Energy issues are complex, so it is not surprising that our stakeholders have questions and uniquely evolving expectations. ConocoPhillips aims to be a responsible corporate citizen by understanding our neighbors’ needs, values and interests so we can address them in our internal decision-making and project-execution processes. We work closely with stakeholders to promote understanding of our operations, minimize disruptions and engage and contribute in a positive way to the communities where we operate. Through effective engagement, sustainable relationships of mutual respect can be established.
Stakeholder engagement has been part of our history since the beginning of the 20th century when Phillips Petroleum Co. drilled hundreds of wells on Osage tribal lands, building the company’s foundation while making millions of dollars for tribe members through royalty income. Founder Frank Phillips was a well-known fixture at the lease sales, and he built his wealth and success with this Osage connection. Mr. Phillips and Chief Lookout maintained a strong mutual admiration and respect and considered each other friends and allies. The close relationship and cooperation between the Phillips family and the Osage Tribe began in these early days of wildcatting in Osage County, OK and endured many years as a profitable venture for both sides.
E.W. Marland, the founder and CEO of one of our heritage companies, Marland Oil Company, cared very much for his employees and maintained a great relationship with them. Marland created an atmosphere of opportunity, loyalty and comfortable living at the Marland Oil Company. He was “E.W.” to all employees, not “the boss”.
When the Marland Oil Refinery was built in 1918 in Ponca City, it was considered one of the most outstanding economic achievements in the Oklahoma oil industry. The labor requirements at the refinery caused the population of Ponca City to triple in only a few months.
Today, the company’s SPIRIT Values — Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork — set the tone for how the company conducts its business. These SPIRIT values are embedded in our stakeholder engagement approach.
Principles for stakeholder engagement include:
- Proactively identify and seek out key stakeholders early in the business endeavor.
- Include these key stakeholders in the design and implementation of the engagement process.
- Listen in order to understand stakeholders’ interests, concerns and culture.
- Communicate openly.
- Seek solutions that create mutually beneficial business and engagement approaches that also build long-term value for both the company and our stakeholders.
- Follow through on our commitments and stand accountable for the results, both internally and externally.
Through collaboration, we respect the rights and traditional values, heritage and culture in the local communities. This is inherit in the way we operate and the way we build our legacy.
Case Study: How ConocoPhillips is listening and seeking community input in the Eagle Ford Asset
The liquids-rich Eagle Ford shale play represents the company’s most prolific unconventional development. In 2009, the company began exploring the development potential of this play and at year-end 2014 held approximately 220,000 net leasehold and mineral acres, primarily in the DeWitt, Karnes and Live Oak counties. The Eagle Ford team makes it a priority to listen and seek community input in the following ways:
- Citizens Advisory Committee – The Eagle Ford Citizens Advisory Committee is made up of community leaders from DeWitt, Karnes, Live Oak, and Bee counties and meets every other month to discuss hot topics and industry matters. It’s an open dialogue forum that is based upon trust, respect and collaboration.
- Eagle Ford Leadership Roundtables – ConocoPhillips hosts roundtable discussions with the appointed/elected officials in our operating counties to help inform our community leaders about current operations and community projects, while also listening to the concerns and suggestions of the community leadership. These are hosted annually with each of our operating counties.
- Eagle Ford Landing newsletter – This publication was started as a result of the community feedback. The newsletter, distributed in the spring and fall, shares information about the oil and gas industry, as well as key projects in the community with ConocoPhillips landowners.
- Landowner Meet and Greets – These luncheons are hosted for our landowners and allow them the opportunity to ask questions face-to-face with their Landman, Surface Representative and/or Royalty Payment Representative. These events have been held for the last four years and continue to be the building block of consistent, open communication with our primary stakeholders.
Case Study: Niobrara- Engaging to Understand
In the Niobrara, our approach to stakeholder relations is to maintain dialogue and community Involvement. We continue to share knowledge through asset tours and engage with the business community. To date we have:
- Sponsored more than 75 front-range community events since 2014
- Conducted 14 Open Houses focused on sharing information about safety, wellbore construction, well pad construction, hydraulic fracturing and regulatory requirements
- Participated in 14 Colorado Chamber Organizations/Trade Associations
- Participated in Local Energy Organizations-led grassroots education efforts
- Contributed $8.9 million to Colorado universities from 2009 to 2014
Ultimately, effective stakeholder engagement seeks key stakeholders early in the entry process and maintains effective two-way communications that encourages input throughout the operational process. We hold ourselves accountable for commitments and results in order to build trustworthy and sustainable relationships with all stakeholders.
ConocoPhillips prides itself on being a great neighbor and a responsible corporate citizen. We contribute to the well-being of the communities in which we operate through charitable giving, employee volunteerism, and civic leadership.
In 2014, the Lower 48 Business Unit contributed a total of $17 million in six giving categories: education, health & safety, natural resources/environment, social services, civic and arts, as well as, disaster relief.
We collaborate with local charitable organizations to identify community needs and deliver strategic programs that meet these needs and support our business outcomes.
Community Investment Priorities
To more effectively serve the needs of the community and focus our philanthropic activities on key areas where we can have a longer-term impact, our charitable investment program is built around three giving pillars:
- Signature Programs. A Signature Program is a coordinated, integrated charitable investment cause that provides focus and provides a substantive impact on issues surrounding water and biodiversity and education.
- Local Contributions & Sponsorships. ConocoPhillips’ desire is to be a good corporate citizen and neighbor. Our ability to meet these objectives is supported by our relationships with organizations that have a proven track record of meeting local needs in the communities where we operate. These relationships are strengthened through local grants which support our Signature Programs and address the unique needs of each community.
