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Societal impact and local development

Societal challenges


Total puts its societal responsibility at the heart of its activities, in keeping with its ambition to become the responsible energy major and the principles formally set forth in its Code of Conduct and its Safety Health Environment Quality Charter.

While the Group’s activities may cause nuisances and have negative impacts on the living conditions of local communities and residents, they are also a source of opportunities through the socio-economic development that they fuel. In line with its socially responsible commitments, the Group intends to actively support local and global initiatives that contribute to more inclusive growth and global progress.

The Group has therefore identified its main societal challenges:
  • to manage societal challenges related to operations in a responsible manner;
  • to promote the economic development in the territories where it is present through employment;
  • to engage with citizenship initiatives.

In an effort to offer practical responses to its societal challenges that are adapted to the multitude of realities it encounters in the field, the Total HSE and Civil Society Engagement divisions support the Group entities in their Group societal initiatives.


Managing societal challenges related to operations in a responsible manner


The Group’s operational societal approach in the territories where it is present is based on a structured process that is implemented with the support of dedicated teams:

Analysis of the challenges and the societal context

Before an industrial project is developed by the Group, an initial pre-project survey is conducted to identify any potentially affected stakeholders and to describe and assess the main socio-economic and cultural issues in the impacted area. It is complemented by societal impact assessments that measure and analyze the societal impacts – actual and potential, positive and negative, direct and indirect, in the short, medium and long term, intentional or unintentional – of the project on the stakeholders. They cover areas such as the socio-cultural, economic and real estate context and ecosystem services. In 2018, Exploration & Production conducted seven assessments.

The assessment of risks and issues by the risks Committee (CORISK), before an investment project is submitted to the Executive Committee, takes the societal aspects into consideration.

The internal standards require all the Group’s entities and subsidiaries to conduct and update, at least every five years, an assessment of their societal context in terms of the exposure of the entity or subsidiary and of the impact of its activities on its stakeholders, and in particular the sensitivity of the human, social, economic and cultural context, as well as the societal impacts (including human rights) of their operations and their presence.

Development of a societal strategy integrated with operations

Every entity pays close attention to local issues by defining short-term and long-term societal targets and its priority fields of action that take account of:

  • the need to remain within the regulatory and contractual framework, as well as meeting the applicable international standards;
  • the social, economic and environmental concerns and expectations of the stakeholders;
  • the assessment of the societal context in terms of risks and impacts;
  • the Group’s ambitious commitments to civil society.

These targets are built into a structured operational action plan, based on three pillars:

  • dialogue and involvement of local stakeholders;
  • avoiding and reducing the societal impacts of the Group’s activities;
  • taking initiatives in favor of the local communities and residents.

Implementing and monitoring societal actions and projects

The societal approach is integrated within operations through the internal industrial health, safety, security, societal and environmental management system. Internal expectations regarding the management of stakeholders and local impacts are formally expressed in an internal Group rule that applies to all the operated entities. Guides, manuals and a community of practices are available on the Group intranet site to help the entities to implement their operational societal initiative.

The societal teams reporting to HSE departments and their correspondents with the Group entities oversee the fulfillment of these requirements. Societal aspects are included within the scope of the HSE audits that produce recommendations to reinforce the control of operations. In keeping with the strategic orientations defined by General Management, each entity and subsidiary conducts an annual self-diagnostic of the activities it operates. All the societal actions taken are listed in an annual internal reporting. 

In addition to the global training covering all the HSE topics, specific training is delivered to managers and operational personnel in charge of societal matters, such as The basics of societal engineering (seven sessions in 2018, with 109 trainees, including 49 in Nigeria) or advanced and specific training modules in the operations of Exploration & Production (four sessions in 2018, with 32 trainees).

In an effort to structure its societal initiative, in 2006, Total introduced the internal Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM+) methodology that aims to facilitate the mapping out of the stakeholders and the societal issues related to the local context, and to commit to an action plan intended to build trusting relationships over time. SRM+ has been deployed in almost every subsidiary. The Group also developed MOST (Management Operational Societal Tool) for its Exploration & Production subsidiaries. This tool, which includes a geographical information system, can be used to manage relations with stakeholders, complaints about sites, as well as societal projects and the resulting specific actions (access to land, compensation, dialog) more efficiently.

Dialogue and involvement of local stakeholders




Total takes initiatives to establish dialogue by listening to and involving stakeholders in order to develop constructive and transparent relations with them. For industrial projects developed by the Group, this information, consultation and dialogue process starts well before any decisions on investments.

In accordance with the Group’s framework, every Group entity and subsidiary is expected to dialogue regularly with its stakeholders about the assets, activities or sites that it operates, in order to better understand their concerns and expectations, to measure their satisfaction and to identify means of improving the entity’s societal policy.

