Building reputation as company grows

​​​​​​​​Woodside's social investment strategy has been refined. The strategy takes into account the evolving nature of the company and our host communities, and ensures the company's external relationships support the global business portfolio. 

The two overarching objectives for social investment remain as before: to build capacity and capability for our partners and the community, and to enhance the company's social performance reputation. But the strategy is now being supported with a new mantra: Real Conversations, Genuine Relationships, Stronger Communities. A new communications campaign will be fully rolled out through 2017 with feature videos and advertising focused on Woodside's contribution and connection to host communities. 

"We're running the campaign in response to what employees and other stakeholders have told us," explains Jo Ferrie, manager social investment. "Employees have said they're proud to work for Woodside but they would like more information on what we specifically support and how it fits into the broader Woodside vision." Woodside's social investment also links to our desire to create a sustainable future, which was reflected in the recent Sustainable Development Awards where Woodside was recognised as being in the top five companies committed to sustainability out of our global peer group. 

"The goal is to achieve mutual benefits where communities are getting something they need and value is being delivered back to the business – we call this shared value," says Jo. "We now have a much larger grou​​p of communities both in Australia and internationally that make up our total social investment. "If you compare even five years ago to where we are now, Woodside is a very different company with stakeholders with much wider interests – in Myanmar, Canada, Ireland and Senegal. "It's about leveraging the experience we have with our host communities in Australia and taking that global to achieve shared value and mutually beneficial outcomes."   

Yvette Manolas, communities manager, says it's also about building our story – one everyone can share based on our track record and expertise. 

"Woodside is recognised as a leader in a number of areas," Yvette notes. "For example, we're a pioneer in corporate volunteering. Woodside employees contributed more than 7500 hours last year valued at $1.4 million." Woodside also supports innovation, and invests in science and technology across schools, university and industry. "We collaborate with Indigenous communities to create shared value, and build on the long-term and meaningful relationships we hold with Indigenous people," she adds. "And we're committed to supporting childhood development through the $20 million Woodside Development Fund." 

Mike Abbott, senior vice president Corporate and Legal and general counsel, is passionate about Woodside's approach to expanding its social commitment. "Our strategy is to scale and ramp up the amount of community investment with our project development," he explains. Myanmar is a prime example of where Woodside has engaged with local communities earlier than previously would have been the case. "We entered into a new location at an early stage through both Corporate Affairs and Environment, with two small investments initially," 

Yvette says. "We're also moving to commit for a much longer period." For example, under the Woodside Development Fund, the company is supporting the delivery of parenting and early childhood education programs to more than 1300 families throughout villages in south-west Myanmar. "We are committed to support outcomes that will have a lasting impact in the community to build a better future for generations to come," says Sandra McIness, vice president Corporate Affairs.​

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Trunkline Q1 2017