Our Company joined the Colombian chapter of the UN Global Compact on January 25, 2011. As the majority of our operations are located in Colombia, it made sense to initially join their network. When we became aware of the GCNC it was only fitting that we also join here (we are a Canadian Corporation listed on the TSX). The Global Compact is a great resource and network to continue developing our sustainability initiatives, and learn and share with our peers.
The Company hopes this can be a space to convey to our directors and peers the importance of managing sustainability issues in a timely manner. It is also an opportunity to share good practices, learn from its peers and motivate each other to implement initiatives within the companies.
Despite the current low oil price environment and changes to the Company’s budget for sustainability, the Company remains committed to upholding and achieving its various sustainability commitments and standards throughout its business operations and complying with the related commitments it has made to the Company’s stakeholders and under applicable laws. The Company will continue to engage with its various stakeholders in a transparent and timely manner, informing them about any and all changes and activities of the Company within the area of social and environmental policies and issues. During 2016, the Company focused on efficiently using its social investment budget in a manner aligned with local public and private actors in order to increase its impact and promote sustainability.
To better manage potential environmental and social risks, the Company has developed an engagement policy which emphasizes the importance of transparency with the Company’s stakeholders. In furtherance of this policy, the Company has established basic guidelines for engagement specifically tailored to each type of stakeholder. In 2013 and 2015, the Company advanced the creation of protocols for engagement with communities, ethnic groups, international and national government, media, and private and public security.
The Company has established guidelines and management systems to comply with the laws and regulations of Colombia and other countries in which it operates. During 2016, Meta and PSIE received recertification of their environmental, health and safety management systems under ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, reinforcing their commitment to have zero major accidents within their operations. Additionally, the Company received recertification in energy efficiency under ISO 50001.
Energy efficiency, management of emissions, integral management of water resources and correct waste disposal will continue to be key elements in the Company’s contribution to the challenge of climate change. Given budget constraints, the Company measures its emissions in-house and has them certified by third parties. In addition, in 2016, the Company filed the annual Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire. Through this effort, the Company has been able to identify sources of excess emissions and has set targets to control them. Furthermore, the growth of the Company’s gas portfolio and production is also a key part of the Company’s strategy to control emissions, as natural gas is the cleanest widely available burning fossil fuel.
Additionally, the Company continues to comply with commitments to indigenous communities in the form of compensation in accordance with certain international conventions and constitutional regulations, both in Colombia and Peru through the use of a social investment framework. This framework sets out to standardize community demands, centering on investments required by law and prioritizing the provisions on environmental licenses, to guarantee a social license to operate. Projects are conducted in the following areas: (i) productivity of local economies, (ii) strengthening of social and institutional ties, (iii) human capital development, and (iv) quality infrastructure. Given the amount of operations within indigenous communities, during 2016 the Foundation also applied an Ethnic Social Investment Framework, a key vehicle in the execution of the prior consultation processes. These frameworks have contributed to guarantee operational stability and good will for the Company´s activities. During 2016, we executed 173 social investment projects.