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Communities and shared value

Dialogue with communities and indigenous peoples

Two women talking - Community

Dialogue is the foundation of our relationship with communities and indigenous peoples

Our commitment to the communities and indigenous peoples is expressed through our efforts to continuously seek a proactive, transparent, participatory, and ongoing dialogue with them.

We involve the indigenous communities in the areas where we operate from the project's very early stages, keeping in mind the respect for human rights, especially for those most vulnerable groups of people.

A tool aimed at ensuring this dialogue lies in the different communication channels we establish with communities. In each operation and project, the most suitable mechanisms and frequencies for communication are established to generate a trusting environment that encourages fluid dialogue. In this way, our communities may raise any concern, suggestion, complaint, or claim related to the potential as well as real impacts that may arise without the need to waive their rights and without fear of retaliation.

Likewise, we respect and take into consideration the work of human rights defenders, and in no way do we block or misrepresent communications that take place.

Repsol employee talks with two people from a Bolivian community

Our grievance reporting channels are readily accessible in our operations to ensure dialogue and fluid communication with the different communities.

With the aim to strengthen this commitment, we promote compliance with these channels among our suppliers wherever we operate.

Moreover, in some of our operations, like industrial facilities, there are 24-hour telephone helplines available at our industrial complexes, which have protocols for internally receiving, recording, and dealing with complaints made by a community.

Understanding and respecting the unique nature of indigenous peoples

Indigenous woman holding her baby

We undertake to recognize and respect the internationally recognized rights of indigenous, tribal, aboriginal, and native peoples (Indigenous Peoples), in accordance with current laws and following the requirements of the International Labor Organization’s Convention (ILO) No. 169, regardless of whether or not it is included in the legislation of the country in question.

Through baseline social studies that we carry out at our operations and with the participation of governments and local, regional, and national organizations that represent indigenous peoples, we identify those indigenous communities that are in different phases of contact with the majority culture and that may be affected by our operations.

Establishing dialogue and a close-knit relationship with indigenous communities

  • Adapting it to the cultural characteristics of each ethnicity or community, and involving representative bodies of indigenous communities.
  • Guaranteeing the representation of men and women, the diverse age groups, and leaders according to their traditions.
  • Recognizing and respecting the right to prior, free and informed consent (PFIC) of indigenous peoples through their representative institutions.
  • Community liaison officers:
    The link between our Company and the communities

In order to ensure dialogue with communities and indigenous peoples, our community liaison officers are in charge of establishing a dialogue between the Company and the community we operate in based on trust and respect. Our liaisons have the following responsibilities:
  • Initiate, conduct, and maintain community relations where operations will be carried out.
  • Create the appropriate conditions and relations with communities by respecting each one's specific aspects.
  • Inform on the characteristics of the projects, potential impacts, and prevention and mitigation measures.
  • Align the interests of the communities with social investment principles to create compatible projects.

Our team of liaison officers are the face of the company before communities and create an amicable and good-faith environment. They are the link between the company and the communities to mediate in possible disagreements and conflict that may arise by seeking an understanding that is beneficial for both parties. At Repsol, we have a team of 70 community liaison officers in the different countries where we are present.

Apart from the community liaison officers, there are regional Committees that meet periodically to discuss specific social topics and share lessons learned in each of the operating areas, and additionally, we have a corporate area for Human Rights and Community Relations, within the Division of Sustainability, that receives feedback from the regional committees or countries and sets a regulating framework, tracks and controls regulations, and proposes action plans and training.

At the highest level, the Executive Committee approves all internal regulations regarding human rights and community relations and monitors relevant topics in this field.

We also work to improve human rights issues externally in industry work groups at various levels:

  • The teams that are responsible for relationships with interest groups in various countries actively participate in local groups along with other companies in the Oil & Gas or extractive industry.
  • At a corporate level, we participate in international organizations like the IPIECA social responsibility group, where Repsol holds the vice chair.

These work groups allow us to improve each day by sharing experiences, lessons learned, and good practices between different companies and expert entities on the matter.