of human rights
Chevron’s human rights policy is consistent with international standards, and is informed by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Although governments have the primary duty to protect and ensure fulfillment of human rights, Chevron believes that we have a responsibility to respect human rights and that we can play a positive role in the communities where we operate. As stated in The Chevron Way: “We conduct our business in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, respecting the law and universal human rights to benefit the communities where we work.” Chevron’s Human Rights Policy focuses on treating our employees in a manner consistent with The Chevron Way, conducting security operations in a responsible manner, evaluating how our operations may impact communities and engaging with suppliers on issues related to human rights. The policy is governed by Chevron's Global Issues Committee, – a subcommittee of Chevron's executive committee, and involves oversight by our Board of Directors.
Our Corporate Human Rights Policy was adopted in 2009, following a Human Rights Statement endorsed in 2005. Our policy applies to all of our our employees and operations, guides our respect for human rights across the business, fosters greater awareness of human rights issues throughout the company and enhances our capabilities to identify and manage human rights risks. Chevron regularly identifies and manages potential impacts through processes and tools, including global and context-specific impact assessments. We operationalize our Human Rights Policy by disseminating processes, procedures and tools to Chevron practitioners, including guidance on conducting risk assessments, on engaging with business suppliers and security providers, and on managing community issues. The policy is embedded in Chevron’s Business Conduct and Ethics Code compliance training for all employees. Various levels of training are in place to inform our teams as they work to manage our potential impacts in the communities where we operate, the provision of security, the administration of our workforce, and the procurement of products and services.
Chevron’s Human Rights Policy is shaped around four areas most salient to our business:
Key elements of the policy are outlined below.
focus area 1
As a founding member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative (VPI), which launched in 2000, Chevron has long demonstrated dedication to responsible security. The VPI is a multistakeholder initiative where government, civil society and company participants work together to promote implementation of a set of principles that guide oil, gas and mining companies on how to provide security for their operations in a manner that respects human rights. These principles are embedded throughout Chevron’s global operations. Our Operational Excellence Management System provides a comprehensive framework to identify and mitigate security risk and aligns security operations with our Human Rights Policy.
In 2015, we updated the process governing security guidelines and safeguards, helping us continue conducting security operations in compliance with our Human Rights Policy and applicable national and international law. In 2016, thousands of public and private security personnel associated with Chevron’s global operations received training on the Voluntary Principles.
focus area 2
We recognize that our operations have the potential to affect the well-being of the communities in which we work. That is why Chevron has a process that applies to capital projects within our operational control, and which provides a systematic and risk based approach to identifying, assessing and managing potentially significant impacts, including human rights issues. The impact assessments consider potential impacts our capital projects may have on surrounding communities. Early engagement with communities and key stakeholders is integral to planning a large capital project as it helps the project develop appropriate impact mitigation plans during the early stage of project development. If initial assessments demonstrate the need for a more detailed Human Rights Impact Assessment, Chevron experts will undertake that due diligence (an ongoing risk management process enabling a company to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how it addresses its adverse human rights impacts) to help the company consider how to safeguard the rights and interests of potentially affected communities.
When potential issues related to resettlement of communities or engagement with indigenous peoples are identified, Chevron's Resettlement Guidance and Indigenous Peoples Guidance provide our business units with a roadmap for how to navigate those situations in a manner that respects the involved rights holders (see below). Our commitment to stakeholder engagement is embedded in the Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) in the form of a Stakeholder Engagement Process.
Chevron's Stakeholder Engagement Process requires that appropriate systems and plans be in place at the operational level to manage community input and issues. At Chevron, stakeholder engagement is a continual process through which the views of individuals or groups are obtained and considered in decision making. It is critical in identifying and mitigating risk, bringing about sustainable social and economic development, and fostering constructive relationships. Listening to and engaging appropriate stakeholders improves our ability to anticipate change; avoid or manage conflict; identify emerging issues, trends, and opportunities; appreciate and respect cultural diversity; and understand key economic, environmental, and social issues that affect our decision making and performance. Several corporate guidance documents identify stakeholder engagement as a business requirement.
Chevron’s Stakeholder Engagement Process is based on energy industry best practices, which define stakeholder engagement, and explain its importance to our business. As stakeholder engagement is practiced at both the corporate, regional, and local levels of Chevron, the process provides general guidance, principles and steps for identifying stakeholders, planning and executing an engagement process that can be scaled to local operating environments, and specific business requirements. In summary, the process requires that:
- A system is in place to identify stakeholders and to plan and execute engagement with them that promotes mutual understanding about projects, operations, facilities, and products.
- Chevron fosters ongoing two-way engagement with communities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government and regulatory authorities, and other appropriate stakeholders to address potential security, safety, health, environmental, supply chain, social, human rights and other concerns.
- Appropriate plans are in place and updated on a continual basis to include stakeholder engagement, issues management, and social investment.
