26 March 2013

Extracting the facts: an investor guide to disclosing risks from hydraulic fracturing operations

This guide by the Investor Environmental health network offers best practice recommendations to energy companies for reporting and reducing risks and impacts from natural gas operations in shale relying on hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as "fracking"). The guide can be a resource for companies responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission's growing interest in the environmental risks from fracturing operations, especially chemical and water management, and assists companies seeking to implement a November 2011 US Department of Energy advisory panel recommendation that companies "adopt a more visible commitment to using quantitative measures as a means of achieving best practice". The guide suggests goals, practices and indicators, providing existing examples from numerous companies.

The guide is organized around 12 core goals and supporting practices and indicators. These include:
1. Manage risks transparently and at Board level
2. Reduce surface footprint
3. Assure well integrity
4. Reduce and disclose all toxic chemicals
5. Protect water quality by rigorous monitoring
6. Minimize fresh water use
7. Prevent contamination from waste water
8. Minimize and disclose air emissions
9. Prevent contamination from solid waste and sludge residuals
10. Assure best in class contractor performance
11. Secure community consent
12. Disclose fines, penalties and litigation

In alphabetical order, the full list of the 55 investors, investment management and institutional investor firms supporting the “best practices” guidelines for fracking are as follows:  Adrian Dominican Sisters (USA); Adveq Real Assets, Adveq Management AG (Switzerland); APG All Pensions Group (Netherlands); As You Sow (USA); Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (Australia); Bon Secours Health System, Inc. (USA); Boston Common Asset Management, LLC (USA); Calvert Investments, Inc. (USA); Catholic Health East (USA); Catholic Health Partners (USA); Catholic Super (Australia); Ceres (USA); Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (USA); Christopher Reynolds Foundation (USA); Compton Foundation (USA); Congregation Sisters of St. Agnes General Council (Fond du Lac, WI) (USA); Dexia Asset Management (Belgium); Dignity Health (USA); Domini Social Investments LLC (USA); Dominican Sisters of Hope (USA); Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose (USA); Ethos (Switzerland); Everence Financial (USA); First Affirmative Financial Network (USA); Governance for Owners (United Kingdom); Green Century Capital Management (USA); Local Government Super (Australia); Maryknoll Sisters (USA); Mercy Investment Services (USA); Miller/Howard Investments, Inc. (USA); NEI Investments (Canada); Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment (USA); Park Foundation (USA); Parnassus Investments (USA); Pax World Funds (USA); Portfolio 21 Investments (USA); Qube Investment Management Inc. (Canada); Regnan - Governance Research & Engagement Pty Ltd (Australia); Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Western American Province (USA); Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment      (USA); Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) (Canada); Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth (USA); Sisters of St. Dominic, Congregation of the Most Holy Name, San Rafael (USA); Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, St. Francis Province (USA); Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia (USA); Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange (USA); Sisters of St. Louis, California Region (USA); Sisters of the Holy Family (USA); Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC) (USA); Swift Foundation (USA); The Sustainability Group at Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust, LLC (USA); Trillium Asset Management LLC (USA); Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province (USA); Walden Asset Management, a division of Boston Trust & Investment Management (USA); and Zevin Asset Management (USA).

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