Community Relations and Development

For OMV, transparency, trust, and partnership-based relationships with local communities are key to ensuring we are a responsible and welcomed neighbor wherever we operate. Adding value to the communities in which we operate is key to securing our operations for the future. Community relations and development are central to the material topic Human Rights and Communities.

We acknowledge that the presence of OMV’s business has direct and indirect impacts on local communities. We aim to steer the impacts of our business activities in a positive direction by building and maintaining mutual trust and pursuing respect-based community relations, investing in local development, safeguarding human rights, and ensuring that local suppliers who work with OMV follow sustainable practices. (For more information on OMV’s involvement in these areas, see Human Rights and Supply Chain.) Community development investments are always aligned with identified local needs and made in consultation with local stakeholders, as well as in consideration of country priorities with regard to Sustainable Development Goals ().

Our community relations and development management process is based on centralized policies and targets and implemented by locally responsible persons with local resources. We start by conducting a Social Impact Assessment (), which includes free and prior informed consultation with and consent of local stakeholders. Sometimes, an SIA is integrated into an Environmental Impact Assessment () to foster synergies and efficiencies. The purpose of an SIA is to ensure that the views of the local communities, especially of indigenous peoples, are incorporated and addressed throughout all phases of the project life cycle: commencement, operational phase, and decommissioning or abandonment. We also pay particular attention to any possible impact on human rights. Based on the internal regulation for conducting SIAs, we include a baseline study, community needs assessments, stakeholder analyses, and a study of social risks associated with the project. Where possible, SIAs are conducted in a participatory manner by directly consulting with potentially affected communities. Our standards require that the outcomes of the SIA are communicated to affected stakeholders.

Based on the SIA’s outcome, site-specific strategies for community relations and development, stakeholder engagement plans as well as Community Grievance Mechanisms are developed and implemented. We maintain regular communication with our communities and strive to inform them in advance of any planned business activities that may affect them. For example, in the vicinity of our refineries, stakeholders and communities are proactively informed in advance of work that may cause a disturbance, such as noise from turnarounds, by way of stakeholder meetings, social media, leaflets, and other channels as appropriate.

We contribute to community development through community or social investments. These are prioritized based on local needs identified as part of the SIA and their potential for an impactful contribution to the SDGs most relevant for targeted areas. Our community and social investments are focused on preventing or mitigating social risks and positioning OMV as a socially responsible company vis-à-vis our stakeholders. These often also include knowledge transfer initiatives aimed at building the local technical capacity of potential workforce or supply chain partners (for example, offering students from our Upstream business countries scholarships to study petroleum engineering at the Montanuniversität Leoben). When plants are decommissioned or we exit a location, our community relations team ensures that potential social impacts are addressed by drawing up targeted community engagement plans, social impact assessment and management plans, and exit strategies for ongoing community development projects.

The Group level function governs and steers community relations and development implementation across the countries in which we operate, receives regular reporting and feedback from local social responsibility managers, and monitors and ensures that the Group guidelines on community relations and development are adhered to. We hold regular structured alignment meetings with our local social responsibility managers to monitor and steer local implementation of our site-specific global community relations and development commitments. We also organize regular exchanges among all countries in order to share challenges and best-practice experiences as a supplement to the guidance provided. In 2020, we increased the transparency of our approach to managing community grievances (see also Community Grievances). In 2020, we additionally established a detailed -specific community relations and development standard. Following our acquisition of a majority stake in Borealis in late 2020, we focused our efforts on integrating Borealis’ locations into our community relations and development management processes. 1 An analysis of Borealis’ community relations and development management ( self-check excluding human rights aspects) in 24 locations was completed in 2020. This took into account the socio-economic profile of each country and provides a baseline for further processes and activities in 2021.

Community relations and development management activities are reviewed in each country in which we operate in accordance with business developments. In 2020, due to the global pandemic, some of our planned community relations and development management activities had to be delayed or efforts refocused on a response to more immediate community needs. Following our entry into Malaysia in early 2019, we finalized the integration of OMV community relations and development standards at SapuraOMV in 2020. In the past year, we also updated the community development strategy in New Zealand and started conducting a social risk assessment focused on our operations in Sarawak, Malaysia, to further inform our stakeholders in the region. In adherence to our internal community relations and development procedure, all OMV projects require community consultation in the development phase. In 2020, two out of eight 2 Excluding Borealis projects were in the process of community consultation.

1 An analysis of Borealis’ community relations and development management (SIA self-check excluding human rights aspects) in 24 locations was completed in 2020. This took into account the socio-economic profile of each country and provides a baseline for further CRCD processes and activities in 2021.

2Excluding Borealis

Sustainable Development Goals
Social Impact Assessment
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
Middle East and Africa
Social Impact Assessment
community relations and community development