Chevron acknowledges the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and is committed to interacting with indigenous communities in a way that respects their history, culture and customs, within applicable legal and constitutional frameworks. We carry out this commitment by following our Human Rights Policy, which sets the expectation for the company to consult with indigenous communities and understand their perspectives on Chevron projects and ongoing operations. Chevron’s Indigenous Peoples' Guidance document outlines key provisions for effective management of relations with Indigenous Peoples, which include stakeholder identification, defining the regulatory framework, determining a preferred method of engagement, assessing potential impacts and benefits, conducting community consultations, and developing and managing plans. On-the-ground practitioners also benefit from active information sharing among a network of experienced Chevron employees.
Chevron’s Human Rights Policy sets the expectation that the company will avoid relocation or resettlement whenever possible. When resettlement is unavoidable, we strive to work collaboratively and transparently with local communities, including Indigenous Peoples, to foster ongoing support for our activities. Our policies and procedures are consistent with relevant external guidelines, including the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Chevron’s Resettlement Guidance provides a framework for projects and operations to utilize when considering resettlement, from assessment and planning to implementation. Our resettlement principles include informed business decision making, partner alignment and consultation with affected persons.
In 2016, Chevron introduced a Grievance Mechanism Guidance to encourage best practice in community feedback systems and to enable our business units to identify and respond to community concerns that may call for remedy. Chevron's guidance helps business units design or update a grievance mechanism that strives to be legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, and rights-compatible. The mechanism should be based on engagement and two-way dialogue and promote continuous learning.
Community of practice
Chevron benefits from an internal “community of practice” network of experienced social performance practitioners. For example, Chevron convenes workshops for company practitioners who are involved in managing land issues related to resettlement. In the workshops, Chevron practitioners discuss how the company's expectations on human rights extend to resettlement issues, discuss relevant international standards and share lessons learned from their practical experiences.
human rights training
Chevron launched human rights training in 2012. Since then, the training has been taken more than 20,000 times.
focus area 3
We expect our suppliers to treat their employees and to interact with communities in ways that respect human rights and are consistent with the spirit of our Human Rights Policy. We require that our key suppliers adhere to all domestic laws and encourage them to align their practices with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) core principles. These principles include the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced and compulsory labor, the abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination in the workplace.
Chevron seeks to implement our human rights–related expectations of contractors, suppliers and services providers through a variety of due diligence and performance management processes that we apply to current and potential suppliers. For example, in 2017, we disqualified two companies competing for a contract after learning of forced labor in their operations.
One way that Chevron manages potential human rights risk in our supply chain is through our Contractor Health, Environment and Safety Management, or CHESM. Through this process, we work with suppliers to increase accountability and continually improve their performance. Major suppliers are selected for periodic audits and business units may use internal, external or third-party auditing resources, depending on the audit strategy. The audits cover health, environmental and safety standards and compliance. Labor issues or concerns may be emphasized as part of this process, depending on the business location.
Annually, Chevron sends letters to the executive leadership of several hundred suppliers – selected based on third-party data and objective criteria for evaluating their human rights risk – about the importance of respecting human rights. We take the opportunity to remind these leaders that Chevron expects our business partners to treat their employees and interact with communities in a manner consistent with our Human Rights Policy and the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In 2017, we sent letters to more than 850 suppliers around the world.
focus area 4
Chevron employs tens of thousands of people globally, creating local jobs and developing local workforces. The Chevron Way and our policies require that we treat all of our employees with respect and dignity and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Our company policies and procedures adhere to all applicable domestic laws and are consistent with ILO core labor principles, including freedom of association and collective bargaining, nondiscrimination, and the elimination of forced labor and underage workers in the workplace.
An example of this is Chevron’s enterprisewide labor relations policy. If Chevron employees choose union representation, a Works Council or labor organization representation, Chevron’s policy is to attempt to establish a positive, cooperative business relationship with the certified representative of choice. We seek to adopt labor relations strategies that foster cooperation, open communication, and both employee and union participation in meeting the goals of the company. Our business units are expected to make labor relations decisions consistent with The Chevron Way, the business unit's strategies and business plans and local government regulations.
external leadership in human rights
Chevron works to advance initiatives related to business and human rights, including through groups such as IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues. IPIECA’s Human Rights Task Force and Social Responsibility Working Group develop best practices and disseminate learning materials to industry practitioners on key issues where human rights impacts can occur, including within our supply chain and security operations, and in the communities where we operate. Chevron helped IPIECA develop its Responsible Security Operations Task Force, which is working to share practices on security and human rights through information sharing, training and peer learning. Chevron is also a member of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights and other organizations that seek to advance corporate respect for human rights around the world.
Chevron’s decision whether to invest in a country of a particular project or to continue or cease operations requires consideration of financial and nonfinancial criteria. For instance, we assess whether operating conditions will allow us to provide a safe and secure environment for our personnel and assets and support human rights and anticorruption. Read more about it in Chevron’s Global Operations, One Approach.