We want to minimise the impact our operations may have on natural environments and on communities that neighbour our projects, or potential projects. Our aim is to manage or reduce any impacts on local communities’ health, safety and access to fresh water, food or income. We also aim to bring benefits to the communities and local economies where we work.
We apply stringent standards across all our projects, particularly when we operate in critical habitats that are rich in biodiversity and in areas of cultural significance or close to local communities, including indigenous people.
We carry out detailed assessments of the potential environmental, social and health impacts when we plan new projects. These help us to manage and reduce impacts on the environment or on communities throughout the lifetime of the project, from initial planning through to final decommissioning. We also look for ways to help local communities benefit from our presence, contributing in areas such as supporting new businesses, improving road safety or access to energy.
The results of our impact assessments are often made publicly available.
Our impact assessment process
We use a consistent process around the world when we start a new project or make changes to existing facilities. Our impact assessments help us to manage and reduce any negative impacts throughout our projects and can influence the direction of a project.
During the project development process we review the following:
- we assess the potential environmental, social and health impacts of the project;
- we carry out detailed studies so we understand any specific local risks. This may include risks such as water shortage, cultural heritage or security issues; and
- we engage with local communities to understand their concerns, often in partnership with non-governmental organisations that are already working in the area.
These assessments also help us identify where we can bring a positive legacy to the community, through our social investment programmes.