In 2010, our spending on social investments was approximately NOK 202 million, NOK 172 million of which was spent on a voluntary basis and NOK 30 million on a contractual basis. The biggest social investments in 2010 outside Norway were made in Angola, Canada, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ireland and Nigeria (see 'Overview of activities by country' for social investment spending by country).

Social investments are used to build local content and capacity, as well as to promote transparent operating environments and respect for human rights so that affected communities can share in the benefits generated by our operations. Social investments are based on commercial considerations and aim to build self-sustaining activities in host countries. We endeavour to avoid creating dependency and supporting unproductive projects.

Social investments are used strategically to manage the impacts of our business activities. They are established on the basis of relevant risks and opportunities as identified in relevant risk and impact assessments. The identification and selection of social investment projects involves stakeholder engagement and local needs assessment. The aim is to meet expressed community needs, design projects appropriately and to promote sustainable operations.

Social investment projects form part of Statoil's business and social responsibility plans that are required to support our projects and operations in countries in which we operate. In 2010, corporate social responsibility (CSR) plans were prepared in 80% of the non-OECD countries in which we are active, up from 57% the year before. In addition, CSR plans were prepared in Canada, Mexico and the USA, including Alaska, to take account of the particular social and environmental risks that our operations face there. 

Our social investment projects are managed with the same care and professionalism as any other business activity. In 2010, we have been improving our procedures in order to increase effectiveness and quality control. This also includes additional measures to reduce third-party compliance and corruption risks.

Our social investment projects involve training and capacity building, including technical training relating to the oil industry, which is seen as a way of build competence among local suppliers. Typical recipients of our social investment funds are education and training schools and institutions, mostly through Norwegian universities that collaborate with local technical training institutes. Some projects also relate to infrastructure development, such as investments in community health care and water and sanitation. The recipients tend to be local non-government organisations and, in a few cases, government organisations. These projects are often supported through international NGOs, while the beneficiaries are local communities.

Overview of Social Investment by region (in NOK million) Voluntary contributions Contractual contributions Total contributions
Year ended 31 December 2010
Norway                          116                              1                          116
Sub Saharan Africa                            13                            20                            33
North Africa and Europe*                            25                              9                            34
Middle East and Asia                              2                             -                                2
North America                            13                             -                              13
South America                              4                             -                                4
Total                          172                            30                          202