As an extractive company, we see ourselves as a responsible custodian of the energy 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 resources, and they also oversee each stage of our operations, ensuring we meet the license 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 centers such as Washington DC, Brussels, Berlin, Beijing, Oslo and Stavanger. We raise policy and regulatory issues within a range of topics like climate change, environment, sustainable development, labour standards and human rights, anti-corruption and revenue transparency. We believe these issues should be discussed openly by 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 that collaboration and close dialogue with these are essential for safe and responsible operations. We always aim to create shared value and benefits for local communities, to prevent negative effects and to resolve 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.
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.