On the basis of the map of local stakeholders, which is drawn up and regularly updated as part of the SRM+ methodology, the entities concerned are required to establish a dialogue process that is structured as follows:

  • information on the entity’s activities that could have impacts and on the planned mitigation actions;
  • listening to opinions, concerns, perceptions and expectations, public consultations;
  • consideration of the concerns and expectations in the action plans deployed;
  • feedback to the stakeholders on the actions taken and completed.

Total acknowledges the specificities of indigenous and tribal peoples (as referred to in International Labor Organization’s Convention No. 169) and has developed a Charter of Principles and Guidelines Regarding Indigenous and Tribal Peoples to be followed with communities that are in contact with its subsidiaries. This charter encourages the use of experts in order to identify and understand these peoples’ expectations and specificities, consult with them and contribute to their socioeconomic development.

The approach to dialogue at Exploration & Production is managed in certain subsidiaries by mediators, called Community Liaison Officers (CLO), who liaise between the entity and the surrounding populations. Employed by Total, they are from the local communities, speak their language and understands their customs, and they play a decisive role in reaching a mutual understanding. Special attention is paid to the most vulnerable populations. By way of example, in Papua New Guinea in 2018, the appointment of a woman from a Papua tribe residing close to Block PRL 15 as the CLO, helped to establish constructive dialog, with the involvement of women in this process.

Refining & Chemicals has set up structures for dialogue and exchanges with local stakeholders (such as the Community Advisory Panels in the United States or the special local commissions on some European platforms). In 2018, the Feyzin site celebrated the tenth anniversary of its residents’ Conference, which organizes quarterly exchanges with area residents, NGOs and the local authorities. Open days are also organized on the occasion of the inauguration of new facilities or of site anniversaries, for example at the Lindsay (United Kingdom), Port Arthur (United States), Carling (France) and Antwerp (Belgium) platforms. These events are ideal opportunities to maintain dialogue and build trusting relations.

Managing the societal impact of the Group’s activities


Societal impact assessments conducted upstream of industrial projects developed by the Group help to identify the types of potential impacts of the activities on the communities and to set up specific and adapted local action plans to avoid, reduce or compensate for these impacts.


The action plans usually cover the common topics presented below. The actions taken to minimize the impacts must be adapted to the local context, the stakeholders involved and the type of project. In every project, special attention is paid to listening to vulnerable populations (women, ethnic minorities, natives, etc.). The following examples illustrate some of the actions taken in 2018:

Impacts and nuisances for local communities and residents

— In Mauritania, in order to avoid accidents in fishing zones, Fishing Liaison Officers were assigned to the seismic line-laying boats in order to dialogue with fishermen during the seismic campaign of Block C7.

Impacts on access to land and water

— In Tanzania, where 4,000 hectares of land and 200 villages will be impacted to varying degrees by the 1,143 km pipeline project, a major program to involve the stakeholders is being deployed by a dedicated local team in order to facilitate access to information for the greatest number and to come up with differentiating solutions that take the concerns and problems of the various populations concerned into consideration (nomads, shepherds, traditional miners).

— In Papua New Guinea, where land law is customary, i.e., based on ancestral oral traditions, social mapping and identification of landowners has been carried out in the LNG PRL-15 project area in accordance with the petroleum developments law. Impacts on socio-economic activities (economic losses) and employment.

— In France, Carling and La Mède have taken action to enhance the attractiveness of the platforms (refer also to ”Leveraging the reindustrialization of the Group’s platforms”).

Impacts on cultural and religious practices and heritage

— In Lebanon, in the preliminary study phase of the Block 4 and Block 9 exploration project, an assessment of the underwater archeological potential was conducted.

Handling grievances from local communities

The Group framework provides for the implementation of operational procedures to handle grievances by providing local communities with a preferential, rapid and simple channel to voice their problems and grievances. The Group’s local entities handle these grievances in order to offer an appropriate response to anyone who feels that they have suffered damage as a result of the activity and to improve internal processes in order to reduce nuisances or impacts that may be caused by the activities.

At Exploration & Production, a set of tools is made available to the subsidiaries, including, in particular, a standard procedure designed to make it easier for local communities to access the grievances mechanisms. This standard procedure complies with the United Nations guiding principles on Business and Human Rights. By way of example, a campaign was organized in Senegal to inform fishermen in the coastal villages between Dakar and Joal about the ROP Block offshore seismic campaign. The existence and workings of the grievances management mechanism were explained to them. In Tanzania, access to this mechanism and contact with the project teams were made easier by installing visual materials, information noticeboards, letter boxes, a free telephone number and information offices were installed in the villages concerned.

