We maintain a regular dialogue with our stakeholders in order to build stronger relationships with them — a key element in our efforts to manage the risks associated with our operations. We engage with our stakeholders in a variety of ways, at corporate, country and project level.
Civil society and communities
We aim to ensure an open and clear dialogue with representatives of civil society in the countries in which we operate - the media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, academics and research centres, and host societies and communities.At the corporate level, we have agreements with several organisations that enable the sharing of information and expertise related to a range of sustainability issues. These corporate agreements are described in the section on "Working in collaboration."We also work with communities in countries in which we operate in order to manage the potentially disruptive impacts of our projects and to try to maximise the shared value and benefits from our business. (For more on this, see the article: Engaging fenceline com-munities).We use surveys, interviews, town hall meetings and community panels to understand our impacts on communities, and to devise mitigation strategies and plans to improve our contribution to the community.We also survey stakeholders and opinion leaders - including industry experts and journalists - in order to measure our reputation in key markets. We work with the leading market research company TNS to survey key stakeholder groups about our corporate reputation, including our strategy and ability to address sustainability risks and opportunities.
We work with governments in a range of contexts. We have dealings at government level through bidding processes and production sharing agreements (PSA), as operators and as partners in our operations.We also maintain close contact at political and administrative levels of government in most of the countries in which we are located, as these levels represent essential stakeholder values to us and vice versa.Finally, we work with governments through multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (EITI), the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), and the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) partnership in which companies and governments work to improve the investment climate and protect our business standards in host countries.
As part of our business, we work with a range of suppliers worldwide. In 2009, NOK 102.2 billion was invoiced to approximately 7,000 companies located in Norway, while NOK 27.6 billion was invoiced to approximately 11,500 suppliers with registered addresses in 73 different countries.
We promote local sourcing and work with local businesses as suppliers where such exist, and we invest in developing sustainable and competitive local enterprises. Our suppliers are required to adhere to our HSE, social responsibility and ethics and anti-corruption standards (for more on this see "Working with our suppliers.") We regularly involve our suppliers in these and other issues through a range of activities, including bi-annual supplier satisfaction surveys and meetings.
Investors and shareholders
Investors are increasingly interested in understanding the long-term risks and opportunities for value creation that companies face, including environmental and social concerns. We aspire to build trust by being as open and truthful as possible in our dialogue with our investors and shareholders on these issues. Our approach has resulted in high ratings in several Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) indexes.
Employees and unions
In Statoil, we believe in involving our staff and their representatives in the development of the company. We actively work with and involve our employees through:
- Relations with trade unions, including our agreement with the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).
- The Statoil European Works Council, which provides an important channel of information between the company and employees based in Europe.
- Our annual global people survey (GPS).
Our customers are increasingly aware of the sustainability challenges facing our industry. Through our downstream business, we engage with our customers on a daily basis at our service stations, and we also conduct regular customer satisfaction and brand equity surveys in which we also poll customers' opinions on the environmental and social dimensions of our performance.