The unprecedented events of 2020 have underscored the inherent resilience of Diversified Energy Company's (DEC) business model - a resilience exemplified in part in the fortitude of our employees who demonstrated an outstanding and unwavering commitment to operational excellence and in our response to meeting our communities’ energy demands and social needs.
As is always our goal, we continue to operate in accordance with the highest standards of business and ethical behavior for our many stakeholders and the overall environment. I am pleased with our performance over the past several years, though we tirelessly seek to improve. Our focus continues to be on responsible, well-aligned growth, investment and improvement in all aspects of our business, especially the operating and environmental aspects of our business.
We embrace our role as a producer of natural gas, which we believe is essential for our way of life and represents a clean, affordable, accessible and reliable source of energy for US consumers and for achieving US energy independence. Currently, less than 15% of energy consumed globally is provided by renewable sources, thus the world will require a significant global investment and technological advancement to complete a full transition to such sources. Additionally, both natural gas and oil serve as raw materials needed to produce many elements of the renewable infrastructure.
Abundant natural gas, therefore, has a key role to play in a progressive energy transition. Recognizing this role and acknowledging the tangible benefits of reduced global carbon emissions, we are targeting our operations to achieve a net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
We believe that natural gas is more than a bridge fuel – it is part of the long-term, clean energy solution for U.S. and global energy requirements. As the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon, natural gas is an abundant, economically viable, affordable, reliable and predictable source of energy, which makes it an ideal partner to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
As natural gas will continue to be a fundamental element in the energy mix for years to come, we recognize the responsibility we have to operate in a way that minimizes our environmental impact and to transparently report on those efforts.
During 2020, we began to establish the TCFD framework as a platform from which to assess our readiness for a rapidly evolving investment landscape. We have rigorously engaged with climate risk and opportunity management, and I am pleased to have an initial TCFD framework to complement our communications with our stakeholders. This framework centers on the risks and opportunities climate change presents and the impacts of a transition to a lower carbon economy.
As we live our commitment to be a highly efficient and responsible operator of mature producing assets and excellent stewards of the environment, I believe you will find our people and our business not only resilient but strong.
Consistent with our reputation as a leading operator in the region, we are committed to acting as good stewards of the environment. To this end, we recently established a Board-level Sustainability and Safety Committee, chaired by our Independent Non-Executive Director Sandy Stash, to guide the business’s policies and strategy related to sustainability and other stewardship activities.
The acquisitive nature of our business means that integration is part of our culture, and we are always mindful to simultaneously strive to improve the efficiency of our processes. We made great progress during 2020 through the standardization of environmental data, and we carry our momentum into 2021, which will serve as the foundation for better, and more measurable, prospective goals and targets particularly as they relate to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, we are working hard to compile an accurate inventory of emissions producing equipment, which will focus our efforts on ways to improve.
On the heels of a successful 2020, we are accelerating our stated ESG goals. Accordingly, I am pleased to publish our second Sustainability Report, which serves as a significant progression of our 2019 report. In it, we highlight our progress during a challenging year and affirm our commitment to continue our initiatives.
For me, it’s all about culture… building a culture centered on results rather than rhetoric. Those who know me understand that I’m always looking forward, and for this reason, the Diversified family is consistently striving for future successes rather than reliving its past victories. We are committed to providing superior returns to our stakeholders while being a responsible operator of mature, producing natural gas and oil assets. Integral to being a responsible operator is our commitment to responsibly caring for our environment, and we will improve with each passing day and the lessons they teach us. On behalf of our Board of Directors and our employees, thank you for your support during a challenging yet successful year for DEC.
Robert R. (Rusty) Hutson, Jr.
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder