As stipulated in the Human Rights Policy, Occidental conducts social impact assessments for existing operations and before launching new projects in international locations. This information assists the business units in developing customized Social Responsibility (SR) strategies and action plans to address risks, harness opportunities and engage with stakeholders about their interests and concerns. These assessments also contribute to proactive SR planning across the company.
Our companywide policies and procedures require social and environmental impact assessments prior to beginning operations in new international locations, as well as periodic reviews of existing operations. Occidental's stakeholder engagement process for new development projects includes the identification of key stakeholders, an assessment of stakeholder interests and positions regarding the project, an evaluation of the community's socio-economic needs, the development and implementation of a stakeholder relations plan to address community interests and needs, periodic monitoring to evaluate the results, and updating of the assessment for continuous improvement.
In 2015, Occidental conducted new social risk assessments or updated previous assessments at a number of its operating locations. In Oman we expanded our previous assessment to focus on local small-and medium-sized enterprises.
In Colombia, Occidental conducted a new social impact assessment for our operations in the Llanos Norte Basin. Through interviews with local authorities, community members, employees, contractors and other key stakeholders, the assessment compiled updated information on the region's social and economic background and potential impacts resulting from Occidental Colombia's operations. This included an evaluation of the region's geographic features, existing programs and institutions, presence of armed conflict, security risks, human rights challenges, and socio-economic needs. By enhancing our understanding of key stakeholder interests and the potential positive and negative impacts from Occidental's presence, the social impact assessment has helped guide Occidental Colombia's stakeholder engagement plan and SR development priorities in the region.