Valuing Human Rights
ConocoPhillips is committed to respecting human rights. We recognize the dignity of all human beings and our core values embrace these inalienable rights: for all people to live their lives free from social, political or economic discrimination or abuse. Our approach is consistent with the human rights philosophies expressed in the following global frameworks:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
- United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles
This includes the core labor standards related to nondiscrimination, freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, and avoiding the use of forced or child labor.
We perform high-level human rights risk assessments on our global operations to identify countries for deeper evaluation of potential human rights issues. Key areas considered include:
- Security and human rights.
- Land rights and relocation.
- Land use.
- Indigenous Peoples issues and rights.
- Company and supplier labor standards.
- Access to water.
- Cultural heritage.
- Vulnerable groups.
Human rights issues are incorporated into capital project planning and HSE management systems including our HSE Due Diligence Standard. Our intent regarding human rights is also reflected in our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct and health, safety and environmental policy.
Business units assess and manage human rights risks. If our operations identify potential human rights concerns, engagement plans and specific actions to manage and mitigate that risk are developed through engagement with the community or other stakeholders. Where appropriate, business units, assets or projects communicate and engage communities and their representatives on how to contact the company and how to address any concerns or grievances. In addition, all interested stakeholders may access the ConocoPhillips Ethics Helpline to report a potential violation of our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, which is publicly available on our website.
Respecting Indigenous Peoples
We recognize and respect the choice of Indigenous communities to live as distinct peoples, with their own cultures and relationships to the land. Wherever our operations neighbor with Indigenous communities, we seek to partner and engage with them to diminish the negative aspects of our operations and maximize the social and economic benefits we can bring. Areas where we explore or operate near these communities include the United States, Canada, Australia and Indonesia. Our engagement with Indigenous communities in those locations is consistent with the principles of the International Labour Organization Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our relationships are governed by national laws of the countries in which we are working, our social performance guidance, our own positions on sustainable development and human rights, and our core SPIRIT Values of Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork
Read more in a presentation from our Global Head of Sustainable Development to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in March 2020.
When engaging with Indigenous Peoples who may impact or be impacted by our operations, we seek first to understand their social values, cultures and traditions, as well as their expectations and preferences for dialogue and dispute resolution. Our consultations consider traditional land use information and community interests, goals and perspectives on environmental, social and economic topics. We engage with Indigenous communities at the regional, local and individual levels by meeting regularly with regional governments, community associations, local leaders and community residents. Our stakeholder engagement professionals work closely with our drilling and production teams to guide discussions and facilitate cooperation with Indigenous peoples to address potential operational impacts on the community. Wherever we engage with Indigenous communities, we pursue opportunities to support economic development opportunities consistent with Indigenous communities’ culture and community development plans. In some cases, the engagement and consultation may be guided by a formal agreement with the Indigenous community. We seek to honor cultures of Indigenous groups by taking steps to learn about Indigenous societies so that we know how to properly demonstrate respect in our relationships. Some of our larger business units provide cultural awareness training. In many cases, our stakeholder engagement leaders and business leaders will educate themselves through mentors in the Indigenous community or through the help of local experts. Read more about our work with local Indigenous communities.
Human Rights Training and Awareness
ConocoPhillips developed a human rights training course which incorporates IPIECA's guidance on human rights training and includes a module on security and human rights. The training has been rolled out globally via a computer‐based module to our stakeholder engagement practitioners and other operations staff and management as appropriate based on location. We continue regular training of security providers in priority countries for security and human rights issues.
We continue to support the IPIECA social responsibility working group and human rights project. Additionally, we participate in IPIECA’s broader work on human rights due diligence and grievance mechanisms and incorporate IPIECA guidance into our own training and practices.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
We drive collective action to address security and human rights issues through engagement with government, NGO and other business stakeholders in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). We have been a member of the VPSHR initiative since its inception in 2000. Our social performance guidance directs our VPSHR implementation and our annual report to the VPSHR details our current practices as well as provides updates for previous years.
We continue to conduct regular VPSHR training of security providers in priority countries for security and human rights issues. Security personnel and community engagement practitioners, including contractors, complete corporate human rights training on the VPSHR on an annual basis. All contract security organizations are required to provide VPSHR training to their employees and comply with the principles. Training is also provided for the ConocoPhillips workforce as part of the onboarding process when relevant to working in field locations.
Economic Transparency and Reporting
We endorse transparency in the extractive industries. We are a participating member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), one mechanism which seeks to ensure that natural resource wealth is an engine for economic growth that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction.
We remain actively involved in the EITI process and implementation in participating countries in which we operate. Currently, we are engaged in exploration and/or production activities in EITI member countries Colombia, Indonesia, Norway and the United Kingdom. Current EITI information can be found here.
We note that various other transparency initiatives have either been adopted or are under development in areas in which we operate, including the Dodd-Frank Act in the United States and the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives in the European Union. These initiatives include detailed mechanisms for payment transparency, which we believe can and should be accomplished in a manner that:
- Does not require companies to violate existing contractual and legal obligations.
- Is fair to all participants in the extractive industries.
- Does not place unreasonable administrative burdens and expenses on reporting companies.
- Does not place reporting companies at a strategic disadvantage as compared with nonreporting companies.