Risk management is an integral part of our management system. We aim to minimise harmful impacts from our activities throughout their life cycle, from initial project planning to operations and decommissioning. We assess risks related to health, safety, security and the environment (HSE), social responsibility, as well as ethics and anti-corruption on the basis of their likelihood and potential effects. We apply the precautionary principle in our risk assessment.
In addition to complying with national laws, our internal policies and guidelines for this issue are based on international standards, and we employ the "as low as reasonably practicable" (ALARP) and "best available technique" (BAT) principles.
The overall management system of the Statoil group and the management systems of our operational entities are in line with the principles described in the ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to risk management, drawing on tools and expertise from our HSE, social responsibility and ethics and anti-corruption disciplines to respond to the diverse set of challenges resulting from our activities.
- We assess risks systematically in countries relevant to our operations in order to better understand local conditions, business culture and external factors - including political, social, environmental, security and ethical dimensions.
- We carry out risk and due diligence assessments - including of our business relationships - in order to make informed investment decisions. We conduct integrated impact assessments that cover all activities throughout the project life cycle.
- We regularly conduct risk assessments related to HSE, continuously monitor performance, and follow up with measures when necessary.
- We engage and consult with our employees, host communities and other stakeholders to ensure continued support for our presence and our operations.
In 2009, we updated our risk management framework for HSE and we are in the process of revising our complementary framework for social risk management.
EPRA, our tool for integrated early-phase risk assessments, which brings together experts from HSE, social responsibility and ethics and anti-corruption, was also introduced as a group-wide risk management tool to meet needs across our business areas. The tool has been used in connection with several major potential acquisitions and early-phase activities, and it has successfully brought high-level management attention to risks connected to projects.
Furthermore, we published and began implementation of our guidelines for integrated impact assessment, drawing upon the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Social and Environmental Performance Standards.
We also continued a review of labour standard risks in our supply chain and initiated efforts to improve our internal procedures and routines for promoting respect for labour rights and employment practices among our key contractors and suppliers.