The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Cairn Energy Buries Truth in Business Speak

Posted by keith on August 24th, 2010

Below is a verbatim lift from the Corporate Responsibility page on the website of Cairn Energy. I have just highlighted the one key point that you must bear in mind when reading:

Cairn’s strategy is to deliver shareholder value through establishing commercial reserves in high potential exploration plays in various parts of the world. In implementing this strategy, the Group focuses on conducting all of its activities in a responsible manner.

Our approach to CR is based on continuous improvement and responsible behaviour across four main platforms:

* Business relationships
* Commitment to our people
* Commitment to society and communities
* Commitment to the environment

During the course of 2008, we concentrated our Corporate Responsibility activities on eight key areas of business practice identified as having high significance through our business risk management and stakeholder engagement processes. The following paragraphs summarise these areas and the remainder of the report documents Cairn’s activities in each area.

Stakeholder Engagement
At Cairn we believe that building strong, open and lasting relationships with our stakeholders is not merely a social responsibility, it is also vital to achieving our business goals. Our activities are influenced by – and may potentially impact – a range of different stakeholders at local, national and international levels. In particular, governments and local communities can significantly affect our capacity to carryout our activities and achieve our aims.

Business Ethics
Corruption when it occurs is recognised as a major hindrance to sustainable development with an often disproportionate impact on poor communities. At its worst the impact on businesses can be considerable, impeding economic growth, distorting competition and representing serious legal and reputational risks.

Revenues paid to government and the value of contracts awarded in carrying out our activities can be significant in the countries in which we operate and in the local communities in which we work.

It is important that we operate at all times with integrity, honesty and transparency.

Employee Development
Cairn’s success is driven by its people. Consequently, employee engagement and personal and organisational development have been key focus areas for the Company and will continue to be so.

Our employee development programme is designed to ensure that the organisation delivers its objectives in support of the company’s strategy as well as providing our staff with the opportunity to grow as individuals.

Health, Safety and Security
Cairn recognises that exploring for and producing hydrocarbons carries inherent potential risks. In some areas of Bangladesh, India and Nepal in particular, the security environment may be challenging. We must, therefore, ensure and protect the health, safety and security of our employees and contractors working on our sites and the people who come into contact with our operations. We also recognise the importance of promoting and providing a healthy, positive work environment for staff to reduce absenteeism and promote morale.

Community Development
Cairn recognises that its activities can affect the social and economic environment of the communities in which we operate. This is particularly true where Cairn’s presence dominates local industrial or commercial activity as is the case in a remote and arid part of Rajasthan, India where Cairn are developing major oil and gas fields. We recognise that being sensitive to the impact we have is important if we are to sustain our activities and operate effectively. Our goal is to make a positive social impact in every area in which we are active.

Human Rights
Cairn recognises the importance of human rights. In Rajasthan, for example, we apply a ‘Rights Aware’ approach to safeguard the local community’s right to water in an area with limited water resources while accessing the water required to support our operations.

Environmental Impact
Cairn recognises that its exploration, development and production activities can have an impact on the environment. Some of Cairn’s exploration and production acreage lies in areas of environmental significance. Cairn recognises its responsibilities and focuses on the avoidance of negative impacts on the environment during its operations.

Climate Change
Activities involved in our operations, such as power generation, flaring, venting and transportation, produce emissions to air, including methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), two gases recognised as greenhouse gases (GHG). The burning of oil and gas, our primary products, also produces GHG emissions. Climate change is a complex issue with many causes both natural and due to human activity. We acknowledge that there is a growing consensus about the extent and effect of global warming. Energy is essential to social and economic progress but we recognise that we have a responsibility to take a precautionary approach to climate change. At all times, we seek to minimise GHG emissions from our operations.

Now here is a verbatim lift from the website of People and Planet:

RBS arranged the finance allowing the Scottish oil company Cairn Energy to forge ahead with oil exploration in pristine parts of Greenland’s Arctic. In March 2009, following the Treasury’s bail out of the bank with public money, RBS acted as joint arranger with Merrill Lynch, placing shares worth £116 million for “accelerated drilling” in Greenland by Cairn Energy.

Determined to tap into potential oil reserves within this untouched region, Cairn Energy are keen to lead the rush into Arctic drilling, describing Greenland as ‘a true frontier country’. It has already gained licences covering 72,000 square kilometres off Greenland’s west coast, an area half the size of England. Cairn Energy have suggested that these are just the beginning and that it hopes to expand further. The US Geological Survey has estimated that over 16 billion barrels of oil and gas could lie off Greenland’s coast. Taking this out of the ground would be an absolute disaster for global efforts to tackle climate change.

A slide within Cairn’s presentations on Arctic oil exploration shows the melting Arctic ice. Reduced heavy sea ice makes exploration work easier around Cairn’s two most “promising” licences, off Disko Island – an area frequently visited by those inspecting the impacts of climate change first hand. What Cairn Energy views as an opportunity, Greenland’s Inuit population experience as a threat to their very survival and are increasingly vocal about the impacts which climate change is already having on them.

I don’t need to say much more, although you can be sure that more will happen soon…

One Response to “Cairn Energy Buries Truth in Business Speak”

  1. B Says:

    “exploring for and producing hydrocarbons” for “stakeholder benefit”. Sounds so… scientific and responsible and … isn’t this kind of development that typifies “progress”?
    This mighty effort to turn the entire planet into money is self-justified and deeply pathological. The question I ask myself after reading this is: will I someday have to trek through Greenland’s arctic tundra or coastal waters to try to put a stop to this? Will anyone step up and try to make this sort of business unpossible?
    So much damage, on such a far-flung scale, being inflicted so fast. So few warriors on the other side… or so it seems.

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