At GeoPark we are committed to implementing the best environmental practices and fully complying with the legal framework in each of the countries in which we operate, as described in our Nature, People and Neighbors Commitment. The commitment to our values, in addition to being reflected in concrete actions, is shown by certifications that guarantee compliance with the best management standards and drive us to continuously improve.
In Colombia, we have an Environmental Management System (EMS) that is certified to ISO 14001:2015 through August 2023 and which guides our environmental performance and allows us to identify, prioritize and manage environmental risks. We run awareness and training programs for our employees on the efficient use of natural resources and compliance with environmental regulations, supported by the guidelines of our Environmental Commitment.
Protecting biodiversity is a priority for GeoPark. We know that we have to work together to avoid, mitigate or eliminate any impact that puts the planet's biodiversity at risk. Our contribution has focused on carrying out programs to care for and preserve the richness of the natural environment in the different territories we work in, alongside expert national and international partners.
We worked with the Tauramena Mayor's Office and the Orinoquia Biodiversa Foundation (FOB) to develop a study to classify the biodiversity of different ecosystems in Tauramena municipality in Colombia’s Casanare department, which range from mountain forests to flood plains and wetlands. The project makes a significant contribution to decision-making processes about the recovery and sustainable use of natural resources in the region. As a result of this study, we published the Tauramena Natural catalog of local animal and plant life, which describes priority conservation species based on their ecological importance and levels of endemism, threats and vulnerability.
In our work to protect biodiversity in Casanare we developed -also in association with FOB- the Wildlife Crossings initiative that fragmented landscapes more connected and protects diversity. Studies of wildlife crossings around operations in the Llanos 34 block allow the planning of clear strategies to protect and conserve species in strategic corridors in the areas where we have activities.
Our environmental investment projects include the identification, purchase and donation of protected areas. We donated nearly 2,000 hectares that are part of the National Natural Parks of Colombia (PNN) system to the Paz de Ariporo Mayor's Office in Casanare department. The land, the La Esmeralda Nature Reserve, is classified as a perpetual conservation area due to its unique animal and plant life.
The Chingaza National Natural Park in Colombia is an area of great biodiversity and is particularly vulnerable due to private sector agriculture, livestock, hunting and the extraction of high value timber. As the recovery of these areas is strategic for the biological connectivity between ecosystems, GeoPark has bought lands and donated them to the Protected Areas System (SINAP), contributing to the recovery and preservation of areas of environmental importance.
The Biodiversity and Development for Putumayo program is an initiative created in 2017 by ANDI (National Business Association of Colombia) that focuses on integrating biodiversity into private sector operations, promoting the exchange of experiences and helping to improve the private sector’s environmental performance. GeoPark participates in the Biodiversity and Development for Putumayo program through its La nueva Amerisur subsidiary, in association with National Natural Parks (PNN), the Alexander Von Humboldt Institute, Corpoamazonia, the SINCHI Institute and the Biodiversity Information System.
Another area in which we have worked to conserve and protect biodiversity is the Morona Project Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation Program in Peru (Morona BMAP), a research tool of the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Conservation and Sustainability (CCS) in collaboration with GeoPark. The goal of this pioneering initiative was to evaluate and recommend how to avoid, minimize and restore industrial development impacts on biodiversity in a little-studied remote region of great environmental interest.
To optimize the Company's energy performance and reducing the carbon intensity of operations, we implemented an energy efficiency plan that includes using alternative energy in our fields and migrating from diesel to natural gas for our power generation. In 2020, the GHG emissions intensity indicator in Scopes 1 and 2 was 15.2 kg CO2e/boe. This was 28.3% below the 21.2 kg CO2e/boe industry global average.
To help lower emissions levels GeoPark took part in a reforestation project coordinated by the Ecuadorian chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) that aims to plant 10,000 trees in localities around the Ilalo volcano in Quito, Ecuador. The initiative will capture over 30,000 tons of CO₂ within two decades.
Under our management plan to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, in 2020 we signed a contract with PEL (Petroeléctrica de los Llanos) to connect the Llanos 34 block to Colombia’s national power grid, whose installed generation capacity is 68% renewable. We advanced in contracting a photovoltaic solar project that will be installed in Llanos 34. This will diversify energy sources in the block and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Our environmental management includes water efficiency projects such as reducing water capture from natural sources, stopping water discharges, reusing or reinjecting water, and the efficient and responsible consumption of industrial and domestic water. In 2020 we reduced consolidated water consumption by 8% from 2019 through measures taken for more efficient water consumption and because of decreased activities resulting from the pandemic.
As part of our focus on protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems, we signed an agreement with the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) on creating what would be the first network of flow monitoring stations on the Meta river. Our partnership with IDEAM will include the construction of a regional center to receive the information captured by the monitoring stations, as well as satellite information and the findings of a climatological radar strategically located in the heart of Colombia’s Orinoquia region. This project will be critical to decision-making in the areas of public health, risk management, agriculture, fishing, water management, tourism, transportation and energy in the communities around the river.
Our integrated waste management plan aims to control potential environmental or human health impact of our hydrocarbons exploration and production activities.
For more detail on the projects and results related to our commitment to the environment, see our SPEED/ESG Report 2020 here.