Since its beginning, one of the main cores of the oil and gas industry is to keep sustainability not only by providing the energy needs of societies but also by contributing to the social and economic development of host communities. This has brought the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the heart of the oil and gas industry, pushing companies to carefully contemplate their social, economic and environmental duties towards their societies.
Today, with the climate change consequences, we have to deal with CSR as a part of the organizational ethics of oil companies. Hence, comes the Egypt Oil & Gas Committee‘s initiative to establish a task force addressing CSR to help oil companies to increase their efforts in this regard.
Ahmed Al-Gabry, Social Performance Manager at Shell Egypt and Chairman of EOG CSR task force told Egypt Oil and Gas Newspaper: “Oil and Gas companies can contribute to the social and economic development of the neighboring communities, this can be achieved through tailored social development programs that can provide employment, support capacity building for youth, empowering the local economy through social programs that enable purchasing goods and services locally.”
Planting the Roots
EOG Committee decided to establish the CSR task force with the aim of promoting CSR awareness among the Egyptian oil sector’s companies and increasing the oil & gas companies’ participation in social programs and community services. Nihad M. Shelbaya, Public and Government Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil Egypt and Cyprus and former Chairwoman of CSR task force praised the role of the task force saying: “The EOG CSR task force reflected a unique model of bringing together the Egyptian Oil & Gas sector partners under unified objectives aiming towards addressing increased participation in key social programs and initiatives that better serve the Egyptian community.”
The task force was officially launched on September 3, 2018, with the membership of representatives from the Egypt Oil & Gas Committee and editorial team, Apex Energy, Apache, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), Dana Gas, DEA Egypt, Dragon Oil, Edison, Enap Sipetrol, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Kuwait Energy, Maridive Group, Schlumberger, Shell Egypt, TransGlobe Energy, and Weatherford.
“The diversity of the committee members representing more than 18 companies (IOCs, NOCs, & Service companies), working together with the Ministry of Petroleum in an integrated approach, brought a wealth of ideas and best practices that certainly contributed to the success of the committee’s activities.”, Shelbaya noted.
The task force was initially chaired by Thomas Maher, Apex Energy President and COO, and Mohamed Fouad, Egypt Oil & Gas Managing Director. After that, Nihad M. Shelbaya was appointed as its Chairperson. Recently, Ahmed Al-Gabry has taken over the position. It was divided into four teams: Health, Education, Awareness Campaigns and Long-Term Projects.
Since its establishment, the task force has launched three significant initiatives including a blood donation campaign, Anti-Covid 19 Aid Supply in addition to an HSE Awareness Campaign. The CSR’s former Chairwoman acknowledged these initiatives as “role models to be followed; where companies in one sector can work together to make the positive change, and in-turn built pride and loyalty of the industry’s workforce.”
Blood Donation Campaign
“Throughout our work, we managed to achieve quick wins with great outreach and significant impact on the community as well as effective participation and involvement of the Oil & Gas workforce. One of the great examples was the Blood Donation campaign,” Shelbaya mentioned.
With the aim of raising the awareness about the importance of blood donation among the sector’s workers, EOG CSR task force launched the first blood donation campaign within the petroleum sector in June 2019 which continued until July 2018. The campaign was organized in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MoP) under the patronage of his Excellency, Tarek El Molla as well as the Egyptian National Blood Transfusion Services and the Ministry of Health and Population.
Many national oil companies (NOCs) and international oil companies (IOCs) contributed to the campaign by the participation of 4,426 donors from 78 company premises and 13 fields in nine governorates including Cairo, from where more than half of the donors came, followed by Alexandria, Port Said, Marsa Matrouh, the Red Sea, Suez, Damietta, South Sinai and kafr El Sheikh. This campaign helped in providing blood needed for saving the lives of around 13,278 patients.
HSE Awareness Campaign
In January 2020, EOG CSR task force along with the HSE task force kicked off the first health, safety and environment (HSE) awareness workshop in Egypt for university students in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University. The workshop targeted developing the interpersonal skills of the university students that they will need in their practical life. This came through presenting sessions about HSE culture, hazard identification and risk assessment in order to help future engineers make the petroleum sector a safer place. The workshop was attended by 100 students who have shown remarkable improvement in the level of knowledge after attending the sessions.
Anti-Covid 19 Aid Supply
CSR task force didn‘t hesitate to have an important role during the pandemic time. It launched an initiative entitled “Eed Wahda” (One Hand), in August, to support the medical sector against coronavirus outbreak. In cooperation with the MoP, several IOCS and NoCs donated medical materials such as gowns, googles, surgical masks and other medical supplies needed for the quarantine hospitals in Egypt. The initiative, also, had support from Misr El Kheir Foundation. In September, the task force launched the second batch of the initiative for providing medical supplies.
The donor IOCs included Advanced Energy Systems (ADES), Apex International Energy, Bechtel, Cheiron Petroleum Corporation, Dana Gas, ENAP Sipetrol, Energean, ExxonMobil, IPR Group, Kuwait Energy, Methanex, Neptune Energy, Petronas, Schlumberger, and Wintershall Dea. “The work done by the committee members was extensive and complex to efficiently meet and align with the various company contribution policies, the selection of the right NGO partnership to implement the project and follow up and monitoring of the process until completion of supply and delivery of medical supplies to the Ministry of Health,” Shelbaya elaborated.
EOG CSR task force is looking forward to launching more initiatives during the upcoming period that come in line with the Egypt’s vision 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals. “This will include an ambitious plan to implement environmental projects to support the community, in addition to other initiatives related to capacity building for the Egyptian youth,” Al-Gabry said.
For her part, Shelbaya stressed on the necessity of focusing on the key areas that contribute to the progress and development of the communities, affirming that the “Education, Safety and Health will continue to be a key area of focus; building the new generation to lead tomorrow. The EOG CSR task force will certainly need to develop strategies to work on low budget projects and identify opportunities of outreach and impact, using the virtual tools that are now the key enablers for success.”