Working with Communities

By taking a personal approach with communities, we are able to build strong relationships and an environment of transparency, courtesy and trust. This allows us to better manage potential risks and impacts to local stakeholders and our business while supporting mutually beneficial relationships and creating long term value.

Our contribution toward building resilient communities is at the heart of the discussion around a just and orderly transition. We focus our efforts around listening to communities and promoting local development.

Listening and Integrating Stakeholder Input into Business Decisions

As we gain further understanding about stakeholder values, priorities and concerns, we seek to integrate their input into our plans and operations. Through inclusive and transparent engagement, we work with stakeholders to find mutually beneficial solutions that address the impacts of our operations on their communities.

Alaska

In Alaska, we have frequent engagements with communities located closest to our operations, including through community meetings and open houses. Our Willow project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), involved extensive public engagement since the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process commenced in 2018, including more than 215 days of public comment, 25 in-person public hearings, and over 145 meetings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nuiqsut, Utqiagvik, Atqasuk, and Anaktuvuk Pass.

Willow is designed to support and coexist with subsistence activities with many mitigation measures built into the project design. For example, after publication of the Willow Draft EIS by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2019, Nuiqsut village whaling captains and other residents expressed subsistence impact concerns regarding a proposed temporary gravel island to be built specifically for unloading sealift modules. This prompted the project team to reevaluate and change the development plans. Other steps taken to address subsistence concerns include: the reduction of speed limits and road width in key parts of the field, additional infrastructure to facilitate and improve subsistence access and the implementation of additional restrictions and mitigations during times of sensitive wildlife activity, such as caribou calving and migration.

After nearly five years of rigorous regulatory and environmental review, the Department of the Interior issued a Record of Decision on the Willow project in March 2023. Willow has broad support from Alaska North Slope communities, the regional tribe, the regional municipal government, the regional Alaska Native corporation, and the local Alaska Native corporation. Read their letters of support here.  

For the past decade, we’ve met regularly with subsistence representatives from areas near our operations to discuss planned helicopter and small aircraft operations as well as locations of hunting and gathering activities to ensure our operations don’t interfere with the subsistence lifestyle of our neighbors.

We also have robust environmental study programs at existing operations that include:   

  • Air quality monitoring stations. 
  • Caribou, bird and fish surveys.
  • Hydrology studies. 
  • Lake water quality and recharge monitoring.
  • Subsistence hunting studies. 
  • Tundra rehabilitation.    

Extensive environmental baseline studies are conducted in all potential areas of new operations. New projects are subject to rigorous permitting and public review processes. 

In 2022, consistent with prior years, we worked with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to include real-time data from the Nuiqsut Air Quality Monitoring Station on the Alaska Air Quality Index webpage so residents can check the status of air quality at any time.  Air quality on the North Slope is consistently better than national ambient air quality standards.

Australia

We recognize that specific collaborative measures are needed to improve access to business and employment opportunities for First Nations people in Australia. We also recognize the importance of having the active involvement of First Nations peoples in the design, development and delivery of opportunities that will improve socioeconomic outcomes.

To support our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which was launched in 2022, we facilitated a two-day workshop involving 13 of our tier one suppliers and contractors, and First Nations leaders and business owners, to take a deep dive into current practices to understand both barriers and opportunities for participation in our business. Key outcomes of the workshop included overwhelming support for a First Nations Chamber of Commerce and Industry, establishment of an internal Indigenous Participation Working Group, and development of an overarching strategy between ConocoPhillips Australia and First Nations peoples that will progressively encompass key policy development including culturally appropriate employment and workforce development, supply chain goods and services delivery, and business development. Read more about the development of our RAP.

Canada

In Canada, Indigenous Peoples (who consist of First Nations, Métis and Inuit) have legally protected rights within their traditional territories. Due to the close proximity of Indigenous communities to our Canadian operations, we have developed a values and interest assessment (VIA) process to guide our relationships with those communities to create positive, sustainable outcomes. The VIA process starts with our External Relations team building relationships through authentic, collaborative dialogue with members of the community. Next, we work with the community to create a shared vision and discuss ways we can work together. The third stage centers around planning and focuses on collaboratively prioritizing ideas and creating structures and processes for working together. The ideas are turned into a shared action plan for both parties to assess and implement. The VIA process can also result in formal agreements with interested Indigenous communities near our operations. Such agreements are confidential and formalize the respectful relationship between our company and the community by focusing on creating shared value. Agreements typically include a process to understand and address concerns and opportunities about our activities, as well as commitments by both parties to work toward mutually beneficial outcomes and maintain open, consistent communication about our activities.

Values and Interest Assessment (VIA) Process

ConocoPhillips works closely with Indigenous communities on restoration efforts in our operating areas. At our Montney asset, we have regularly met with First Nations close to our development areas to develop scopes for habitat restoration offsets for three locations since 2019. We incorporated community feedback on:

  • Site selection.
  • Site preparation.
  • Appropriate species and densities to meet revegetation goals.

