Driving change towards a carbon neutral world
EnQuest partnership puts Bradford at centre of energy debate
At first glance, having an oil and gas company sponsor a new sustainability post in higher education might seem counterintuitive but Prof Don Lloyd, who took on the role in April, disagrees.
Prof Lloyd, a chartered chemical engineer, is Professor of Practice in Sustainability and Energy Futures within the School of Management, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Bradford, sponsored by EnQuest.
His goal during the coming 12 months is to embed a culture of sustainability across the University's various Faculties and in so doing, empower students to become drivers of change.
He says: “Right now, there’s a big focus on low carbon economies and working toward carbon neutral targets and we’re all committed to that but at the same time, we must acknowledge 40 per cent of the UK energy mix still comes from oil and gas.
“This is about recognising there’s still a demand for this source of energy, recognising we have a climate crisis, and that we need to move away from our dependence on carbon. In the meantime, as traditional fuel sources are running down, we need to ensure companies that operate in those areas are run as sustainably as possible.”
He adds: “The whole point to me is that we have a positive influence on this generation of students, because it will be critical to their future. This is an opportunity to look at promoting a responsible viewpoint within the industry.”
Prof Lloyd, who has worked with EnQuest in the past as a consultant, has taken the new position for an initial period of 12 months, during which time he will help develop the University’s sustainability strategy, working across different faculties to embed a sustainability agenda.
EnQuest specialises in taking on maturing and underdeveloped oil and gas fields, safely and sustainably improving their operational, financial and environmental performance before eventually decommissioning them in a responsible manner, which includes minimising emissions and maximising the recycle and reuse of recovered materials.
Non-executive chairman Martin Houston said the company was proud to be sponsoring the new position.
“We’re very proud to be forming this partnership because this ties in with our ongoing environmental, social and governance agenda and our own sustainability goals. While we are fully supportive of the global energy transition to a lower carbon economy, the reality is that won't happen overnight. It therefore requires that companies who are in the oil and gas sector operate responsibly through the multi-decade transition.
“We at EnQuest have set ourselves ambitious carbon-reduction targets as we aim to operate within the lowest possible carbon footprint, extracting the required resource from aging fields, particularly in the North Sea, which obviates a need for new investment in new facilities. Our involvement in sponsoring this new role at the University of Bradford forms part of that overall mindset."
Prof Zahir Irani, Deputy Vice-Chancellor adds: “I am delighted that the University of Bradford will be working collaboratively with EnQuest through this funded Chair, which will seek to tap into the vast human and infrastructural resources we have here, at Bradford. The University is committed to supporting the green economy and, in supporting green chemistry through to the principles of the circular economy. I am confident that this will be the start of a successful and long term relationship with EnQuest.”