Ethical Business Conduct
Ethical Business Conduct
Initiatives to promote human rights
Right now there are several sources of feedback on Total’s actions in the field of human rights.
Total has participated in the Global Compact since 2002. Businesses are encouraged to publish a description of how they support the Global Compact and its 10 principles in their annual or corporate responsibility reports. These are known as “Communications on Progress”. Total has made a formal commitment to uphold the first two principles of the Global Compact on human rights and regularly reports on its initiatives in this area.
We also take part in a number of working groups coordinated by the Global Compact, such as the Human Rights Working Group, the Responsible Investment in Conflict-Affected Countries Working Group and the Anti-Corruption Working Group.
In late 2010, Total was admitted to Global Compact LEAD , a new platform of 54 companies advanced in corporate social responsibility. The official launch took place in Davos in January 2011.
In accordance with France’s New Business Regulations (NRE) Act, we report annually on our social responsibility and environmental progress in our Environment and Society report and on our corporate w eb site, www.total.com.
Environment and Society report
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. Total joined the GBI on its creation, making us a founding company. As such, we participate in topical and regional working groups.
This forum for discussion has member companies based all over the world working in a variety of sectors and aims to share examples of good human rights practices and tools. Regional and national forums are organized regularly to initiate dialogue with as many stakeholders as possible — businesses, contractors, customers — in various parts of the world. The GBI has developed a partnership with the Swiss government, the Global Compact and the non-profit Partners in Change, based in India. The GBI also works closely with international agencies specializing in human rights, such as the former team of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative John Ruggie and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
UN Special Representative on business and human rights, Professor John Ruggie
Total was a full participant in the consultation process conducted by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations, Professor John Ruggie, who served two consecutive terms over the period 2005-2011.
The framework developed by the Special Representative is based on complementary responsibilities and comprises three core principles: the State has the duty to protect its citizens against human rights abuses by third parties, including businesses; companies must respect human rights, and effective access to remedies are supposed to be implemented by both States and companies in the event of human rights violations. The framework was approved by the United Nations in 2008 at the end of Pr. John Ruggie’s first term.
In 2011, the Special Representative proposed a set of “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”. They provide recommendations for the implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy" framework. The UN Human Rights Council had endorsed these Guiding Principles on 16 June 2011 by unanimous vote at the end of Pr. John Ruggie’s second and last mandate.
We have spelled out our position vis-à-vis the initial draft of the framework.
During the International Business Consultation organized in October 2010 by Pr. John Ruggie, Christophe de Margerie - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - offered his support to the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework and encouraged businesses to implement it.Since 2005, Total has been attending and taking part in several consultations, meetings and working groups led by the Special Representative and his team. Subsequently, The Group has maintained close collaboration with Pr. John Ruggie’s team, in particular with Andrea Shemberg, Legal Adviser to the Special Representative. Total is also engaged in ongoing collaboration with some of John Ruggie’s members team with SHIFT, non-profit association helping governments and companies in the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
John Ruggie contributed to our Society and Environment Report 2011.
Security and human rights
Our approach to security in terms of using private or public security personnel is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
Total’s Corporate Security Policy Statement, signed in 2003 and updated at the end of 2011, as well as the Corporate Security Charter, signed by Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO, at the end of 2011, confirms the overriding priority of employees’ security, which can be threatened in some situations, and defines our business principles in that respect.
Our support for the recommendations of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) published in 2000 under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and the U.K. Foreign Office has been reinforced by our access to full membership in March 2012. The Voluntary Principles guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations while ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In addition to an operational guide in 2004, a Corporate Security Directive, published in 2003 and updated at the end of 2011 highlights 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. The core objective is to clarify the circumstances under which security forces are authorized to intervene in a dangerous situation.
Managing security is based on risk prevention, planning for potential crisis situations, training and dialogue. Like other companies, Total sometimes uses external security personnel to protect its employees and facilities. To forestall problems, we make it our top priority to ensure effective coordination between security teams and employees in charge of community relations, an outreach effort that promotes good local integration and thereby minimizes risks.
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.