The work scopes for each of the three locations were developed based on conversations and site tours with First Nation community members. The draft work scopes were reviewed by the community and updated to reflect their objectives and values. Community members are also expected to be involved in execution of the restoration work.

We also engage with First Nation communities on remediation sites through the Dormant Sites Reclamation Program (DSRP) where communities nominate locations to prioritize remediation and reclamation work, so they have direct influence on the order in which sites are remediated.

In 2022, ConocoPhillips staff and members participated in the following events to engage, learn and celebrate the community’s cultural values and practices:

  • Fort McMurray 468 First Nation gathered to mark six years since the signing of our Cooperation and Mutual Benefits Agreement and to celebrate the meaningful relationship we have jointly built.
  • ConocoPhillips celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day to commemorate the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.
  • In September, ConocoPhillips staff recognized National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to help foster awareness, appreciation, and dialogue around Indigenous traditions and culture, and the place of dance therein.

As a company that values and respects Indigenous communities, ConocoPhillips believes it is important to honor these days and events alongside Indigenous Peoples to further increase our understanding of and support for Indigenous communities and stakeholders. With the proximity of our assets/operations to Indigenous communities in northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia, and with our Calgary office being within Treaty 7 territory, honoring the people whose footsteps have marked these lands is consistent with our SPIRIT Values.

Building and Strengthening Local Economies and Communities

Helping improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work is an important goal for ConocoPhillips and our employees. We prioritize working with stakeholders to identify and support programs and identify opportunities to publicly leverage our role as a corporate citizen that will make a real difference in communities.

Alaska

ConocoPhillips takes pride in contracting with local Alaska Native-owned corporations and we have longstanding contracts with subsidiaries of the Kuukpik Corporation, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Ukpeań°vik Iñupiat Corporation, NANA and Doyon. We are proud of the Alaska Native employees working in ConocoPhillips operations through our partnerships with Alaska Native Corporations and their subsidiaries.         

Federal legislation requires 50% of federal revenue from NPR-A production be made available through the NPR-A Impact Mitigation Grant Program, a unique program that has significant social benefits. These grants fund city operations, youth programs and essential community projects which in turn create local jobs for residents.  We partnered with the City of Nuiqsut, the Native Village of Nuiqsut and the Kuukpik Corporation to create the Nuiqsut Community Development Foundation, a nonprofit focused on building capacity in the community to access grants by providing services for project planning, grant writing and administration and project execution. As a result of this increased capacity, the city has received a significant increase in grants for projects and operations in the village during the past few years. Additionally, property taxes from the Willow project will help fund essential services for communities in the North Slope Borough such as schools, emergency response capabilities, health clinics, drinking water, wastewater, roads, power and solid waste disposal.

Australia

In the community of Gladstone, ConocoPhillips Australia continues working with the not-for-profit sector and recognizes there is an opportunity to further build their business skills and resilience.

In an effort to strengthen these organizations, ConocoPhillips will partner with local organization Not for Profit House to support the assessment of local not-for-profit organization capacity, skills, and business health, through an evidence-based report card assessment process. This will help guide them in priority action areas by giving them tangible steps to improve their contribution to community wellbeing and the local economy. The report card assessment covers key areas such as governance, compliance, general business management, finance, risk, safety and volunteerism. 

There are more than 200 local not-for-profit organizations engaged with the Not for Profit House, all of which will have the opportunity to benefit from the report card assessment tool.

Canada

For more than two decades, we have worked with Indigenous-owned businesses near our oil sands operation to develop local capacity. The Surmont project is close to three First Nations communities and four Métis organizations with whom ConocoPhillips regularly engages for business opportunities, a priority expressed by community leadership. The parties meet regularly though formalized business working groups to discuss:

  • Local contracting capacity, capabilities and opportunities.
  • Shared goals for local business benefits.
  • Opportunities to support community values and vision.

At our Montney development, we launched an effort to promote the inclusion of Indigenous vendors at all stages of the supply chain to support a healthy contracting relationship with Indigenous communities near our operations.

These efforts at both Surmont and Montney have increased economic participation in ConocoPhillips activities by Indigenous vendors and have bolstered our commitment to meaningful collaboration with Indigenous communities.

To address critical issues related to human rights and safety in our Canadian operating areas, ConocoPhillips supports Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a U.S.-based non-profit that helps combat human trafficking by bringing awareness to the issue and educating and mobilizing members of the transportation, truck stop and energy industries. In October 2022, TAT and ConocoPhillips partnered to present a half-day summit in Fort McMurray, Alberta to bring together key energy, trucking and truck stop industry stakeholders, with local, Indigenous, and provincial law enforcement and government agencies, to work together to combat human trafficking. The training featured a Human Trafficking 101 presentation, information about training resources for energy, trucking and truck stop companies, and a presentation by a survivor-leader and a law enforcement panel. The event provided an opportunity for oil sands companies, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders to learn and collaboratively initiate solutions to prevent human trafficking in northeastern Alberta communities.

