Even though Russian President Vladimir Putin has never been a big fan of the U.S. shale, his recent Ukrainian invasion triggered a chain of events leading the Biden administration to ask U.S. oil and gas companies to drill more oil and gas.

As producers scramble to increase production, some industry folks are taking this chance to vilify ESG by saying ‘if only ESG didn’t push investors away from fossil fuels,’ and ‘this is the end of the ESG era.’

I beg to disagree with these statements.

ESG was never an obstacle for oil and gas, and to debunk a myth you’ve probably heard a lot—it’s not just an “impress-the-investor scheme” either. In fact, a well-devised strategy to deal with ESG issues is a glaring opportunity, which—if used in the right way—can bring numerous benefits to the business. 

Especially now, when the Biden administration has finally realized the need to ramp up domestic oil and gas production to ensure energy security, there is a greater need for producers to adopt a robust ESG strategy. This includes attracting new types of investors and promoting long-term financial outcomes as well as focusing on responsible production by promoting sustainability and slashing emissions.

Let’s face it, addressing climate change remains a top priority for oil and gas companies, which is where the role of ‘E’ in ESG comes into play.

Recently, a group of the world’s top oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil and bp, announced the launch of a new fund of more than $1 billion to invest in new technologies focused on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from energy use.

Over the past few months, I was fortunate to have some insightful conversations with leaders across the U.S. shale sector, and nearly all of them echoed the same message—a well-designed ESG strategy is helping them produce barrels responsibly, thus creating business value.

Even though reducing emissions and addressing climate change goals remain a priority for the oil and gas sector, leaders across the industry appear to be balancing the ESG equation by focusing equally, if not more, on social and governance issues. And you’ll find plenty of evidence of this in Hart Energy’s latest Energy ESG report, which is centered on “demystifying the course of action.”

Through four strategically placed sections, the supplement takes a deep dive into the next step of ESG, which is implementation. While in the past few years, we’ve seen a lot on why ESG matters, companies are now taking concrete steps toward actually implementing their ESG strategies, marking a shift from ambitious planning to action.

Additionally, on April 27, Hart Energy will host its second in-person Energy ESG Conference in Dallas, where attendees will get a chance to learn from and network with top executives across the industry ranging from ESG heads of oil majors to private equity experts. Our comprehensive conference agenda sets the stage for compelling discussions on all the key topics to navigate market challenges of the energy industry by adopting a robust ESG strategy suited to different business needs amid a pressing need for energy security.

As Hart Energy continues its extensive coverage of what is being called the “megatrend of the decade,” we invite you to come join us and become a part of the dialogue so that together we can ESG the right way.

Enter the 2022 Energy ESG Awards:

Nominations are open to producers, operators, services companies and midstream companies in the oil and gas industry.

The deadline to submit is Aug. 31, 2022.