OUR Comprehensive Management of the Social Environment model, e year prize-winning for the second consecutiv
GeoPark won first prize in two out of seven categories in the second annual “Significant Experiences: Best Practices in the Environmental and Social Management of the Mining and Energy Industries” Awards, organized by the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the National Hydrocarbons Agency and the National Mining Agency. These awards identify and promote successful practices that foster relationships between communities, companies and government agencies.
We were recognized in the Social Conflict Management category for our comprehensive model, which has granted us the social license to operate and ensured GeoPark has not faced a single community blockade affecting the operation in the last five years – a period during which the Company’s operated production increased from less than 10,000 bpd to more than 74,000 bpd.
Our Juntos Sumamos program won first prize in the Labor Relations Management category. This initiative aims to ensure decent work throughout the GeoPark value chain, based on three pillars: training in labor regulations, support to the value chain to ensure contractors’ working conditions, and promotion of dialogue between State entities, representatives of civil society and GeoPark, in order to prevent labor disputes.
The awards were granted by a jury comprised of experts representing the Colombian Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of the Interior, the Presidential Council for Women’s Equity and the Embassy of Canada, among other institutions.
EARLY AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT FOR OPERATIONAL FEASIBILITY
The successful fulfillment of our corporate goals depends on the feasibility and sustainability of operational activities. For this reason, our commitment to being good neighbors begins with the identification and early analysis of the social environment risks and their qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Early analysis and the definition of management plans allow us to ensure the successful and responsible development of our operations. In 2019 we opportunely identified and managed the social environment risks that could affect the development of the operation, and we achieved a year with zero (0) interruptions to the operation by community blockades. We also managed 41 early alerts, focusing on the prevention and management of risks, and were able to control or mitigate those risks.
The proper identification of risks is only possible if we maintain a constant commitment to work with our communities, emphasizing dialogue as our preferred means of communication since active listening and clear agreements are the basis for building the trust that guarantees compliance with commitments and the feasibility of our operations.
The Cuéntame program, our best way of getting close to our neighbors
Cuéntame is the program that facilitates timely and effective attention to our neighbors’ worries, concerns and requests. In 2019, Cuéntame continued to be positioned as our way of listening, attending, managing and ensuring direct and permanent relationships with our social environment. The development of the program has allowed us to achieve an understanding and comprehensive approach to requests and complaints that arise in our areas of operation, preventing conflict and strengthening long-term sustainable relationships. In 2019 we registered 260 complaints on our Cuéntame platform, of which 238 were addressed and 22 are still in the process of analysis. This translates into an effectiveness of 92% exceeding our internal goal of 90%.
Since 2018, all complaints received are registered and managed through the Cuéntame platform. With increased operational activity and new labor legislation in Colombia in 2019, there was an increase in complaints compared to prior years.
The platform has incorporated a series of analyses and metrics that allow us to identify repeat occurrences, contractors responsible, human rights risks, and vulnerable population groups.
Juntos Sumamos Program: meetings for social dialogue
At GeoPark, we promote constant communication within the value chain, with its workers and representatives, and we offer different tools to exchange opinions and considere the viewpoints of companies, as they are a principal source of information for the consolidation of a positive labor environment and social peace in our operations. Understanding their expectations and using their feedback helps us to innovate and implement initiatives and joint actions that make GeoPark a better place to work. Together with a group of leaders in the value chain, local and national authorities and contractors, we have consolidated a labor management strategy called Juntos Sumamos, focused on developing action plans that address the opinions and concerns of stakeholders regarding professional development in our operations.