As an extractive company, we see ourselves as a responsible custodian of the oil and gas resources for the countries and the local communities in which we operate. The governments of our host countries grant us licences to explore, develop and produce oil and gas, and they also oversee each stage of our operations, ensuring we meet the licence commitments we have made.
It is our responsibility to fully understand the expectations of governments and to be aware of our duties. In return, governments should be attentive and foster conditions in which our industry can make the greatest contribution.
We engage with governments on shaping policy frameworks, operating out of key centres such as Washington DC, Brussels, Berlin, Beijing, Oslo and Stavanger. We raise issues ranging from regulatory frameworks to climate change, sustainable development and revenue transparency. We believe these issues should be discussed openly involving policymakers and a wide range of stakeholders.
We also work with governments and civil society organisations to solve key environmental and social challenges through multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI), the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), the Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).
We know that our operations affect local communities, and we always aim to create shared value and benefits of our operations for local communities, resolving any disputes through open dialogue.
When managed properly, our presence in a community or region has the potential to contribute to local and national development. We know that our ability to operate safely and reliably not only depends on official permits, but also on gaining the acceptance and trust from the communities near our operations.
In our local community engagement activities we recognise that each country and community has its own unique traits, and we apply practices recommended in international guidelines and standards. We engage with residents in communities as diverse as the Arctic Snøhvit offshore development and near our shale gas drilling sites in West Virginia, USA.
Our operational management system requires us to establish an open communication channel with community stakeholders to deal with any potential grievances (see also our Human Rights Approach). Our operations make use of public consultations, surveys, interviews, one-to-one meetings and community panels to better understand the expectations from local communities and to devise mitigation strategies and plans that best suit local conditions.
We are committed to engaging in open dialogue with various interest groups and representatives of society in the countries where we operate. These include the media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, academics and research centres, which may provide specialised expertise on managing impacts. We believe a constructive dialogue with organisations that campaign and work to protect and improve human rights, transparency, climate action and the local environment is of benefit to our business.
We have agreements with several well-known organisations that enable us to learn, share experiences and participate in specific actions designed to improve our environmental and social performance. Our involvement with Transparency International Norway and the World Resource Institute (WRI) are examples of such partnerships. We also support, at corporate level, relevant multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact and United Nations Sustainable Energy for All.
Industry associations can often be better at representing the views of an industry than individual companies and are often a valuable partner for regulators in developing new frame conditions for our industry. Equinor is a member of a number of industry associations and chambers of commerce promoting good practices and sustainable operations.
We work closely with our peer companies on the prevention of accidents and emergency preparedness. Equinor has participated in the Subsea Well Response Project (SWRP), an industry collaborative effort run by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OICP) aimed at enhancing global well-containment capabilities. We are also members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).