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Building synergy: Vermilion Energy Inc. creates geothermal energy from traditional oil production
Shared value principles boost economic and social capacity
In recent years, the urgency of tackling climate issues has accelerated. But Vermilion has been a climate leader for much longer. In 2008, in France, Vermilion teamed up with four agricultural engineers who wanted to create an economically and ecologically viable greenhouse operation in which to grow tomatoes.
Based in Calgary, Canada, Vermilion is an international energy company with operations in North America, Europe and Australia. In addition to its work in developing renewable sources of energy, Vermilion is also investing in developing geothermal energy and using it to help foster more sustainable agriculture.
‘At Vermilion, we know we’re in the midst of an energy transition,’ explains Anthony Marino, President & CEO. ‘We support that transition, and we are a part of it.’
This joined-up approach to sustainability led to their partnership with Tom D’Aqui in Parentis, France.
This project, using geothermal energy from Vermilion’s oilfields – which would otherwise have gone unused – has fostered a sustainable agricultural sector in the region, producing thousands of tonnes of fresh tomatoes each year in addition to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
Toby Wright, Director of Tom D’Aqui, enthused about the collaboration, explaining that it had allowed them to move towards a more logical, sustainable and environmentally friendly method of production that is pesticide-free.
This is a part of Vermilion’s ‘shared value’ approach to operations, which prioritises safety, environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship.
Vermilion’s Sustainability Manager, Yvonne Jeffrey, explains: ‘We want to make sure that our operations are good for our communities, so we engage with the communities to look for unmet needs, to find out what we can provide, and then we invest, both financially and from an employee perspective.’
This engagement, and the internal reflection that accompanied, allowed Vermilion to identify which of the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals they could contribute most positively towards: (7): Affordable & Clean Energy & (17): Partnerships For The Goals.
The partnership with Tom D’Aqui and others like it represent this realisation put into tangible and effective action at Vermilion, a climate leader driving the transition to a more responsible, sustainable energy sector.