Community engagement is all about listening to our communities, understanding their needs, priorities and ideas and forming partnerships that increase the prosperity and sustainability of the communities and our company as well.
MOL Group and its member companies engage with local stakeholders in several different ways. The most common ways are making site-level connections, holding public hearings and undertaking joint activities with stakeholders. Naturally, we maintain ongoing communications with authorities and official bodies related to the regulatory environment and our license to operate. We also have some special ways of engaging which are designed to shape people’s attitudes and ways of thinking about promoting sustainability.
MOL Group’s Social Engagement Group Practice sets the criteria, steps and methodologies to follow in establishing a relationship with the communities based on the Principles of Engagement in harmony with AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard 2011.
In case of major projects affecting a wider society in the place of operation a Social Investment (SI) programme design should be carried out. The SI programme planning occurs simultaneously with the business project design itself.
Based on the methodology defined in The Social Engagement Group Practice, before decision on an investment or abandonment project proposal sites/operations shall carry out a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to identify basic information and ideas about wider societal issues. A context study should also include an analysis of existing local opportunities to improve the Company’s effectiveness or strategy execution. These could include: available human resources, government capacity, physical infrastructure (e.g. waste management, town planning, etc.) and local supplier/contractor capabilities.
Social Investment priorities shall be aligned with the oil and gas project development timeline to provide the biggest contribution to the Company in each particular phase of the project cycle.
Engagement of local community members’ (individuals, opinion leaders, non-profit organisations, municipalities, associations etc.) towards the Company must constantly be ensured during operational activities that has effect on the local communities. The engagement process supports the achievement of MOL Group’s business success and strategic objectives by establishing high quality partnerships through:
- identification of stakeholders
- resolving issues of stakeholders by:
- making consensus-based decisions
- establishing collaborative solutions
In all projects, operations, and also in the event of site abandonments which has significant social impact on the local community the process must be carried out at the earliest phase possible.
We work together with public authorities and social organizations to identify the expectations, needs and aspirations of the communities surrounding our facilities.
We have come to realise that delivering outstanding business performance is not enough; we have to strive to recognise human values as well. Read more about our social commitment.
GREEN BELT PROGRAM
MOL Group launched its first Green Belt Program in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in 2005. Over the years, the cross-border initiative has become so successful that in 2014 it was extended to Croatia and Italy. Moreover, in 2015 the program reached six countries by launching it in the Czech Republic.
Green Belt Program is implemented in all countries as a joint project of MOL Group and a selected non-governmental organization partner organization, which delivers local knowledge and expertise in environmental matters. The program aims to contribute to the implementation or reconstruction of community green areas and enhances the common realization of local green areas by the active involvement of local inhabitants and organizations.
Over the past ten years, this environmental program has provided at group level support to local communities in more than 10 million Euros, who have planted 210,000 trees, flowers and shrubs in over 2 million square meters of newly green areas.
TALENT SUPPORT AND CHILD HEALING PROGRAMS
MOL Group established the New Europe Foundation (Új Európa Alapítvány) in 2006 in Hungary to introduce its key initiatives. The MOL Talent Support Programme was rolled out to Slovakia with the help of the Central European Foundation and to Romania with support from the Foundation for Communities. The MOL Child Healing Programme was launched solely in Hungary and in Romania.
The purpose of cooperation with these institutions was identical in all three countries, that is to say, channelling applications into a system and establishing a highly respected board of trustees, involving MOL Group Management and external expertise. The board is in charge of selecting the best candidates in any given category such as sports, the arts and sciences.
MOL Group has been assisting young talented people through its public utility foundation since 2006 and so far has helped more than 7.100 young people in sports and those preparing for careers in classical music or the sciences. In Hungary, almost 4.700 young talented individuals have received support in excess of EUR 1,860.000. In Romania, more than 1,950 children received support in the amount of EUR 770,000 and in Slovakia, more than 450 children with nearly EUR 650,000 donation.
SOCIAL INVESTMENTS IN UPSTREAM OPERATIONAL AREAS
MOL Group provides tailor-made support to local communities on its operational areas. Environmental protection, contribution to the economic well-being of local communities, education, sport and healthcare-related programmes are in the core of MOL Group’s social investment strategy.