Grievance management systems are in place on every ISO 14001-certified Refining & Chemicals platform. The local communities are extensively involved in the search for solutions to control the impacts of the Group’s activities.

At Marketing & Services, a guide intended to raise awareness of grievance management helps the subsidiaries and the operational sites to set up dedicated systems that are separate from the business grievances circuit.

Taking initiatives in favor of the local communities and residents


Built on constructive dialog, the involvement of stakeholders bears witness to the Group’s will to build trusting, long-term relations. The long-term future of societal projects is guaranteed by partnerships with local institutions and organizations. Total cooperates directly with the local authorities in all its actions and collaborates with NGOs that have experience in the field.

First and foremost, the projects address the issues of local development and solidarity and favor cooperation and skills development.

At Exploration & Production, the following initiatives are just some examples of the approach adopted: 

— In Papua New Guinea, the Societal Baseline Study and the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) highlighted the critical nature of health problems, especially among women for which maternal mortality rates are very high. A partnership with the government agency NVS (National Volunteer Service) resulted in the hiring of two social workers to help the populations in the villages close to Block PRL 15, who live under very precarious sanitary conditions. Members of the local communities are being trained to eventually replace the social workers as employees of the Gulf Province. Care centers are being set up, and in two years (2017 – 2018) more than 4,000 consultations have taken place.

— In Nigeria, Total supported the Agric Farm Project dedicated to the communities neighboring OML 58 that conducts research and introduces new varieties of plants to improve the yield of local agricultural activities.

— Total Austral launched the first Expertos en Seguridad (safety experts) operation in Neuquén and Tierra del Fuego provinces, with the participation of five schools located close to the subsidiary’s operations in Añelo and Rio Grande. The Total’s Road Safety Cube road safety awareness-raising program for children was attended by 756 children aged between 8 and 12 in 18 educational workshops.

— TEP Congo inaugurated a community center for the populations living in Djeno, where the oil terminal operated by Total is located. The center features sports facilities, a conference center and a library.

At Marketing & Services, Total is pursuing its actions against energy insecurity in France notably for support and to help low-income households thermally renovate their homes. The Group works alongside the French government and other energy suppliers in the “Living Better” program, as well as the Coup de pouce économies d’énergie (energy saving boost) initiative launched in February 2017.

In 2018, Refining & Chemicals has concluded a number of partnerships with educational institutions. As for example, in France, SOBEGI (Lacq) which is involved in a partnership with La Cité scolaire de Mourenx which is based on constructive and diversified exchanges (e.g., on site intervention by SOBEGI employees to increase awareness in the field of circular economy among bachelors’ students; welcoming of students during three weeks on the industrial facilities; support for students and teachers in the Olympiades de la Chimie; organization of a competition of noses as part of the Year of Chemistry).

In the Gas, Renewables & Power branch, an entity is dedicated to the development of an access-to-energy offer based on clean and affordable solutions.

Access to energy
First launched in 2011 in four pilot countries, Total’s solar solutions for access to energy were distributed in 40 countries by 2018. By the end of 2018, 2.7 million lamps and solar kits had been sold, improving the day-to-day lives of nearly 12 million people. The distribution channels used are both Total’s traditional networks (service stations) and “last mile” networks built with local partners to bring these solutions to isolated areas. Reseller networks are set up and economic programs developed with the support of external partners to recruit and train young solar resellers.
In addition, in 2018, around 10 incubation projects were launched with start-ups in the nano-grid, mini-grid, recycling and Wi-Fi terminals segments. More than 20 business partnerships were also deployed in the field, with organizations ranging from NGOs and development agencies, to professional customers (distributors, major Total accounts, etc.) and international organizations.


Fostering economic development through employment


The Group is building a global, integrated local development approach (“in-country value”) that creates synergies among all the value-creating elements for host countries (employment, subcontracting, infrastructure, support for local industries, socioeconomic development projects, education, access to energy, etc.) by promoting the Group’s industrial know-how. Total promotes actions that help to strengthen the capacity of individuals and local organizations to organize their development independently and durably, by favoring co-construction and partnerships with local players.

Developing an approach to create shared value

The Group is committed to creating jobs and using resources for its projects and operations (local citizens and local subcontractors), if it’s operational imperatives so permit. Human skills-building and local SME support programs complete this commitment, resulting not only in the development of local capacity, but also in the economic diversification of the territories where Total operates.

To guarantee the coherence over time of each project’s action plans, their durability in the production phase and the optimization of the allocated resources, this long-term initiative forms part of a local industrial strategy that aims to maximize the impact on the host country measured in terms of new jobs. This strategy is applied to each of the Group’s major industrial projects with high local-content impacts, after first analyzing all the industrial and human capacities and the associated risks, resulting in a plan of specific actions. For example, an analysis of this kind was made in 2018 in Tanzania as part of the EACOP project.

