Cost-Efficient Project Management Tools In The Era Of ESG Development
As major players within the energy sector have claimed to start the official shift towards green and responsible energy production, many debates have begun surrounding clean-up, reliable extraction, sustainability and ESG (environmental, social, governance) strategies. Significantly, the discussion continues on the cost efficiency of environmental project management during each phase and the tools required to preserve nature and perform reclamation/remediation procedures.
These factors play a critical role in how technological advances and a disciplined approach to financial resources management can: 1) facilitate the successful transition towards “green goals"; 2) promote responsible consumption due to climate change and inevitable resource scarcity; and 3) build a more sustainable future where each stakeholder is held accountable for the project outcomes.
Strategizing and theorizing on these issues and possible solutions is helpful; however, how many of the summarized approaches we see lately being suggested by scholars are practical? It all comes down to cost efficiency, timeline, scope and the nature of ESG policies application within each project. That is the view on the question a lot of energy companies are sharing now. With ESG regulations slowly but surely making their way into official corporate (CSR-level) planning, oil and gas businesses are still puzzled about its implementation due to a lack of governmental support, guidance and regulations, specifically on remediation and clean-up.
The accessibility of low-cost traditional energy sources has been a driver of the global economy for hundreds of years now. At the same time, the beginning of the 19th century had a global geopolitical situation re-shaped under the growing demands of the energy market. Many times in history, fossil fuels have been adopted as political leverage. However, since our planet’s environmental system can no longer support the extraction of resources at the same pace, the growth and the influence of the oil and gas sector have been capped mainly due to climate change.
Even though the ecological state of the world around us and its preservation for future generations has become such a pressing issue, it doesn’t mean the demand for energy in the world will change. On the contrary, with an ever-growing population, poverty reduction and urbanization levels on the rise, the world will need more and more energy.
Most fuel producers have realized the trend is here to stay and set up business goals to work with new regulations and opt for green energy and renewable sources. That’s when ESG policy has become a key component.
Strategies to enable the low-carbon, green economy transition might sound like an achievable yet distant goal; however, incremental steps must be taken to change something that grand. For example, there is considerable concern about abandoned wells all across the world. In the Canadian province of Alberta alone, 97,000 sites have been indefinitely suspended, awaiting remediation, sealing and decontamination. Environmental consultants hired by energy sector companies do facilitate clean-up projects across North America, but even with government funding involved, their efforts are not enough, and here's why.
Suppose there is an old abandoned oil well and it has a spill next to it. There are no more resources to be extracted, so this well has been sitting there for some time, and no one took care of it. Who would be responsible for a clean-up in this case: a landowner, a company that set it up in the first place, or the government that came up with new policies and standards? And most of the time, this question will not have an obvious answer.
Even if the company that performed the drilling and extraction of oil owns this land plot, has ESG policies in place by now, and keeps track of their retired sites — reclamation of the land and remediation of such abandoned wells is a multi-party process demanding top-notch collaboration during project management stages.
Additionally, with unclear governmental guidance on ESG policies implementation, there is a massive divide between all stakeholders involved in remediation processes (at that stage). The need for better communication tools and technologies cannot be overstated.
Currently, the environmental industry is being overwhelmed by the amount of information flowing between stakeholders: maps, reports, field data, photos, financials, and the list goes on. Spreadsheets and paper-based systems are still in use; meanwhile, outdated and hard-to-use GIS software does not offer much help. Without the proper tools, information is lost, deadlines are missed, costs are overrun, and time is wasted. These issues create massive delays and waste resources in environmental projects, directly impacting cost-effectiveness and the ability to drive towards a more sustainable future.
Management of such complex environmental projects involves assignment, execution and monitoring of various tasks spread across sub-projects and assigned to numerous contractors, as well as contacting government officials for regulatory updates. Those projects, meanwhile, span over vast expanses of land and dot the landscape of even the most remote areas. Keeping tabs on those assets and locations is not a job for a spreadsheet, even with the requisite GIS data.
A solution would be a map-based project management platform that provides overall simplicity and visibility to complex field services, resulting in more significant time and project budget savings at every turn. Not only are financial gains becoming visible with such a tool at the same time, but it also allows tracking of long-term environmental progress and ESG policy execution.
A variety of supporting features such as satellite imagery, third-party platform integrations via APIs, financial reporting, drawing, pinning of the locations, documents, photos and other files can become an exciting starting point in building better environmental project management practices. And some companies have hundreds of projects with many external collaborators working at the same time.
Their current systems might no longer fit their growing needs, and as a result, users are challenged by operational inefficiencies and data-sharing issues. These companies are considering either building a new in-house system or buying an existing project management product. If you are wondering about the options available on the market, start with Matidor.com.
To learn more about the platform that helps to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable, green and cost-efficient project management, request a demo.