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Communities and shared value

Due diligence: Impact assessment and management

Assessing the impacts of our operations

Our aim is to maximize the positive impacts that arise due to our operations. Therefore, we work to know well and analyze the context as well as the specific social, economic, and cultural features of the areas where we operate.
Due to the nature of our operations and our presence in numerous countries, we are aware that our activities affect a large number of very different populations in very different ways. In order to address this challenge, we have a set of processes and activities aimed at preventing and mitigating our impact and maximizing social opportunities in the communities.
  • How do we do it?

Performing Environmental, Social, and Health Impact Assessments (ESHIA)

The first thing we do prior to beginning our operations is to perform a social baseline to know and analyze the context as well as the area's specific social, economic, and cultural aspects.

Similarly, and in collaboration with the local public authorities and social organizations, we identify the stakeholders to be aware of their expectations, needs, concerns, and aspirations.

To that end, we perform Environmental, Social, and Health Impact Assessments (ESHIA). These assessments ensure that all potential impacts are identified as early as possible in the life cycle of a project, so that they're taken into account in the project's own design with the aim to prevent and mitigate its effects. We assess our own direct impacts and those indirect potentially caused by our business relations, included Extractive Business Partners. Social impact assessments are including the impacts on human rights

Developing a social impact assessment methodology

As of 2011, we have a company-wide internal environmental, social, and health impact assessment regulation in place that includes human rights in this assessment process.

The scope of this regulation includes the human rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the principles regarding rights established in the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the eight Fundamental Conventions that implement them.

In 2014, we developed our own human rights impact assessment methodology. It's an internal support guide for units that perform human rights impact assessments as part of the impact assessment process.

The phases of this methodology are as follow:

Phases of impact management methodology chart

Designing solutions for possible impacts

Workers in a refinery control room.

Given the nature of our operations and our presence in numerous countries, we are aware that our impacts vary.

Our potential impacts may mainly arise in refineries and chemical complexes or in our exploration and production operations. Based on each context and local reality, through participatory, proactive, and ongoing dialogue, we seek the appropriate solutions in each case.

Impact management | pdf | 216 KB  >

Una mujer cubierta con un manto rojo en La Guajira

Example of due diligence on human rights

Human Rights Impact assessment in La Guajira

 The human rights impacts assessment was carried out in participatory manner and respecting the indigenous cultures. The Repsol methodology was previously presented to the traditional authorities (Wayuu ethnic group). The interviews were conducted while assuring diversity, with the objective of guaranteeing the active participation of the communities. 

The results of the study were shared through mass meetings in the local language (Wayunikki) where aspects related to territoriality, young people’s loss of identity, labor, economic, environmental, and women’s rights were identified. However, the most relevant impact identified was the protection of sacred areas and the cultural impact without any possible mitigation measures. Therefore, the Company's decision has been not to continue operations in this block, being consistent with our Policy, recognizing and respecting the communities’ cultural diversity.

This case was presented in 2019, in the European Parliament in Brussels at the "Companies and Due Diligence in Latin America" private event.

Resettlement and use of lands

In accordance with the requirements included in our regulatory framework, prior to the start of any activity, feasible alternative designs are considered to minimize the acquisition of land and restrictions on the surface and subsurface land and soil use, in order to avoid resettlement and adverse impacts on the communities and people who use those lands.

When resettlement is unavoidable and before proceeding with the project, the following measures will be taken:

  • Ensure that public agencies have sufficiently complied with or sufficiently guaranteed compliance with obligations defined in their legal system. 
  • Carry out resettlement and land acquisitions through agreements negotiated through the consultation and participation of individuals or communities, even though they have the legal means for aquiring land without the community’s consent. Avoid forced eviction. 
  • Plan the activities for physical or economic displacement, including the restoration of livelihood to compensate the affected people or communities, in case the land acquisitions or use restrictions involve a loss of goods or livelihood, regardless whether or not the affected people are physically relocated. 
  • Establish a formal mechanism for the constitution of easements or right of way and keep a record in a database.

Identification and management of human rights risks


Risks on human rights are integrated into corporate management as part of the Integrated Risk Management System (IRMS), both in the management of strategic risks (reputation and image) and operational risks (code of ethics and conduct).

  • Within the operational risks, the risks that affect the Repsol Code of Ethics and Conduct that can also affect human rights are analyzed and managed:

"In addition to complying with the requirements of local legislation, Repsol is committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights, which encompass the rights set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles relating to the rights established by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the eight Fundamental Conventions that develop them. 

Likewise, we are committed to respecting the Human Rights of people belonging to the most vulnerable groups or collectives, regardless of where we operate. This includes: indigenous people; national, ethnic, linguistic, or religious minorities; children, the elderly, differently-abled people; and refugees, displaced people, and migrant workers, as well as their families."

  • On the other hand, within the strategic risks, risks on human rights are included within the image and reputation risks, which may be compromised in case of breach of the commitment to respect human rights set forth in Repsol’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, as well as in the Human Rights and Community Relations Policy, or that individuals or groups unrelated to Repsol managed to extend the opinion, not necessarily founded, of the Group's breach of its commitment to respect human rights.
Repsol has an organization, procedures, and systems that allow it to reasonably manage these risks to which it is exposed, being an integral element of the Group's decision-making processes, both in the area of corporate governance bodies and in business management.