In 2011, our spending on social investments was approximately NOK 217 million, NOK 195 million of which was spent
voluntarily and NOK 22 million on a contractual basis. The biggest social investments in 2011 outside Norway were made in Angola, the USA, Azerbaijan and Nigeria.

Social investment policy

Social investments are the voluntary contributions that our operations or projects make to strengthening local capacities and to promoting transparent operating environments and respect for human rights, so that affected communities can benefit from our operations. Our goal is to support initiatives that help to build self-sustaining activities in host communities. We endeavour to avoid creating dependency and supporting unproductive projects.

The identification and selection of social investment projects is the result of a comprehensive process that reflects business objectives and priorities, stakeholder context and local needs and capabilities. The project proposal for social investments must be established on the basis of environmental and social impact assessments, and other relevant analyses. The aim is to meet expressed community needs and expectations, align with Statoil's requirements and focus areas for social investments, design appropriate projects and ensure a sustainable outcome.

Managing social investments

We endeavour to manage our social investment projects with the same care and professionalism as any other business activity. We aim to constantly improve our procedures to increase effectiveness and quality control, including additional measures to reduce third-party compliance and corruption risks.

Our main focus area in social investment projects is education and competence development. These are areas that benefit both Statoil and the recipients. This includes collaborating with higher education and vocational training centres as well as technical institutions related to the oil industry. This is seen as a way to build competence among the local potential workforce and local suppliers. Social investment projects are implemented through professional counterparts and selected in accordance with our procurement process and internal requirements for social investment management. The beneficiaries are identified through the analysis of the impact assessments and data collected in connection with our projects.

Initiatives in Russia

In Russia, we have supported a supplier development project since 2005. Statoil established a database to identify oil and gas industry suppliers and sponsored training courses and seminars aimed at developing the competence of local supplier companies.

Building upon the Norwegian model and using experience from Norway's oil and gas industry, Statoil assisted and financed the establishment of two supplier associations in north-west Russia. One such association, Murmanshelf, started its activities in Murmansk and the other, Sozvezdye, in Arkhangelsk. Statoil financed the activities of both associations in the start-up phase, while simultaneously transferring industry experience and preparing them for further commercialisation activities.

Today, the associations are fully independent. In 2011, Statoil changed its supplier development strategy. We now consider ourselves co-sponsors, supporting independent associations by organising conferences, workshops and seminars. During 2011 and 2012, Statoil in Russia is sharing its LOOP programme, which identifies and assists with the development of innovative niche technologies for the energy sector, with select participants. Statoil launched the programme together with the supplier associations as a sponsor of several conferences and seminars in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, focusing on the Arctic and the need for relevant technology, including subsea.

CSR plans

Social investment projects are a component of our social responsibility plans. Social responsibility plans are required for all projects and operations in the countries in which we operate (this is required in all non-OECD countries and in projects with high risks). Social responsibility plans reflect the operating principles and requirements set out in our CSR policy and our strategy, as well as the business activities in the country, and the pertaining social risks, impacts and social investments. The follow up of CSR actions defined in the social responsibility plan is done through our internal monitoring process. The plans are updated regularly. In 2011, social responsibility plans were prepared for 95% of the non-OECD countries where our international exploration, development and production activities took place, up from 80%  the year before. 

Apprenticeship programme

We contribute to education and training in oil and gas disciplines through our apprenticeship programme in which students are given practical, on-the-job training at our sites and operating locations. Statoil took on 177 apprentices in 2011, including 53 new apprentices from Norway's three northernmost counties.

Cooperation with academic institutions

Through our Academia Programme, we continue to support research and competence-building at Norwegian universities and research institutes. We have bilateral agreements with eight universities and institutions in Norway, and we also cooperate with leading international universities. In 2011, approximately NOK 76 million was channelled through these programmes.

Attracting the right talents to our industry also means inspiring young people to focus on science and technology. In support of this, we contribute to initiatives to stimulate science education through regional Science Centres and "Newton Rooms" that communicate science to the public and inspire young people to choose an education in science subjects. In 2011, approximately NOK 28 million was channelled through these programmes.