All too often clients will say: "Oh I don't want to invest in that oil company, or that gas company - I only want to put my money in socially responsible firms."
Well, did you know that there's a way to invest in oil and gas AND align your money with your green, renewable and environmentally sound values? That's because today some of the biggest oil and gas companies out there actually have alternative energy investment, research and application built into them.
How? Let's see.
Perhaps no other name is more closely linked with cars, oil and gas stations traditionally than Chevron. Yet today this American multinational energy corporation is also involved in the testing, evaluating and utilizing of advanced solar technologies, wind energy, biofuels and emerging technologies. In fact the company currently runs photovoltaic projects at Questa, New Mexico, and in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Since its inception in April 2011, the Questa project alone has produced 9.1 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy. Chevron's Caspar Wind Farm near Casper, Wyoming is an 11-turbine, 16.5-megawatt capacity wind farm, with enough power to run approximately 4,400 homes.
Next up? Valero is the world's largest independent petroleum refiner, a Fortune 500 international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products, and power. Environmental stewardship is also a core company value.
The firm has s
pent billions on environmental upgrades at their refineries over the past 10 years to
achieve significant emission reductions. They are
the first traditional refiner to enter large-scale production of ethanol, a renewable fuel, with 11 plants in the Midwest
. And they have
built wind-powered turbines to power a refinery
and participated in a variety of environmental preservation efforts. Their greenbelt between the Jean Gaulin refinery and residential neighborhoods in Quebec alone, features the 160-acre Valero Les Ecarts Park, offering many walking and cycling paths.
And then there's Schlumberger Limited. Working in more than 85 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people, Schlumberger is the world's largest oilfield services company and leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. Yet this behemoth too has made responsible global stewardship part of their mandate. The company's corporate strategy includes the development of advanced technologies for faster drilling, reduced surface and subsurface footprint, and improved reservoir recovery and production, all of which contribute to lowering resource requirements and creating fewer emissions per hydrocarbon unit produced.
Smaller but impactful efforts by the company to minimize the footprint of their exploration and production operations includes the use of brush cutters, rather than bulldozers, in order to leave roots undisturbed and foster a more rapid return of vegetation in fragile desert dunes, as well as in Arctic permafrost. Similarly, using mulch cutters reduces the environmental impact of seismic operations by preventing the rutting of the surface as the seismic vehicles pass, which in turn helps prevent erosion and alteration of local drainage patterns.