Initiatives and partnerships
The United Nations created the Global Compact in 2000 following a call by its Secretary-General urging businesses to play an active role in the globalization process.
The ten principles
Businesses were asked to make annual progress in one or more areas, in the framework of ten universally accepted principles derived from the United Nations’ major agreements and conventions.
- Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
- Principle 2: Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
These principles are drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
- Principle 4: Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor.
- Principle 5: Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labor.
- Principle 6: Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
These principles originate in the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
- Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
- Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Principle 9: Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
These principles emerge from the 1992 Rio Declaration.
- Principle 10 : Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
This principle stems from the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption, also known as the Merida Convention.
Partner companies must annually reaffirm their commitment and report their progress on one or more principles on the UN’s Global Compact web site through a Communication on Progress.
Total joined the Global Compact in 2002. We report annually on our actions in support of the Compact’s principles through our web site.
Since 2008, a dedicated Web section has directly linked our annual initiatives to the principles that inspired them.
In addition to this basic commitment, Total is a member of the Management Committee of the Forum des Amis du Pacte Mondial en France, the association that represents France in the national Global Compact networks.
Finally, we are an active member of three working groups created under the Global Compact:
- the Human Rights Working Group,
- the Anti-Corruption Working Group, and
- the Expert Group on Responsible Investment in Conflict-Affected Countries.
Total is regularly involved in these working groups’ activities by sharing its experience through case studies, contributing to the preparation of tools or guidance materials and providing support to various initiatives such as the CEO statement for the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008.
Recently Total participated in the writing of the Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: A Resource for Companies and Investors issued in 2010 by the Expert Group on Responsible Investment in Conflict-Affected Countries. This tool is to help companies and investors in implementing good practices in high-risk countries. A pilot project aimed at putting into practice the Guidance was launched by the UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Investment. Since 2011, Total has been undertaking the pilot project in two countries.
In recognition for its commitment to advance CSR policies and practices, Total joined the United Nations Global Compact LEAD , a new platform for corporate sustainability leadership, in late 2010. The initiative was officially launched in Davos in January 2011.
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
In line with our ethical commitment, we joined the EITI on its creation in 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, known as the Johannesburg Summit.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) promotes greater transparency in the management of oil revenues. It calls for all private and national extractive companies to publish what they pay to governments, for an independent aggregator to consolidate and publish the data, for the confidentiality of existing contracts to be maintained, and for prior government approval.
After having been elected to the EITI Board as an alternate member in September 2007, we were elected a permanent member from February 2009 to March 2001 in recognition of our deep commitment to the initiative. The Board comprises 20 permanent members representing implementing countries, supporting countries, civil society organizations, industry, and investment companies. Our representative on the Board was Jean-François Lassalle, who now remains a very active member of the Initiative.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR)
The presence or intervention of either public or private armed forces can amplify the risk of human rights violations. In recognition of that fact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) were published in 2000 under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and the U.K. Foreign Office.
The Voluntary Principles guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations while ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Total fully recognizes the importance of the initiative and has adopted its recommendations before becoming a full member in March 2012. The VPSHR are referenced in our Corporate Security Policy Statement signed in 2003 and updated at the end of 2011, as well as in a new document, the Corporate Security Charter, signed by Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO, at the end of 2011. These documents shape our approach, which is grounded in preventing risks, anticipating crises, training and dialogue.
An operational guide was published in 2004 to ensure implementation of the Voluntary Principles at the sites most exposed to risk. Total also published a directive in 2008, which was updated at the end of 2011, setting five priorities: formal relations between subsidiaries and governments, hiring criteria for security personnel, training for security personnel, rules for the transfer of equipment, and procedures for responding to human rights violations.
Dedicated VPSHR training was developed in 2005 and has since been expanded. Several training sessions were organized in different countries. Since 2012, the training program has been revised and expanded.
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
Founded in 1919, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) now serves as an umbrella for hundreds of thousands of businesses and business associations in more than 130 countries. Its national committees relay the concerns of local businesses and communicate the policy recommendations made by the ICC on behalf of the global business community to governments. The ICC is a recognized voice for the business community, speaking on behalf of all sectors and in every part of the world.
Its basic mission is to promote international trade and investment and help businesses meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities of globalization. The ICC focuses on three areas: rules and standards, arbitration and general policy. Though reliant solely on self-regulation, these rules are followed daily in thousands of transactions and are an integral part of the edifice of international trade.
Managers and experts from ICC member companies work to articulate the viewpoint of the international business community, both with respect to major trade and investment issues and key technical and sector-specific topics, especially in the areas of the environment, corporate social responsibility and anti-corruption.
The ICC has drafted rules and recommendations to fight corruption, called Rules of Conduct to Combat Extortion and Bribery. It has also produced an educational tool that teaches people how to respond to actions or situations involving corruption or extortion, called Resisting Extortion and Solicitation in International Sales and Transactions (RESIST).
Total is an active member of ICC’s French National and International Anti-Corruption Commissions, a logical extension of our business integrity reflection and discussion process.
International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA)
The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) comprises companies and associations active in the oil industry worldwide. Founded in 1974 following the establishment of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), IPIECA provides one of the industry’s principal channels of communication with the United Nations.
IPIECA is the sole global association representing both the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry on key global environmental and social issues, including oil spill preparedness and response, climate change, health, transportation fuel quality, biodiversity and corporate social responsibility.
IPIECA aims to develop and promote scientifically sound, cost-effective, practical, socially and economically acceptable solutions to global environmental and social issues pertaining to the oil and gas industry. IPIECA is not a lobbying organization, but provides a forum for encouraging continuous improvement of industry performance.
Total is especially active in IPIECA through the Social Responsibility Working Group and the Human Rights Task Force, which published the Human Rights Training Toolkit, an awareness and training program covering human rights issues in the extractive industries. Its work is now being expanded through the addition of information about more specific human rights topics, such as indigenous peoples and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
Institute of Business Ethics (IBE)
Total joined the U.K.’s Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) in 2002. As a partner of IBE, we have priority access to their assessments and recommendations concerning business ethics. We also call on IBE as needed for advice about the best policies or specific presentations.
Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI)
The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights is an international initiative created in June 2009 to promote respect for human rights in the business world. This forum for discussion has member companies based all over the world working in a variety of sectors and aims to share examples of best human rights practices and tools. Regional and national forums are organized regularly, to initiate dialogue with as many stakeholders as possible— businesses, contractors, customers — . The GBI works closely with international agencies specializing in human rights, such as the Global Compact and the former team of United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative John Ruggie.
Total joined the GBI on its creation, making us a founding company. As such, we participate in topical and regional working groups.