Malaysia

photo of village improvements
ConocoPhillips helped improve living conditions for two villages of Indigenous Peoples in Sarawak and Sabah, providing better access to clean water and affordable energy.

ConocoPhillips partnered with the Global Peace Foundation Malaysia to improve living conditions for two villages of Indigenous Peoples in Sarawak and Sabah, benefiting over 50 families.

The project in Sarawak helped the community in Kg. Muk Ayun which is located in the Serian district to have better access to clean water. Due to the remote location of the village, residents depended on an old gravity feed water for their water supply. Leakages in the pipes and dam caused inconsistent water supply and some villages had to carry water from the lake during the dry season. To help improve access to clean water and provide basic sanitation for regular household needs, we worked with Global Peace to reconstruct the dam, lay a new piping system and install large water tanks and pipelines in the village.

The project in Sabah helped the community in Kg. Pitas Laut, which is located in the Kinabatangan district, to have better access to clean drinking water and affordable energy. The community had previously been relying on a self-dug pond for water and depending on generators to power their homes. We partnered with Global Peace and its onsite partner, Forever Sabah to help improve access to clean water by distributing household-use water filters called Lifestraw Family Filters to villagers. We also provided affordable energy through solar electrification via the donation and delivery of Sun King solar systems. Training and monitoring were also carried out to ensure the communities knew how to use and maintain the equipment.

Norway

ConocoPhillips Norway has a variety of social initiatives benefitting the local communities, including support to the Stavanger University Hospital’s NEEDED project, which provides lifesaving heart research. The aim of the NEEDED study is to discover heart disease earlier, so that severe heart illnesses and death can be avoided. Financial support from ConocoPhillips and others allowed NEEDED to open a heart research center in Sandnes.

U.S Lower 48

Soliciting community input is critical to how we do business at ConocoPhillips. Since 2013, we have done this in a variety of ways including routine stakeholder forums with community leadership across the Lower 48.

Small Biz Builder

In 2022, a cross-functional team from ConocoPhillips developed and implemented an entrepreneurial pilot program, the ConocoPhillips Small Biz Builder. The program fosters innovation for small business growth in the communities where we operate, work and live in the Permian Basin region in Texas and New Mexico.

To foster an innovative, diverse and inclusive environment, ConocoPhillips partnered with LiftFund, a Community Development Financial Institution and Community Development Corporation, to provide equal opportunities for minorities, youth and women. Through the Small Biz Builder, any eligible applicant can learn how to establish a business idea or further grow their existing business through courses taught by LiftFund. Participants undergo several weeks of training, free of charge, and are granted special consideration for small business loans after graduation. The Small Biz Builder helps create a sustainable, robust business and entrepreneur support ecosystem. 

Permian Strategic Partnership

ConocoPhillips is a member of the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP), a coalition of 16 energy companies working to address current and future challenges associated with oil and gas development in the region. In 2022, we continued our work with the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission (PBRPC) and other local charities to support local health, safety and education initiatives.  

  • Cal Ripken STEM Centers: Cal Ripken and PSP partnered to launch a five-year, $7.5 million investment that will provide 134 new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centers for every elementary school in the Permian Basin.
  • Permian Road Safety Coalition: The PSP and the Permian Road Safety Coalition partnered to invest $3.17 million to fund life-saving equipment to first responders in 26 counties across West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. This partnership builds upon the first round of this initiative which was previously funded by PSP in 2021 with a $1.1 million donation.
  • Energy Education and Workforce Innovation: This initiative supports the creation of comprehensive turnkey energy curriculum, and the accompanying resources, that link high school to post-secondary training and/or college to align with industry employment needs in the Permian Basin.
  • Permian Basin Behavioral Health Center: The design is anticipated to be completed summer 2023 with a two-year construction plan for opening in summer 2025. This center aims to educate and train behavioral health professionals.
  • Odessa College Truck Driving Academy: PSP partnered with Odessa College to fund the expansion of its Commercial Driver License (CDL) training program to support 94 additional students annually, adding trucks, trailers, scholarships and instructors at the Odessa College campuses in Odessa, Pecos and Andrews. This initiative will address the significant shortage of skilled and certified CDL drivers in the Permian Basin. Over 65% of commercial vehicles in the Permian Basin are estimated to be out of compliance.

Read more about how we are supporting community safety in the Permian Basin. 

Globally

We support charities near our operations by funding programs that support education, civic and social services, arts, health and the environment.

2017-2022 Contributions

Engaging employees

Our employees strive to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. Examples include: 

photo of employees volunteering
In Midland, ConocoPhillips employees volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity build.
  • In Canada, employees helped clean up a Calgary river pathway.
  • Employees in China organized a Girls in STEM event, with 40 participants from four international schools. Leaders and students enjoyed conversations about the industry and potential career paths.
  • Houston and Midland, Texas, employees participated in house builds for Habitat for Humanity.
  • In the Bakken, employees volunteered their time at community clean-up events in Dickinson and McKenzie County.  
  • In Australia, employees continued to roll up their sleeves to help clean up the beaches with Reef Clean and Clean Up Australia.