Our business conduct is informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Guiding Principles define the accountabilities of governments in protecting human rights, and of business in respecting human rights.

Woodside’s Human Rights Policy outlines the principles by which we operate, and is supported by the human rights principles and commitments in Woodside’s Code of Conduct and other relevant policies on this page.

Our Human Rights Policy

Woodside’s Human Rights Policy was endorsed by our Board in October 2017 and guides our global activities as we take steps to identify, prevent and manage potential human rights impacts in all phases of our value chain. The development of the policy was guided by Woodside’s Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and informed by a benchmarking analysis of our policies and systems against industry leaders. In 2017, we developed our human rights due-diligence procedure for our exploration, development and production activities. Human rights are now specifically considered in the assessment of new venture opportunities. Looking forward, we will continue to strengthen our approach in line with our Human Rights Policy.

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Woodside Photography 2018 - On Site-125 [Image by Jarrad Seng]
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Understanding our impacts

We understand that our operations can impact the social and cultural wellbeing of the communities where we are active. For this reason, we endeavour to understand and minimise any negative impacts and enhance positive impacts through meaningful engagement. We emphasise open and transparent communication and feedback on all our activities.

We conduct Social Impact Assessments (SIA) for all major development activities and use five-yearly social scans to inform our management plans as appropriate.

Embedding human rights into our approach

Woodside’s approach to human rights is overseen by our Executive Committee and the Board. Woodside’s Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) meets on a regular basis to support an integrated approach to human rights across the business and consider opportunities to improve our performance. The HRWG consists of representatives from a range of functions including corporate affairs, contracting and procurement, legal and security and emergency management.

Human rights principles and commitments are included in Woodside’s Code of Conduct, which sets out the standard of behaviour expected of all Woodside personnel. It is the responsibility of every director, employee and contractor to be familiar and comply with the Code. All employees, contractors and service providers undergo mandatory training on the Code when they join the company and annual compliance training thereafter. An external expert provided human rights and modern slavery awareness sessions to our Executive Committee and Board in late 2018 and an employee training module will be launched in early 2019. Managers are also responsible for promoting the Human Rights Policy in joint ventures where Woodside is non-operator.

Human Rights Due Diligence

Woodside has a Human Rights Due Diligence Procedure that requires the company to undertake human rights due diligence for activities in high-risk locations where Woodside is the operator, every two years. Human rights due diligence assesses actual and potential risk to people as a result of our activities and can be undertaken as a stand-alone assessment or integrated into wider social and environmental impact assessments. In the event that we cause or contribute to an adverse human rights impact, or have the potential to do so, we will take necessary steps to cease or prevent the impacts and mitigate any remaining impact.

Refer to our Community Concerns page for more information around how we manage and respond to grievances.

Family in Myanmar (PPL)

Our priorities

While we are proud of the work we have undertaken to mature our approach to human rights in recent years, we acknowledge there is always more to do. Key focus areas for 2019 include:

  • Introducing human rights training to staff across the organisation
  • Completing a human rights risk assessment on our exploration, development and production activities to help guide our future activities
  • Conducting our first independent, in-person supplier security and human rights audits
  • Continuing the due diligence work we have started with our Tier 1 Suppliers, specifically targeting those with an elevated risk of modern slavery
  • Increased collaboration with industry peers to share knowledge and embed best-practice approaches
Collaborating with others
We work with our peers and key stakeholders to improve our approach to managing human rights risks in our operations and supply chains.

Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

Woodside is committed to supporting the Voluntary Principles initiative and continues to incorporate the guidance provided into our security and human rights framework. Woodside’s commitment to the Voluntary Principles initiative is referenced in Woodside’s Human Rights Policy and annual Sustainable Development Report. We engage with our VPSHR peers through the annual Voluntary Principles plenary, regular corporate pillar meetings and the recently established VPSHR Australia Working Group. Implementation of the VPSHR is supported by our Security Management Procedure which outlines the organisational framework under which security is managed across the business, and our Security and Human Rights Guideline which specifies how we enable an effective and consistent approach to the implementation of the VPSHR across all Woodside operations.

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We also work in collaboration with IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social performance, on joint initiatives to share good practices and develop tools to enhance human rights performance. IPIECA's Business and Human Rights Project builds on the collective experience and practical know-how of the association's members to understand best practice and demonstrate strong industry support for the UN Guiding Principles.

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

EITI) is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of extractive resources. Woodside joined the EITI in 2005 and became an EITI Supporting Company in 2008. Woodside is committed to reporting our petroleum tax and fee payments in respect of operations in implementing countries where we have an interest.

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UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights
The Guiding Principles seek to provide an authoritative global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to business activity.
Woodside acknowledges Indigenous people's connections to land, water and community. We pay our respects to ancestors and elders - past, present and emerging. We recognise the many contributions Indigenous people make to our business, as community members and employees.