Environmental, Social and Governance

The dedicated women and men of California Resources Corporation (CRC) are committed to helping our state and its diverse communities achieve and sustain a vibrant and inclusive future for generations to come. As California’s largest oil and natural gas exploration and production company, we take our leadership position seriously. We focus on meeting the evolving energy needs of Californians and improving our state’s economy, environment and equality. This means we:

  • Support an “All-of-the-Above” approach to sustainably provide energy that is affordable, reliable and vital to Californians and our local economy.
  • Share and endorse the state’s commitment to conserve our natural resources, protect our environment and mitigate climate change by providing local solutions for meeting Californians’ future energy needs.
  • Believe California best maintains its environmental leadership position by producing more of our energy locally under the world’s most stringent regulations.
  • Prioritize safely and sustainably providing the energy Californians need every day to safeguard people, strengthen diverse communities and improve environmental quality.
  • Serve as a key economic engine in California and drive upward economic mobility through high-wage careers in the energy industry for workers from a wide educational spectrum, and the affordability and reliability of our products that promote our collective public health, safety and welfare.

Meeting the Energy Needs of All Californians

California’s future success will depend, first and foremost, on meeting the social, economic and energy needs of all residents – particularly those in disadvantaged communities who have not shared equally in the prosperity of some coastal communities. To meet California’s long-term goals and those of CRC, this success must be accompanied by continued improvements in environmental quality and by greater resiliency of our energy supply to enable society to withstand natural and human-caused disruptions.

CRC strongly believes that California can meet both the pressing social and economic needs of working families and its ambitious environmental goals by replacing our state’s chronic dependence on imported energy with affordable, reliable and secure local production of a diverse mix of oil, natural gas and renewables. California oil and natural gas are produced under the world’s most stringent safety, labor, human rights and environmental standards, and their affordability and reliability complement renewable energy. Unfortunately, even as the rest of the United States becomes more energy independent, California imports a continually growing share of its energy needs, obtaining approximately 70 percent of its crude oil demand by supertanker from places around the world that do not apply California standards.

In fact, the state is ahead of its 2020 climate goals and greenhouse gas emissions have declined – yet oil consumption has not decreased. While demand is steady, instead of creating our own energy locally, each year California deepens its chronic dependence on foreign oil which isn't produced with our state’s strong environmental protections nor does it generate local and state tax revenue. In 2019, California imported 360 million barrels of foreign oil – equating to California sending $23 billion per year at the average 2019 Brent oil price to countries including Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Iraq, Colombia, and Nigeria.

California’s 40 million residents have an ever-growing need for energy and we should maintain our environmental leadership by producing more of that energy here. According to the latest annual data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California consumed more than 7,990 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy, a standard measure of energy output and usage that enables comparison among diverse forms of energy. Of that total, 72 percent were sources derived from oil and natural gas. Oil and natural gas are not just sources of energy — they are also essential raw materials in thousands of products we rely on every day. They are critical to making solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, asphalt for the roads we drive on and countless other materials necessary for a low-emission future – and they will remain critical feedstocks for California’s economy to function even if electrification of heating, cooking and the surface transportation sector becomes technologically and economically achievable in the coming decades. In fact, we believe continued local oil and gas production is essential for California to achieve its 2045 carbon neutrality goal and the goal of the Paris Climate Accord to limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius by 2050.

California can produce more of its energy in-state to sustainably ensure Californians retain an affordable, reliable and resilient supply to power our local economy. By increasing energy self-sufficiency from local oil, natural gas and renewable production, Californians will benefit directly through:

  • In-state careers, investments, technology and tax revenues that Californians are currently subsidizing in foreign countries
  • Reduced global emissions of greenhouse gases and other compounds
  • Reduced vulnerability to global turmoil, price spikes, transportation accidents and natural disasters

CRC has an unwavering commitment to helping all Californians succeed and improve their quality of life. We are delivering on that commitment by sustainably producing affordable energy for Californians and providing good-paying, high-quality jobs and a path to the middle class for men and women of all backgrounds. For CRC, being socially conscious means recognizing the needs of our diverse communities because if Californians succeed, CRC succeeds.

