The company is committed to remediating adverse impacts in an agreed manner with the affected parties in order to achieve effective and satisfactory remediation.
In case negative impacts are detected, the affected population is identified, the nature and magnitude of the impacts are evaluated following recognized international standards, and a resolution is proposed, which is then discussed with affected parties in order to find a satisfactory agreement.
The affected population is identified, the nature and magnitude of the impacts are evaluated following international standards, and a resolution is proposed, which is then discussed with affected parties in order to find a satisfactory agreement.
Grievance mechanisms are a valuable source of information that help to detect potential human rights impacts on communities, contractors, partners, customers, and other stakeholders.
During the execution of the agreed mitigation or remediation measures, they are closely monitored to ensure deadlines are met and progress is reported to stakeholders. In order to do this, grievance mechanisms feature tools to communicate alerts and notifications.
What are these mechanisms?
We designed them according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which establish that 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.
Claims are classified based on the nature of the complaint once it has been registered. The personnel that receives the complaint determines the degree of severity of the claim and transmits the information so that it may be handled at the proper level.
In this way, minor claims are resolved and closed immediately without requiring a thorough investigation whereas more 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 escalated 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 the need for confidentiality provisions and without fear of retaliation, 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 of any kind (legal action, firing, or violence). 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 treated confidentially and may be made anonymously.
The final design of the grievance mechanism depends on the specific characteristics of the communities and groups they are intended for. This is achieved thanks to the information collected since the initial phases of the projects, during the social baseline studies, and in the previous risks and impact assessments, but it extends to the entire life of the assets or projects. The methodology of all these studies and assessments includes direct and two-way communication with stakeholders through participatory dialogue. This facilitates a design adapted to the target population and allows for its continuous improvement over time.