Oil and Gas

Sustainability in the Oil and Gas Industry

Two Rackspace Technology ESG experts provide an overview of our strengths in the increasingly critical area of oil and gas industry sustainability.

The oil and gas industry, heavily implicated in global carbon emissions, is progressively adopting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) frameworks and committing to decarbonization. A key part of this shift involves tackling the inherent challenges posed by data centers, cloud computing environments and data sovereignty, all of which are crucial to the industry’s ESG strategy and to reducing its overall carbon footprint.


Challenges for the energy, oil and gas industry

1. Data centers and energy consumption

Energy-intensive operations: Oil and gas companies depend on data centers for processing and storing vast amounts of geological and operational data. These facilities consume a substantial amount of energy, adding significantly to the sector's environmental impact. Reducing this impact involves optimizing infrastructure for energy efficiency, using green power sources and potentially relocating data centers to regions with renewable energy availability.


2. Hybrid cloud environments

Management complexity: Hybrid clouds offer a blend of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services, providing flexibility and scalability. However, managing these systems can be intricate, particularly when optimizing workload distribution to enhance performance while minimizing environmental impacts.


3. Security and compliance

Robust measures: Security is a paramount concern due to the sensitive nature of data handled by the oil and gas industry. Ensuring robust security measures and compliance with diverse regional regulations further complicates hybrid cloud management.


4. Data sovereignty and its implications for ESG

Regulatory compliance: Data sovereignty, which dictates that data is subject to the laws of the country it’s stored in, poses challenges for multinational oil and gas companies. The companies must navigate a complex landscape of data protection laws that can impact decisions regarding data storage and processing locations. Adhering to these laws is essential to avoid legal penalties and to maintain trust with stakeholders.


5. Impact on decarbonization efforts:

Data sovereignty: can also influence decarbonization strategies. Storing and processing data in countries dependent on coal or other non-renewable energy sources can increase an operation's carbon footprint, potentially undermining a company's ESG goals.


Strategic implications for ESG and decarbonization

Balancing operational and ESG demands: Oil and gas companies must carefully balance the operational requirements of data management with their ESG objectives. This balance necessitates strategic decisions regarding the location and design of data centers, the selection of cloud services, and the overall management of data to comply with regulatory standards and achieve sustainability goals.

Investment in technology: Addressing the complexities associated with data centers and cloud environments requires substantial investments in technology. This includes upgrading data center infrastructure, adopting new cloud technologies that enhance energy management and implementing secure data processing solutions that comply with international standards.

Engaging stakeholders: Navigating the complexities of data sovereignty and cloud computing requires active engagement with a broad set of stakeholders, including regulators, customers and local communities. Open communication about how data management practices support decarbonization objectives is key to building and maintaining trust and demonstrating a firm commitment to sustainable operations.


Corporate sustainability reporting directive (CSRD) considerations

The recently introduced CSRD is particularly relevant as it requires large companies to disclose more detailed ESG information, ensuring greater transparency. For the oil and gas sector, this means providing clearer insights into how data centers and cloud strategies align with broader ESG goals. Compliance with the CSRD will require oil and gas companies to enhance their data reporting mechanisms, ensuring they capture and accurately report all relevant ESG data, which will be scrutinized by both regulators and stakeholders.

The oil and gas industry faces significant challenges related to data centers, hybrid cloud environments, and data sovereignty as it pursues ESG goals and the path to decarbonization. These challenges provide opportunities to leverage advanced technologies and innovative practices that can help meet regulatory requirements and enhance sustainability. A comprehensive strategy that integrates technical solutions, regulatory compliance, and stakeholder engagement is essential for the industry to effectively meet its ESG commitments and ensure long-term sustainability.


How can Rackspace Technology help?

We’ve been on the sustainability journey which has resulted in industry recognition such as winning the AWS North America Sustainability Partner of the Year recognition. Our unwavering dedication to ESG principles has also been acknowledged at the ESG Business Awards. This platform celebrates companies at the forefront of sustainable future-building and honors those who demonstrate exceptional commitment and achievements in ESG practices. Another highlight is the industry recognition by SustainableIT.org for Srini Koushik, our President of Technology and Sustainability. 

We apply all our IP and experience to help our clients solve their process, people and technology challenges. Our focused business model of hybrid cloud, multicloud, data, AI and security allows us to rapidly transform our clients’ businesses with workload-aware migrations to the right cloud, while removing data centers from the equation. This provides companies with scalable platforms to tackle their data and AI conundrums, while keeping everything safe and secure.

Also, our professional services team collaborates with customers to address their processes and data solutions, leveraging our own internal learnings to accelerate their journey to optimize data center operations, deploy energy-efficient technologies and use renewable energy sources across their enterprise. 


Join the Conversation: Find Solve on Twitter and LinkedIn, or follow along via RSS.

Stay on top of what's next in technology

Learn about tech trends, innovations and how technologists are working today.

Oil and Gas

Welcome to the Energy Hub.

About the Authors

A man smiling for a headshot

VP - Evangelist and Senior Architect

Ben Blanquera

Ben is VP-Evangelist and Senior Architect with Rackspace Technology. He works with enterprises, architecting solutions to enable them to drive business outcomes through thriving in a multicloud world.    He is a 35-year veteran in multiple industries including health care, manufacturing, and technology consulting. Prior to Rackspace, Ben was with Covail, a leading-edge provider of AI/ML and cybersecurity services to Fortune 1000 clients. At Covail, Ben was VP of Delivery and transitioned to VP of Revenue and Client Success.  A recognized technology leader, Ben was named a Premier 100 leader by Computerworld. Outside of work, he loves to travel, ride his bike, and spend time with his wife and four daughters. He is an active organizer in the tech community and curates the Central Ohio CIO forum (150+ CIOs) and founded Techlife Columbus. Ben also serves on the Pitch Advisory Board for South by Southwest and the Editorial Board for CDO Magazine.

Read more about Ben Blanquera
Simon Bennett​

Chief Technical Officer, EMEA​

Simon Bennett​

As Rackspace Technology™ Chief Technical Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, Simon’s goal is to deliver end value to customers with world-class multicloud solutions and services. He is focused on inspiring and supporting technical leaders to find best-fit solutions, combining a perfect blend of services and capabilities from the Rackspace Technology™ and partner portfolio. Simon enjoys working with customers at all levels to understand their challenges and opportunities to help them to succeed.  ​ Simon’s extensive experience has been gained from working across a broad spectrum of customers in different industries. Before joining Rackspace Technology, he worked at IBM for over 20 years in leadership roles. In his most recent position, he provided technical pre-sales and detailed solution support for strategic deals within technology services. 

Read more about Simon Bennett​