- Employee Giving Programs. ConocoPhillips recognizes that its employees and retirees are often the company's best liaison with the communities in which we operate. Therefore, we encourage and support their involvement in local charitable activities through a number of Employee and Retiree Giving Programs including the United Way, Matching Gift, Volunteer Grants and Dependent Scholarships.
Commitment to Communities through Philanthropic Efforts
As we deliver on our mission to responsibly provide energy to the world, we also strive to contribute to the well-being of the communities in which we live and work. Our commitment reflects our SPIRIT values. These values (Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork) set the tone for our actions as a corporate citizen. Below are a few highlights of how we are addressing specific needs of communities through volunteering and local grants.
Support of Safety Programs
Fire departments, EMS and law enforcement agencies are integral in keeping the general public safe. At ConocoPhillips, it is our collective goal to prevent all injuries, occupational illnesses, unsafe practices and incidents of environmental harm from our activities. However, in the event of an incident, we recognize our collaboration with first responders is vital.
That is why we support local public safety agencies through events like the annual Bad Boy Blast sporting clays tournament in the Permian Basin. In 2014, More than 1,100 registered shooters and employee volunteers helped raise approximately $435,000 during the 12th annual Bad Boy Blast competition in Stanton, Texas. The proceeds, which were more than double the organization’s fundraising goal, benefitted the volunteer fire departments of Andrews, Ector, Howard, and Midland counties, as well as the Odessa, Texas, Crime Stoppers. Over the past 12 years, this ConocoPhillips-sponsored event raised nearly $2 million for first responders and law enforcement agencies.
Contribution to Health Programs
St. Joseph’s Hospital is in the heart of the Bakken play in Dickinson, North Dakota, and has been serving patients since 1912. Given the hospital’s proximity to the ConocoPhillips office in Dickinson and just 85 miles from the Watford City office, we understood the importance of helping fund the construction of a new facility. ConocoPhillips pledged $1 million to help construct the campus, which opened its doors on December 8, 2014.
Investment in Education Programs
We are defined by our investment in the next generation, and supporting education programs is vital to ensuring our future workforce has the right skills and training needed to succeed. That is why ConocoPhillips is increasing its focus on supporting STEM programs at all levels of education from K-12 to college.
In the San Juan asset area of New Mexico, we have established an education grant program. The program's goal is to provide teachers with funds for projects intended to expand student interest, increase student interaction, and create hands-on learning experiences. Participating teachers come from both public and private school districts such as Aztec, Bloomfield, Central Consolidated, Durango, Farmington Municipal and private accredited schools such as Emmanuel Baptist Child Development Center and Academy.
Supporting Water and Biodiversity Stewardship
The company’s Signature Program is focused on improving water and biodiversity stewardship by funding strategic and innovative projects that advance future conservation efforts. In the Lower 48, we have partnered with several U.S. Joint Ventures (JV) aligned with our strategies and mission in natural resources and environmental programming. A JV is a collaborative, regional partnership of government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, tribes, and individuals that conserves habitat for priority bird species, other wildlife, and people. They are widely accepted as the model for collaborative conservation in the 21st century. In 2014, we contributed to Intermountain West Joint Venture, Northern Great Plains Joint Venture, Playa Lakes Joint Venture and Gulf Coast Joint Venture.
In our coastal areas, we help guide the use of federal funds in coastal restoration and protection. In 2014, ConocoPhillips was presented with the Pelican Award in recognition of our preservation/conservation efforts in the state of Louisiana.
Don Hrap (center) accepted the Pelican Award honoring ConocoPhillips for outstanding achievements, contributions and investments in Louisiana. The award was presented in February 2014, during the annual meeting of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) in New Orleans. Hrap is flanked by Phil Precht, director, Lower 48 Coastal Wetlands, and Chris John, president, LMOGA.
In 2014, ConocoPhillips’ employees volunteered more than 1,500 hours in the Eagle Ford and sponsored six festivals across four counties—Beeville, DeWitt, Karnes and Live Oak.
In North Dakota, our our employees organized an event to revitalize and update Little Missouri State Park near Killdeer, North Dakota, in time for peak season. The park is a visual paradise, visitors flock to the park for family events, including camping, picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding. Volunteers built a fence, installed gravel in the horse pens, repaired light fixtures, and cleaned shower facilities and picnic tables.
“Our company and employees believe in giving back to the communities where we operate and supporting natural resources,” said Greg Ashdown, manager, Rockies Business Unit operations for ConocoPhillips. “Given that Little Missouri State Park is the crown jewel of North Dakota and is near our operations, our employees were very enthusiastic about helping prepare the park for another season of visitors. Activities like these demonstrate our commitment to the community.”
Learn more about our investment in communities, here.
ConocoPhillips contributes to local economies in the communities where we operate. In the U.S., we proactively seek out certified, diverse businesses to provide them access to business opportunities within our supply chain. This is accomplished through our Supplier Diversity Program. This approach supports our Commitment to Supplier Inclusion, stimulates economic development, and creates long-lasting social and economic benefits to our stakeholder communities.
Through our Supplier Diversity program we actively participate in identifying, developing and utilizing diverse businesses in our Lower 48 operations. To assist us with these endeavors, we partner with organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and their affiliates in the regions where we operate. We also collaborate with the U.S. Small Business Administration for local small business inclusion.
As one of the world’s largest independent exploration and production companies, we are proud to be considered a leader in diverse supplier inclusion. In 2014, ConocoPhillips was awarded the Corporation of the Year Award in the Energy category from the Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council. The award recognized our proactive efforts in identifying, developing and utilizing diverse businesses in the west Texas region, primarily for our Eagle Ford operations. Most recently we were named to Minority Business News USA magazine’s annual Corporate 101 list, representing the “Most Admired Companies” in supplier diversity.