Grievance mechanisms

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.

Employees in a meeting

These grievance mechanisms have two main purposes:

  1. To contribute to identifying any adverse human rights impacts and provide a means for people who are directly affected to raise a concern within an environment of understanding and respect for human rights, without fear of retaliation. Any claims received may arise from our own grievance mechanisms or from any other judicial or extrajudicial means.

  2. To enable the company to address any adverse impacts and to make any necessary reparations early and directly. Our community liaison officers play a fundamental role in the collection of emerging discrepancies, as they build dialogue and trust by proactively approaching communities in search of their feedback on the impacts that the operation is producing in the environment.

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:

  • Legitimate: enabling trust from the stakeholder groups for whose use they are intended and being accountable for the fair conduct of grievance processes.
  • Accessible: being known to all stakeholder groups for whose use they are intended, and providing adequate assistance for those who may face particular barriers to access.
  • Predictable: providing a clear and known procedure with an indicative time frame for each stage, and clarity on the types of process and outcome available and means of monitoring implementation.
  • Equitable: seeking to ensure that aggrieved parties have reasonable access to sources of information, advice and expertise necessary to engage in a grievance process on fair, informed and respectful terms.
  • Transparent: keeping parties to a grievance informed about the progress and providing sufficient information about the mechanism’s performance to build confidence in its effectiveness and meet any public interest at stake.
  • Compatible with rights: ensuring the outcomes and remedies accord with internationally recognized human rights.
  • A source of continual learning: drawing on relevant measures to identify lessons for improving the mechanism and preventing future grievances and harms.

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. 

  1. Identification of claims and complaints
  2. Registration, analysis, and classification
  3. Alerting concerned parties
  4. Investigation of causes
  5. Dialogue with the parties placing the claim or complaint
  6. Analysis with all parties involved
  7. Generation of options for solving the matter and steps for improvement
  8. Creation of solutions for the party placing the claim or complaint
  9. Solution agreement to reach a compromise
  10. Drafting of report and follow-up

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.

Bolivian woman running water over hand at fountain

An example of coordination with the Bolivian authorities

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:

  1. Establishing existing operational claim mechanisms at the location.
  2. Supporting the IPIECA project methodology.
  3. Development of a guide on how to efficiently implement claim mechanisms.
  4. Implementing new projects and improving the existing ones.
  5. Follow-up and control.
Repsol employee and Bolivian woman walk holding hands

How to send us reports, claims, or information requests

  • In person
  • Through our community liaison officers, the people who proactively approach our communities to gather emerging complaints or claims
  • Using intermediary channels
  • Email
  • Telephone

All communication will be handled in confidence and may be submitted anonymously.