Engaging with Communities
In communities where we operate, we identify stakeholders and work with them to understand their interests, concerns and culture.
We work to minimize disturbances from our operations such as traffic congestion, and light, noise or odor on a case-by-case basis. We actively solicit community feedback and collaborate with stakeholders at the local, state, provincial or federal levels to implement our commitments to community engagement. We implement our commitment to community engagement through our management system.
Some examples include:
As Alaska’s largest oil producer, we strive to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.
We respect the rich culture of Alaska Native people and work diligently to build inclusive, honest and respectful relationships with our stakeholders, particularly with our neighbors who live nearest our operations. We support community projects and provide economic opportunities, while minimizing impacts from operations on local residents and the environment. We meet frequently with North Slope community leaders and residents to get feedback on our operations and gather local and traditional knowledge to help protect their subsistence resources and to share information about current and planned operations. A recent presentation highlights some of these efforts.
We have robust environmental study programs at existing operations that include air monitoring stations; caribou, bird and fish surveys; hydrology studies; lake water quality and recharge monitoring; subsistence hunting studies; and tundra rehabilitation. Extensive environmental baseline studies are conducted in all potential areas of new operations. New projects are subject to rigorous permitting and public review processes.
Employees in Alaska contribute more than 3,500 hours each year serving nonprofit organizations and represent the industry on many multi-stakeholder boards. Since 2000, the company has given more than $128 million to hundreds of Alaska-based nonprofits across the state, funding programs that support education, social services, the arts, civic and youth groups, and the environment.
U.S. Lower 48
In the Eagle Ford, we engage stakeholders through strong relationships based on the belief that a more personal approach with the community creates an environment of transparency and courtesy.
Our newsletter, the Eagle Ford Landing, educates neighbors on the work we are doing in the Eagle Ford. We host regular Citizens Advisory Committee meetings and conducted a poll to determine what topics are important to the community. And we invite local elected officials to participate in our Leadership Roundtable meetings. Additionally, we assist with tours in the Eagle Ford and developed a water tool to facilitate dialogue with community members on the critical issue of water use.
Traffic and road safety concerns may increase with the extra traffic associated with nearby oil and gas operations. We often work with the community and other operators to proactively address these issues, tailoring solutions to community concerns and needs. Our robust internal road safety programs also reinforce our commitment to community safety. These programs are used in several areas, including the Eagle Ford and Rocky Mountain regions.
In the Eagle Ford region of Texas, our team commissioned a journey management study resulting in a guide that prioritized routes based on factors such as the safety of the roads, time of day and length of travel. This research was shared with contractors, employees and county officials. The study also identified the intersections without signals that have the highest traffic incidents, providing data we have been able to share with the Texas Department of Transportation. All company vehicles feature devices that record and report speed, hard breaking and other driving behaviors, and all employees are required to take defensive driving. Additionally, all drivers are required to take a commentary driving course (where a passenger assesses driver safety) every three years. Other examples of local programs include: annual drivers’ education in the Rocky Mountain region focused on winter driving safety; and equipping vehicles with air fresheners that detail reminders of the company’s mandatory driving rules — no cell phone use, adherence to speed limits and seat belt use. Local leaders have also partnered with the community and a media company to promote back-to-school driver safety messages on the radio. Repairs to any road damage that occur as a result of our operations are dealt with in conjunction with local officials, on a case-by-case basis.
We are actively involved with multi-stakeholder groups across Western Canada that include community members, regulators, indigenous peoples, local government officials and other industry representatives, holding forums to share information about our industry and listen to and discuss community concerns. These forums are an important way for us to build local relationships and better understand the values and interests of local community stakeholders. We value the opportunity for dialogue regarding our work plans. Discussing and understanding the potential impacts of resource development projects is critical to our planning process.
We are a founding member of the Coalition for a Safer 63/881, whose mission is to reduce vehicle-related injuries and fatalities along the two dangerous highways leading to oil sands work sites. The Coalition sponsors a fatigue-related driving campaign, created an interactive Fatality Map and fostered key partnerships with community organizations. The coalition helped host a Drive Safe Day at our Surmont operation that included the Royal Canadian Mounted Police roll-over simulator, a driving simulator and guest speakers.
We support economic development opportunities for individuals in South Sumatra, Jambi and Riau Islands provinces of Indonesia. These include rubber plantation programs for local farmers and development programs in the fisheries industry. The development of small businesses and cooperatives has had a long-term positive impact on the local community, particularly for youth and women. To support marine tourism in the Riau Island province, we offered opportunities for tourist guides to gain diving and snorkeling skills and aided small, local businesses. We supported community programs that provide basic necessities for citizens, such as solar base electricity for street lights and clean water.
We have developed partnerships with regional universities and local business associations, working together with the community to develop environmental strategies that incorporate local practices.
Working with agencies of the Colombian national government, we engaged with stakeholders, including local communities, nearly 100 times since the beginning of the project, listening to their concerns and addressing their questions about our plans for the VMM-3 block, located in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena River Valley. These efforts were successful in securing the support of local leaders and the vast majority of community members, many of whom had questions and concerns at the beginning of the project. The meetings focused on the legal, technical, social and environmental aspects of our plans, including discussions of our conventional environmental license to conduct the production test, the environmental impact assessment for exploration of unconventional resources that we are preparing to submit to the National Authority of Environmental Licenses, and the community benefit plan. Read more about our operations in Colombia on the ConocoPhillips Colombia website.