, risk assurance and strategy,” she added.

Hart Energy July 2022 - Talos Energy ESG Head Trina Engels headshot“The leadership team implemented a role dedicated to sustainability matters within the company, including leading reporting efforts, staying on top of trends, navigating the evolving standards landscape, bringing an ESG view to M&A and continuing to integrate ESG in the Talos strategy. I was hired to lead these efforts earlier this year.”—Trina Engels, Director of ESG, Talos Energy Inc.

Prior to joining Talos, one of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest public independent producers, Engels was advising at a consulting firm where she partnered with companies as they progressed their ESG strategies. 

“With Talos Energy’s top workplace reputation and emergence in the low-carbon solutions space, it was an easy choice to pursue the ESG Director opportunity,” she said.

According to Engels, the concept of ESG is still evolving and is here to stay, adding that it’s important to align the company’s operations and data with its ESG goals.

“Regardless of the size of your company, it is important to start aligning your systems, procedures and data now to be competitive for capital, M&A and possibly mandatory climate disclosure,” she added.

Engels recently sat down with Hart Energy to discuss Talos Energy’s ESG strategies and carbon capture initiatives plus other energy transition opportunities. She will also speak at Hart Energy’s upcoming Energy ESG Conference in Houston on Sept. 8. For more information about the conference, visit

Hart Energy: Talos has been at the forefront of various ESG and carbon capture initiatives. Can you give a quick overview of what ESG means for Talos?

Trina Engels: At Talos, we are building what we think the “energy company of the future” should look like, which is a firm that combines the continued responsible growth of our upstream business to meet the world’s current energy needs, advancing low carbon solutions for the future and maintaining a strong commitment to people and communities.

ESG is truly woven into the fabric of the company to the point that no one thinks of it as ESG, but as just doing what is right and being a responsible operator, neighbor, partner and employer.

HE: Everyone always talks about the ‘E’ or environmental aspect of ESG. Can you talk about the ‘G’ or governance at Talos? Where does the responsibility for ESG oversight lie?

TE: We believe that corporate responsibility ultimately lies with every one of our team members. Our formal governance structure is also one of the strongest within our peer group given our market cap, and it starts at the top with the Board of Directors.  

The Talos board has a safety, sustainability and corporate responsibility committee led by one of our independent directors, and last year we introduced a chief sustainability officer role. In addition, Talos has an internal ESG committee comprised of key stakeholders from various disciplines across the company. This committee meets multiple times a year to set goals, review status on initiatives, and discuss next steps. 

Finally, the leadership team implemented a role dedicated to sustainability matters within the company, including leading reporting efforts, staying on top of trends, navigating the evolving standards landscape, bringing an ESG view to M&A and continuing to integrate ESG in the Talos strategy. I was hired to lead these efforts earlier this year.  

HE: Can you discuss how Talos, as an offshore producer, ensures the safety of its workforce? What is the biggest driver of the safety culture within Talos Energy? 

TE: The biggest driver is direct leadership involvement. Our executive and senior leadership sets the tone for the safety culture across the organization. Talos hosts in-person annual trainings for offshore employees, contractor safety days and bi-weekly safety meetings that are all attended by members of the executive and senior leadership team.  

Through these meetings, all offshore employees and contractors hear directly from management on driving the safety culture forward. These meetings allow everyone, no matter what their level in the organization, to hear one voice confirming our commitment to the safety of all employees and contractors.

At Talos, we empower all individuals that come and work for us to make safety their highest priority. Each employee or contractor that goes offshore is immediately presented a Talos stop work authority card, that is signed by our CEO and COO and lets all individuals know they have not only the right, but the obligation to stop any work that they deem to be unsafe, without repercussions. 

HE: Discussing further the social dimension of ESG, how does Talos attract, retain and develop top talent?

TE: If you create a great place to work it is easy to attract and retain top talent. It starts with leadership creating the right environment and culture. I would say Talos has done that—the company has been named a top workplace every year since 2013 and has maintained a turnover rate of just 3% to 5%, which are strong signals that we’re doing something right. But we are not satisfied with that and know we can continue to improve.  

We believe that people are our most valuable assets and that everyone can be a leader.  We are building programs to better develop our people and challenging ourselves to grow and cultivate an inclusive culture. We are listening to what our employees want through surveys and discussion to better understand what is important to them.

HE: Talos is positioning itself well for the energy transition with its low carbon initiatives. Is Talos looking to participate in other low carbon opportunities beyond carbon capture and sequestration?

TE: Talos’s low carbon solutions is set up to potentially do just that—deliver a broader portfolio of decarbonization projects. We are exploring new ventures that are complimentary and adjacent to our carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) portfolio. We have a team evaluating various technologies and applications across the CCS value chain to meet our customers’ needs and continue to identify opportunities to vertically integrate with the blue economy. Our current priority is strengthening our CCS position across the Gulf Coast and then exploring other ways that our skills, resources, and assets can create value as the energy economy evolves.