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The future of oil and gas industry operations is directly tied with the success of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. At Houston's Offshore Technology Conference this year, a panel from five leading companies discussed the importance of a well-planned and -executed CSR program amidst the rising global demand for energy as companies continue to produce in populated areas.
Discovering and Managing Expectations during All Phases of Industry Operations
Because of the pressure to produce in established communities, addressing community desires as early as possible in the project development phase was seen as critical. Just as important were managing expectations and community desires through each stage of the process, which requires early involvement with local communities and government.
Mary-Grace Anderson, Vice President of Safety, Environment & Social Performance for Upstream Americas for Shell, explains: “Our intention is...to help each project become sustainable in the long term through collaborative efforts with communities and partners, and this can involve corporation, academia, and regulators. We find the larger the collaboration, we can have, typically the better solutions we get.”
CSR Programs Benefit Both Companies and Communities
Natalie Stirling-Sanders, Global Manager of Local Content, Supplier Diversity and Sustainable Procurement at ExxonMobil, mentioned that the main objective of a CSR program should not be to dole out charity, but rather facilitate local improvements in the form of education, infrastructure, and jobs. For example, jobs, training, and educational investments in a community help to attract, retain, and develop happier and more productive employees for both present and future staffing needs.
Both Anderson and Stirling-Sanders emphasized the need for CSR programs to support both short-term and long-term goals, especially when a shift in the production period necessitates the elimination of certain jobs filled by the local work force.
[via Corporate Social Responsibility Vital to Industry Operations]
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