Pioneer Natural Resources just published its first Sustainability Report, a sign that a growing number of oil companies are feeling the heat from investors over climate change.
Environmental groups have mostly targeted the largest oil companies, both because their sheer size means that they have a larger impact on global greenhouse gas emissions and because of the symbolic value of forcing energy titans to change their act. Activist investors, for their part, are concerned about the loss of shareholder value if oil companies fail to pivot with changing business environment.
After years of resisting its own shareholders, ExxonMobil recently caved to pressure and said that it would publish details of its exposure to various climate threats – regulatory threats, peak oil demand, low prices, etc. – although that came after a shareholder resolution passed earlier this year calling on them to do so.
Pioneer Natural Resources, a Texas shale driller and not an oil major like ExxonMobil, also sees the writing on the wall and it too was the target of shareholder resolution earlier this year. Pioneer’s Sustainability Report is a response to that vote.
“Climate change is an important concern for Pioneer and our stakeholders, and our strategy is to proactively manage our environmental footprint and emissions,” Pioneer’s CEO Timothy Dove said in a statement.
The acknowledgement of the threat of climate pressure from Pioneer is notable. “It is significant that Pioneer, perhaps the most influential company in the Permian, is publishing a sustainability report for the first time,” Andrew Logan, who directs the oil and gas program at Ceres, an organization that pressures companies to make more sustainable investments, told Axios. “It should lead to pressure on its peers to follow suit.”
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