In fact, from 2017 through 2019, CRC provided over $9 million in charitable and community sponsorships to more than 500 organizations. In addition, our workforce once again demonstrated our deep commitment to address social and community challenges, serving nearly 4,300 volunteer hours in more than 220 employee-driven charitable and community events in 2019 alone. This outreach focuses on our five community pillars: education and job training; public health and safety; military and veterans; environmental stewardship and water conservation; and community empowerment that celebrates California’s diversity. Visit our Community Outreach section to learn more about how CRC is making long-term, positive impacts on families and businesses across the state.

HSE and Community Outreach Principles

CRC’s goal is to grow in tandem with our communities by providing ample, affordable and reliable energy that allows Californians to thrive. At our formation in 2014, our Board of Directors established three key principles that we apply through our Community Outreach and Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) programs:

  • Safeguard people and the environment in the design, operation and maintenance of our facilities
  • Engage proactively with neighbors, regulators and other stakeholders to serve as an active and supportive community partner
  • Promote conservation of water, habitat and energy in all of our operations

In addition to promoting our principles, the annual Sustainability Metrics are designed to ensure continuing progress to achieve CRC’s four 2030 Sustainability Goals (JPG) on carbon capture, methane emission reduction, water recycling and renewables integration to incorporate into our life-of-field planning. Our 2019 Sustainability Report (PDF) provides details about our sustainability strategy, goals and performance.

To track our performance, CRC’s Board of Directors adopted annual Sustainability Metrics – for safety, spill prevention, water conservation and sustainability milestone projects – that directly impact incentive compensation of our management team and all employees. These metrics are described in more detail in this section of our website as well as in our 2020 Proxy Statement (PDF).

CRC’s Long-Term Commitment to Safety and Sustainability

Focus on Safety

At CRC, health and safety leads everything we do. Safeguarding people and the environment in the design, operation and maintenance of our facilities is our number one principle. In 2020, CRC received 24 National Safety Achievement awards with respect to our 2019 performance. In addition, our workforce achieved the best safety record in the long history of our fields and operations in 2019, with zero employee injuries for well over a year, and a safety rate for our combined workforce that is better than radio broadcasters, insurance agents and stockbrokers.

Lower Carbon Intensity

CRC has implemented several projects since becoming an independent public company in 2014 to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions. Our two largest oil fields – the Elk Hills and Wilmington fields – are the only two major fields in California that have lower carbon intensity under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard* than California’s leading crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia. CRC’s development has been focused in and around these fields, demonstrating CRC’s ongoing prioritization and investment in these world-class assets. Additionally, CRC's innovative CalCapture carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project will help the state achieve its 2045 carbon neutrality goal. The project will substantially reduce CO2 emissions from the Elk Hills Power Plant and further reduce the already low carbon intensity of oil and natural gas produced at Elk Hills. For more information on the CCUS project, see our Controlling Air Emissions page.

A- Ranking From CDP

In 2020, CRC received an A- from CDP for our climate disclosure, scoring for two years in a row at CDP’s Leadership Level and earning the highest ranking among all U.S. oil and natural gas companies, tying for first with one other U.S.-based E&P with global operations. CDP is an international non-profit that evaluates companies on transparency and managing climate risk. This recognition showcases CRC’s continuous focus on sustainable, safe and reliable energy solutions.

Key HSE and Sustainability Documents

Key policies and documents regarding our HSE and Sustainability programs are available below.

Third-Party Review by First Carbon Solutions

In 2017, CRC requested an independent third party, First Carbon Solutions, a subsidiary of ADEC Innovations, to assess the conformance of CRC’s HSE standards and programs with international best practices. Their report is available below.

*The California Air Resources Board uses a measure of carbon intensity to reflect carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit of energy produced or consumed in the extraction and transportation of crude oil from a given field to a California refinery.