Oxy’s Social Responsibility (SR) Program unifies our core values of safety, integrity and respect for people and the environment. This companywide commitment to SR is integral to the way we conduct business. Oxy’s Code of Business Conduct, and its Corporate Governance, Human Rights, Human Resources and HES policies, assign specific responsibilities to directors, officers and employees to carry out this commitment to SR. The company systematically implements SR programs through our formal Health, Environment and Safety Management System (HESMS), which provides the means and resources to manage our HES and SR risks comprehensively.
Oxy’s HESMS, implemented in the late 1970s,
encourages individual responsibility, values quantifiable results and promotes communication with employees, contractors and other stakeholders. The management system sets expectations that go beyond compliance with applicable laws by requiring business segments to implement consistent worldwide standards across their respective operations. We have robust programs to maintain compliance with laws and regulations, enhance employee and contractor safety performance, minimize environmental effects and risks, meet objectives and facilitate sustained performance improvement.
The HESMS directly involves and challenges managers and employees to attain HES and SR performance goals, engage with local communities to understand and appropriately address their interests and concerns, and identify opportunities for continuous improvement. The presidents of Oxy’s business segments and the vice president of HES are responsible for implementing the HESMS, with oversight from the Environmental, Health and Safety Committee of the Board of Directors. Business managers and HES experts provide guidance, oversight and support to local operations in updating and implementing the management system. Each manager and employee is accountable for HES performance, including compliance with applicable HES laws, regulations and company policies and procedures within the scope of his or her duties. All personnel are empowered and expected to report non-compliance or unsafe conditions promptly and to take immediate action to prevent injuries or environmental incidents. From individual facility locations to the corporate level, HESMS implementation is routinely reviewed and verified with audits. Performance in key areas of HES and SR is directly considered in the annual review and compensation of employees, as well as in the selection of contractors, suppliers and business partners.
Oxy’s wholly owned subsidiary, OxyChem, has tailored its HESMS to incorporate the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Responsible Care® initiative. The Responsible Care program is structured around a set of specific HES metrics with performance goals that are often more stringent than corresponding government requirements, and verifies conformance through internal and external audits. Among the Responsible Care requirements are: implementation of management systems that are verified by independent auditors; tracking performance through established HES measures; and extending best practices to contractors and business partners. OxyChem plants regularly participate in community advisory panels to discuss HES improvements, performance and other information of interest to facility neighbors. Oxy’s oil and gas and midstream businesses have similar outreach programs in their local communities.
To prepare for potential emergency scenarios, Oxy’s oil and gas production, crude oil pipeline operations and chemical operations have robust emergency planning and response capabilities, and drills are conducted regularly to test the readiness of its emergency responders. Many locations conduct emergency exercises with local authorities to ensure good communication and incident management. Additionally, OxyChem participates in Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) training, during which the company works collaboratively with railroads to provide hazardous materials training to emergency responders along rail routes.
Throughout Oxy’s worldwide operations, the HESMS emphasizes risk identification and forthright communication through job safety analyses, process hazard reviews, and HES inspections and assessments so that preemptive actions can be implemented to prevent or mitigate injuries or environmental incidents. The HESMS also provides tools for managers and employees to recognize HES and SR risks in their areas of responsibility. These risks undergo rigorous analysis to identify, prioritize and implement appropriate mitigation measures that are designed to improve HES and SR performance.
Oxy focuses on rapidly integrating new employees and contractors, newly constructed facilities and acquired operations into our SR Programs through the HESMS. As a regular practice in new projects, Oxy assesses potential social and environmental effects concurrently at the outset of the project. This comprehensive process helps to identify and address HES and SR risks and stakeholder concerns promptly, and educates our new employees and contractors about Oxy’s HES expectations.
For Oxy's oil and gas segment, the SR Program defines business unit requirements for stakeholder relations, social risk management and quality of social programs to carry out Oxy’s Human Rights Policy and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The Social Responsibility Standard facilitates relationships with host communities and promotes Oxy's understanding of the communities' needs, concerns and connection with the company's operations.
In 2006, Oxy initiated the integration of its Social Responsibility Standard into the HES management system. Interdisciplinary teams of SR, HES and operations personnel conducted a baseline assessment of international oil and gas operations to identify areas for improvement. Facility-specific HES performance standards were also revised at several international oil and gas operations to address and measure social risk assessment, training, stakeholder engagement and related matters.
From the inception of its HESMS, Oxy has actively shared its programs through organizations such as the Global Environmental Management Initiative, the Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety Roundtable and the World Environment Center. Since Oxy’s HESMS predated third-party certification programs, Oxy developed and continues to apply comprehensive internal processes, at the direction of the Environmental, Health and Safety Committee of the Board of Directors, to validate the effectiveness of its HESMS in identifying, assessing, communicating and managing potential HES risks. Some of Oxy’s international operations have also chosen to pursue certification of the HESMS by outside organizations under the international voluntary standard for comprehensive environmental management systems (ISO 14001). Oxy oil and gas operations in Qatar and Oman hold ISO 14001 certifications, as do OxyChem’s plant in Chile and an OxyChem joint venture in Brazil.