Rathbone Greenbank Investments
Extracting The Facts: An Investor Guide To Disclosing Risks From Hydraulic Fracturing Operations
At Rathbone Greenbank, we have observed the development of the shale gas industry with an appropriate degree of caution and scepticism. Shale is one of a number of unconventional sources of oil and gas whose development entails increased social and environmental risks. We have a long history of engaging with companies over the development of the Canadian Oil Sands, for example, and have seen increasing client concern over exposure to shale gas drilling.
We believe that the industry has a great deal more to do to convince the public and the regulatory community that it can develop such resources sustainably and responsibly. Bearing this in mind, we are announcing our public support for the Investor Environmental Health Network’s best practice guidance for safer fracking.
Developed during extensive consultation with the industry, ‘Extracting the Facts: An Investor Guide to Disclosing Risks from Hydraulic Fracturing Operations’ gives a detailed and comprehensive guide for companies, enabling them to respond to the growing concern over the impacts of the industry.
At its heart, the guidance calls on companies involved in shale gas drilling to commit to and report on twelve key supporting practices and indicators:
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
Only if these criteria are met can the industry begin to address the growing disquiet from society regarding irresponsible fracking. Rathbone Greenbank is adding its voice to over 50 investors, investment managers and institutional investor firms supporting the framework.
The full guidance can be downloaded from the IEHN website