Providing streamlined and early responses to claims, concerns and queries for the communities surrounding products and assets is one of our priorities
We establish mechanisms to attend to inquiries, claims, concerns, and complaints from the communities in the areas where we operate, adapted to and accessible in the appropriate languages for every context following the United Nations Model. These operational-level grievance mechanisms contribute to fulfilling the responsibility to respect human rights that all companies have and provide feedback on the effectiveness of the due diligence process.
We define claim mechanisms in collaboration with our partners and other stakeholders. We are committed to verifying any report or complaint received and to actively cooperate to remediate any damage caused by our activity or contractors. This enables us to anticipate, respond to minor incidents arising from our activity before they escalate, and provide early reparations to the affected parties.
What are these mechanisms?
We designed them in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which establish that operational-level grievance mechanisms must be:
Our ambition lies in enabling these mechanisms to significantly contribute to the sustainability of our operations.
What is the process?
From the moment reports and claims are received to when they are closed, the entire process can take at least a month. Nonetheless, this time required could vary depending on the complexity of the issue.
The relevant claims are managed at the local level and transferred to the expert team in Human Rights and Community Relations within the Division of Sustainability and if necessary, are then transferred to members of the Executive Committee for their knowledge and possible management.
Promoting dialogue and communication
We promote a culture of respect for human rights and continual dialogue that creates an environment of trust for expressing, without fear of reprisal, any complaint or claim by our employees and the communities around us, including human rights defenders, whose work we respect and take into consideration, and in no way we block or misrepresent any information shared.
This context and the conviction that respect for human rights in all our activities is an indispensable condition to maintain our social license to operate, ensure that our communities do not find themselves compelled to waive their rights to issue a claim and obtain an active hearing and a commitment on our part.
In the framework of inter-institutional coordination, Repsol Bolivia submits a daily report on Social Conflict in its areas of operation, located within four departments, to the state-owned company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFb). This mechanism is carried out without interruption and constitutes a permanent alert and information system on eventual conflicting situations and the measures adopted to mitigate them. It allows for reporting of complaints that may arise in the areas of operation and ensures the participation of YPFb in their resolution.
For example, complaints have been filed about dust generation during the transport of company equipment, which was resolved with mitigation measures (wetting the area before transporting), requests for local labor in company activities, and more.
This type of coordination allows us to have a permanent and open relationship with different areas of the state-owned company, in addition to guaranteeing their involvement and quick response, should their participation be required.
Our commitment governs our action
We undertake our commitment to human rights and lay it out in our codes of conduct, policies, rules of procedure, and framework agreements that govern all our actions.
We encourage strict compliance with our principles among our contractors and partners, and in no case shall a claim or suggestion lead to retaliation. To this end, we include clauses in contracts, carry out social audits, and support them with awareness-raising activities.
Our Human Rights and Community Relations Policy (PDF l 53 KB) specifically outlines a commitment to establish operational-level grievance mechanisms that adapt to each particular activity from the moment it begins and as early on as possible in the planning of the project. Ultimately, the aim is for people directly affected by company operations to be able to raise any potential human rights impacts.
As of today, there is an operational-level grievance mechanism in our operations to handle claims mainly from local communities but also from employees, suppliers, contractors, and other organizations. Such mechanisms are adapted to every context. The implementation of our incident grievance mechanisms follow an extensive process that is based on the following system:
All communication will be handled in confidence and may be submitted anonymously.