In 2020, a major petroleum-refining company hired Barr to evaluate its ESG performance reporting against the frameworks of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Our initial work included reviewing our client’s 2019 ESG metrics and comparing them to the GRI and SASB reporting requirements; identifying gaps; and recommending ways to fill those gaps.
We began by comparing the company's reporting with the requirements of the SASB’s Oil and Gas Sector (midstream) standard, which addresses environmental, social, and governance topics such as greenhouse gas emissions, ecological impacts, competitive behavior, operational safety, and emergency and preparedness response. We also provided advice on reporting GRI water and effluents data and reviewed the SASB and GRI reports of 15 North American midstream companies to help the company benchmark its own ESG reports.
Barr then provided technical guidance related to definitions and interpretations of ESG metrics for things including land disturbances, protected areas, biodiversity, land restoration, and recovered spills. In addition, we recommended adding several of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association's reporting requirements, to complement SASB reporting and address areas in which SASB guidance was weak or absent. Finally, we identified and highlighted peer companies’ ESG best practices for our client to consider including in its reports.
Barr is currently developing and documenting ESG workflow processes for this company, as well as creating an ESG management-system framework.