Sustainable Development is the overarching working template in ONGC which finds expression in its commitment to continually enhance the triple bottom line benchmarks of economic, environmental and social performance.
ONGC realized that focussed carbon management efforts were an ideal route to cover the elements of their business specific sustainable development issues across the environmental dimension. A critical area of environmental sustainability is mitigation of global greenhouse gas from operations.
So far, we have registered 15 CDM projects accounting for a total emission reduction potential of about 2.1 Million ton CO2 equivalent every year. Conservation of fresh water and sustainable use of fresh water is another focus area where your company has adopted various measures like water foot-printing, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plants and seawater desalination.
To fulfill the organizational objective of corporate sustainability ONGC is progressively working towards reducing their carbon footprint, by reducing both direct and indirect energy consumption. ONGC plans to make a comprehensive, organization wide GHG inventory that covers both direct and indirect energy over the next two to three years. This would provide the overall carbon footprint of the organization and help identify mitigation opportunities. A pilot exercise to assess GHG footprint of ONGC's representative operating units has already been completed. This pilot is now being scaled up into a pan ONGC GHG accounting exercise to assess the Company's organisational carbon footprint and importantly to undertake a rigorous study for identification of all feasible GHG mitigation opportunities.
National Gas Star program
An innovative, interesting climate change mitigation work program is the identification, quantification and reduction of fugitive methane emissions from production operations. For this ONGC entered into an MoU with the United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA) in August 2007, to undertake Methane to Market (now GMI) projects under its Natural Gas STAR Program to promote development, implementation and reporting of profitable, voluntary methane emission mitigation activities.
The technical collaboration between the U.S. EPA and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) under the MoU, administered under the GMI Partnership, has built a strong base of knowledge and capacity within ONGC to cost-effectively reduce methane emissions now and into the future.
As of now ONGC has reduced approx 10.54 MMSCM since joining the partnership in 2007 which is equivalent to reducing 150,000 tCO2e from the atmosphere. An elaborate plan to map all production installations for fugitive hydrocarbon emission and to make the installations leak free in the coming few years has been chalked out. ONGC has completed leak detection & measurement at 56 relevant facilities. Once the planned objective is achieved, it would be a remarkable feat for ONGC and the oil & gas Industry at large in India.
Sustainable Water Management
ONGC is also working on a company-wide "Sustainable Water Management Strategy" aimed at reduction in specific fresh water consumption and reporting on the water footprint based on internationally recognised standards and practices. The action plan includes baseline assessment of water use, building reporting capability in the short term followed by operation specific sustainable water management plans, location specific SOPs with water recycling, and reuse targets as appropriate in the medium to long term.
Ever cognizant of the necessity of being accountable, responsive and transparent to the wider body of stakeholders ONGC commenced corporate sustainability reporting based on the globally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G3) guidelines in 2009-10. ONGC is in the process of releasing their third consecutive independently assured GRI-G3 based Sustainability Report. The Company will continue to bring out externally assured sustainability reports through which it will strive to improve their overall engagement with stakeholders, be accountable for their triple bottom line performance and help improve the same.
ONGC firmly believes that sustainable development requires all societal players to contribute their mite and as the nation's leading corporate citizen, it has been and will always be contributing their best for sustainable development.