Skill Group Focuses on Social Performance and Human Rights Management

This paper aims to demonstrate the need for competency in a social performance skill group to support companies in human rights management.

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Social performance is an integral element of business decision-making to manage social risks. In view of that, Petronas is integrating social performance across its businesses. A study on technology companies highlighted that the integration of a social responsibility measures management system, in this instance a social performance management system, not only results in an ethical or moral positioning of the companies but also generates high strategic intangible value for better performance.

As the social pillar of the overall environment, social, and governance (ESG) realm is scrutinized, companies have the responsibility to ensure that sustainability is achieved by addressing the social risks of their areas of operation. Addressing social risks is one of the top agenda items for companies operating in this challenging environment.

The need for social performance practitioners to oversee and manage the overall social risks includes addressing human rights risks associated with its operations. Social risks can include a variety of issues, including community grievances, labor rights violations, safety and health concerns, and environmental impacts.

Social performance practitioners are trained specifically to understand the risks, concerns, and perspectives pertaining to social risks with an overview toward human rights management for the company. The practitioners are expected to work with the company’s management, businesses, and projects teams to develop strategies toward human rights management.

Petronas released a human rights report in 2020, “Respecting Human Rights,” which highlighted that the company has a technical subskill group to develop its in-house social performance talent. A dedicated team of social performance technical professionals work with different part of the business and external stakeholders to manage human rights risks and opportunities for the benefit of the employees, contractors, and communities in global areas of operations.

It is the responsibility of the company to ensure that the competency, training, and awareness requirements are met for employees integrally involved in the business activities associated with identified significant aspects. The required competency is based on the job description to assess necessary skills. Upon determining the competency, appropriate training is arranged, ensuring employees are able to perform the tasks required. Identifying the aspects and associated effects in the risk assessment also allows suitable training to be recommended to respond to a specific task.

In this instance, the company ensures all relevant employees are required to undertake specific competencies grouped under a unique skill group, the social performance skill group. In fact, the requirements pertaining to human rights have been embedded in the existing health, safety, sustainability, and environment management system.

Under the management system, the company developed in-house practitioners through the social performance skill group. This skill group provides human rights governance with the inclusion of health, safety, and environment elements as the fundamental skills including that of human rights management, grievance, and labor living and working conditions.

SPE members can download the complete paper from SPE’s Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability Technical Discipline page for free from 2 to 14 February.

Find paper SPE 215461 on OnePetro here.