We have established a position of “Community Relationship Officer” to assist in keeping a continuous information flow between MOL Group and the local communities. The officers are local MOL Group employees from the indigenous population who are the first point of contact points for local communities in connection with business activities. They not only survey the needs of social investment activities, but also help by selecting the initiatives proposed by the locals, while applying central, corporate objectives.
We aim to select and design self-sustaining projects which serve communities on the long term.
SOCIAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY
MOL Group is committed to sustainability and believes that sharing the value created by the presence of the company in areas in which it operates contributes to social progress and economic development in local communities. MOL Group member companies, as integral parts of the society, will be mindful of wider social and environmental concerns and their own local responsibilities. MOL Group’s goal for its corporate giving activities is to be in line with the expectations of the communities that live in the vicinity of operational areas.
Social responsibility objectives are designed to improve social and environmental conditions and contribute to the long term socio‐economic development of communities, rather than simply funding community investment projects. Each member company’s target is to move beyond earning a ‘License to Operate’ towards earning a ‘License to Lead’, and, by doing so, build trust in the local community. The needs of shareholders will be met by maintaining profitability with the support of local stakeholders and achieving positive societal change in an effective way.
MOL Group is striving to embed economic, social and environmental concerns into its programmes to the highest degree possible. To achieve meaningful change, business interests will be aligned both with overarching societal and environmental considerations and the long-term priorities of local communities. Before determining whether to undertake any social investments, the following three steps will be taken:
- Building a knowledge base that includes social characteristics, traditions and customs, the legislative framework, Health, Safety and Environment-related considerations and key stakeholders and issues that are relevant to the given region or community. All potential risks that could hinder the successful execution of any social investment to be made by MOL Group will be taken into account and thoroughly assessed beforehand to identify the most effective approaches to discussion and consultation;
- Establishing a formal means of engagement and a documentation process for all discussions and grievances;
- Developing formal agreements about the company’s and the community’s specific responsibilities which contain details about how the Parties will ensure that they are on course to fulfil their commitments.
Social investments made by MOL Group and its member companies should always:
- be consistent with MOL Group’s Corporate Giving Principles;
- contribute to the ability of the Group/company/site to meet its business objectives;
- be implemented through the life-cycle of the project by cooperating/collaborating with interested stakeholders, particularly target communities, NGOs and governmental authorities;
- effect positive societal change, reflecting the sustainable development priorities identified in MOL’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment where appropriate;
- be divided into stages, including an exit strategy.
To act according to the principles of sustainable development is the main goal of MOL Group; this policy determines the nature of the steps that are taken. Social investment priority areas for MOL Group are the following:
- Education: the cornerstone of social progress. Promoting education is one of MOL Group’s main focal areas. MOL seeks to facilitate access to basic and a secondary education in areas where such circumstances are not assured. MOL Group also considers that supporting the next generation of young talents is a priority. Investing into local human capital benefits both business and society.
- Healthcare-related projects improve quality of life and create room for social innovation. Such benefits can be generated either by granting access to healthcare services and drinking water or promoting sports and a healthy lifestyle, depending on the specific needs of local communities.
- Environmental protection is crucial for sustainability. Consequently, the company defines its own standards as well as implementing projects which raise awareness about the importance of saving traditional habitats.
The promotion of diversified initiatives and projects which only require support during the start-up phase and which are later self-sustaining is preferred, especially when such initiatives are responses to global concerns.
MOL Group employs a transparent and well-regulated corporate giving scheme to ensure equal opportunities and to maintain its credibility and the trust which has been developed towards the company – accordingly, MOL’s procedures are in line with its pre-defined principles and steps. MOL Group’s companies/sites report on their social investment programmes to MOL Group’s HQ using the methodology and templates developed by the London Benchmarking Group (LBG). Reports on the company’s annual social investment spending are public and include separate sets of figures for the categories defined by the LBG, as well as the combined total.
In addition to social investments, MOL Group creates opportunities for growth in its operational areas to develop the capacity of local people and companies. This process is managed through contracting local suppliers in line with local procurement principles and building capacity through knowledge transfer in order to initiate independent, long-lasting development and avoid the creation of dependency on contributions received from the company. The above-described policy must also be followed by MOL Group’s contractors and subcontractors.