Following the establishment of the UN Protect, Respect and Remedy framework, and the more recently endorsed UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (June 2011), we have reviewed and improved our governing requirements and work processes to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of our operations by integrating human rights due diligence and risk management in all the company's general systems for assessing and mitigating non-technical risks.
Key elements of this on-going process include:
- Systematically conducting analyses of countries relevant to our operations in order to develop robust knowledge about local conditions, business culture and external factors - including human rights and
broader social, political, security and ethical risks.
- Conducting additional risk and impact assessments before making an investment decision. In countries or contexts in which human rights risks are considered to be particularly significant, we also carry out dedicated human rights risk assessments (HRRAs). Over time, HRRAs have been integrated and incorporated into the ongoing risk management and impact assessment processes in the company. These include the risk review tools early-phase risk assessment (EPRA) and related risk registers, as well as our integrated impact assessment procedures.
- Ensuring robust procedures for integrity due diligence reviews of third parties. These include screening the human rights
reputation of partners, suppliers and other third parties with whom we may enter into a business relationship. Our standard contract requires adherence to national laws and regulations, and, where necessary, all efforts are made to include specific provisions relating to human rights in contracts with partners. Additional procedures apply to contracts with security providers.
These and other processes help us to identify the source and nature of potentially adverse impacts of our activities on the human rights of our stakeholders. On that basis, we develop a remedial plan to mitigate any potential adverse impacts.
In 2011, in order to better understand the business implications of our commitment to human rights, we continued to collaborate with various partners and stakeholders. Among others, we participated in consultations with John Ruggie, former United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Since 1998, we have also had a collaboration agreement with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), covering all Statoil employees in all countries in which we operate. This further affirms our support for fundamental human rights in the community and workplace. Through corporate agreements, we continued to support the work of Amnesty International Norway.
In 2011, we also reviewed our governance mechanisms, policies, processes and tools to check their consistency with the recently launched UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we identified gaps, and needs for improvement, including training and awareness needs, and our external stakeholder relations on human rights issues. We are also participating in a joint industry initiative at IPIECA to improve existing human rights due diligence approaches and tools and to further develop any new tools where necessary.