We address socioeconomic issues by adhering to corporate policies and expectations, complying with host-country regulatory requirements, applying universally recognized principles, engaging with external groups and building local economic capacity.
In 2012, we approved our Upstream Socioeconomic Management Standard for use across the Upstream companies. The Standard provides a set of best management practices and minimum expectations when managing the socioeconomic considerations throughout the Upstream life cycle. Implementing the Standard helps us identify considerations and risks early. We then develop and implement appropriate avoidance measures. We believe a consistent approach helps our employees, contractors and partners effectively manage socioeconomic issues and maintain our global license to operate.
In 2012, ExxonMobil established an Upstream Socioeconomic Management Functional Advisory Team, comprised of various functional and Upstream company representatives. This team meets quarterly to review and discuss strategy, alignment and direction regarding socioeconomic considerations. We also launched a system to capture lessons learned from any incidents with socioeconomic causes and effects. When incidents happen, it will be beneficial for these causes and effects to be identified to help improve how we manage socioeconomic impacts.
Identifying Socioeconomic Aspects
At ExxonMobil, risk management shapes our business and investment decisions. This includes evaluating and managing the risks and opportunities related to social, health, environmental, economic and cultural matters. When starting major Upstream projects, we conduct an Environmental, Socioeconomic and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) to identify key risks that we might encounter throughout the asset life cycle and develop strategies to manage or mitigate these risks appropriately. A key aspect of conducting an ESHIA involves engaging directly with affected communities, relevant governmental agencies, international organizations and local non-governmental organizations as appropriate to solicit feedback on a project and gain information that can be used to improve the project or its execution. As part of the process, stakeholders are given the opportunity to review and comment on ESHIA drafts.
Since 2007, ExxonMobil has undertaken or participated in nearly 110 ESHIAs for projects and activities around the world, ranging from single-well exploration drilling programs to new technology evaluation pilots to large development mega-projects. Conducting ESHIAs is integral to successful project implementation and developing long-term, positive relationships in the communities where we operate.