In all of our host countries, we aim to build constructive, sustainable relationships with our stakeholders, whose support is a key factor in the success of our businesses. That is why we have designed a dedicated, three-pronged community engagement strategy, based on nurturing dialogue with local residents and public- and private-sector players, managing the impact of our operations and contributing to local human, cultural and economic development.
Why it matters
Today, the energy industry is faced with a multitude of economic and social challenges and particularly high expectations from host countries and society as a whole.
At Total, our determination to provide tangible solutions to the challenges of local human, social and economic development lies at the heart of our community commitment and our industrial responsibility. Our transparent and systematic approach to creating local value is a major competitive advantage, improving both our operational excellence and our reputation and guaranteeing the sustainability of our businesses.
Stakeholder Respect, Collaboration, Dialogue and Engagement
Making sure we address local stakeholders' development priorities and listen to their concerns is key to strengthening our integration into the local community and growing our businesses over the long term. Continuous dialogue helps all parties understand each other's expectations and builds mutual trust.
To breed a sustainable culture of dialogue, we have developed a structured, professional approach that is implemented using a dedicated in-house method, known as Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM+).
This approach is also based on a guide to local dialogue containing Group past experiences and best practices.
SRM+: Helping to Build a Culture of Dialogue
In 2006, in response to the question of how to build sustainable stakeholder relations, we introduced our own in-house method known as Stakeholder Relationship Management, or SRM+. Used across all of our sites, SRM+ enables operational units to:
- Identify and map our stakeholders.
- Plan meetings with stakeholders to understand their perceptions and issues.
- Devise action plans for building personalized, long-term relationships.
On a day-to-day basis, our Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) play a crucial role in building constructive, lasting relationships with residents. CLOs are chosen from the local community so that they speak the language and are familiar with local customs. Trained to understand oil industry culture, they are responsible for fostering dialogue between affiliates and neighboring communities and thereby facilitating local integration. We also pay special attention to indigenous and tribal peoples. A dedicated charter notably encourages affiliates to call in experts to identify and understand the specific characteristics and expectations of the groups in their area.
Present in more than 130 countries, we often operate in complex environments. To guide our actions and responsibly secure sustainable growth across our businesses, we draw on a code of ethics that sets out our values and our priority guiding principles.
Responsibly managing the impact of our operations
The dialogue stage helps us identify any impacts our operations may have and come to a better understanding of the local socio-economic environment. Each new industry or expansion project systematically undergoes a baseline survey and impact studies to identify the potential risks for the community and determine ways to prevent, reduce or offset them. To assist us in this task, we call on the talents of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, an independent non-profit organization specialized in economic and social development. CDAs reports on our operations are available online.
Given that road transportation plays such a major role in our business, we have made road safety one of our priorities in terms of prevention. We run road safety campaigns for the general public as well as regularly inspecting our trucks and drivers.
To ensure local communities can alert us to any overlooked problems or inconveniences after they occur, procedures are in place to manage any grievances. In all of our affiliates, complaints are acknowledged, analyzed and handled by our local teams. Special efforts are made to ensure vulnerable populations have easy access to these mechanisms while taking into account the local situation.
Making a sustainable contributing to local social and economic development
Wherever we operate, we are committed to contributing to the socio-economic and human development of our host regions. We notably take part in development programs that focus on forming partnerships and strengthening local skills, and work with local institutions and organizations to ensure the sustainability of projects. Through all of our initiatives, we take care not to overstep our remit with respect to the local authorities and to partner with NGOs with experience on the ground.
Similarly, we take part in initiatives that help improve the ability of local individuals and organizations to independently plan their sustainable and lasting development. Our expertise is based on our community development teams' continuous professional training in areas such as project organization, targets and objectives, and performance indicators.
To quantify our strategy and measure its effectiveness, we track our initiatives using performance indicators and publish the results in an annual report. These indicators have been refined since 2013, with particular attention given to effective dialogue, impact management, social and economic development projects and access to energy.