These action plans help to structure technical resources, in particular through training, by strengthening human skills and supporting the economic development of areas of high employment by supporting local SMEs and recruiting local people. For example, in Nigeria, 77% of hours on the FPSO project for the Egina field were worked by local people.

Leveraging the reindustrialization of the Group’s platforms

In addition to the jobs generated by its activities, the Group, as a responsible company, supports SMEs, mainly in France, through its Total Développement Régional (TDR) subsidiary. TDR proposes various measures that contribute to creating and keeping jobs in the long term, such as financial support for the creation, development or takeover of SMEs in the form of loans, support for industrial redeployment with actors in local development, or support for exports and international development. Between 2016 and 2018, loans were granted to more than 500 SME projects, amounting to a total of more than €30 million, and support for more than 10,000 jobs.

Additionally, the Group is pursuing its projects for the future of the Carling, La Mède and Lacq platforms. The Voluntary Agreements for Economic and Social Development (CVDES) signed for Carling and La Mède set forth the Group’s commitments in terms of support for SMEs and industrial actions.

On the Carling industrial platform (France), following the shutdown of the second steam cracker in 2015, Total is proceeding with this industrial redeployment without any job losses and in keeping with its contractual commitments to its customers and partner companies. In particular, the Group has set up a fund to support subcontractor companies. Total has invested €190 million in order to develop new activities in the growing hydrocarbon resins (Cray Valley) and polymers markets.

Total is also involved in developing a shared services offer on the platform to boost its appeal and support the arrival of new industrial actors.

  • A first industrial project (SNF Coagulants, €19 million of investments and 25 direct jobs) was launched in 2017;
  • In October 2018, Quaron, France’s leading chemicals distributor, confirmed its decision to open a new chemicals distribution and formulation site on the platform (20 industrial jobs in the long term);
  • Two innovative biochemicals companies: Metabolic Explorer has confirmed its decision to invest (€48 million and 48 direct jobs); Afyren has finalized its funding plan (€50 million and 50 direct jobs) and intends to lift the technical conditions applying to its arrival on the platform.

In this way, Total confirms its responsibility towards the employment areas in which the Group operates as well as its commitment to maintain a strong and lasting industrial presence in the Lorraine region.

Plan to convert the La Mède refinery (France) through an initial investment greater than €275 million is underway to create the first French biorefinery and an Adblue(1) production workshop, establish an 8 MW solar farm and set up a training center in partnership with the IFP Énergies nouvelles. This project will be completed without any lay-offs.

TDR is supporting the subcontractors and putting the Group’s commitments into action. In particular, as a qualified member of PIICTO (Platform for Industry and Innovation at Caban Tonkin), TDR organized PIICTO bio-industries working group, which is targeting the profile of new enterprises that could become part of the industrial fabric of the Etang de Berre. As a consequence, in 2018, the Aix-Marseille-Provence district authority issued a call for interest in an attempt to attract investors in the fields of the energy transition and energy efficiency, sustainable biofuels and bio-industries.

In October 2018, the Chinese group Quechen signed a building lease with the Marseille port authority for a 12-hectare plot of land in the heart of the PIICTO platform that will host a plant producing silica for “green tires” (an investment of €105 million and 130 direct jobs), representing a major Chinese investment in a new production plant in France.

In 2018, TDR also supported the industrial development of three local companies, with the creation of 94 new jobs.

On the Lacq platform in France, a TDR unit, hosted by Sobegi, the platform’s controller, is improving the platform’s marketing and research offer and examining third-party industrial projects that could join the platform. 2018 saw the launch of the new “The Lacq Advantage” platform offer, with a dedicated web site. A working group comprising the Pau-Béarn chamber of commerce and industry, the Chemparc public interest group, the Lacq-Orthez district authority, Sobegi and TDR is actively looking for investors in Europe and Asia, with the help of two expert consulting firms.

The examination of Fonroche’s industrial project to produce biogas on the Lacq platform has reached an advanced stage.

(1) Fuel additive intended for road transport and designed to lower nitrogen oxide (NOX) compound emissions.

Supporting the creation of new businesses

Following the success of Total’s first Startupper of the Year Challenge in 34 African countries in 2015, the 2018-2019 challenge has been extended to 55 countries worldwide and will support and reward young local entrepreneurs in 2019 who have launched a project or created a company in the last two years, irrespective of the segment of activity. The 13,100 projects, complete and compliant with the rules, submitted in the autumn of 2018 have been assessed according to three criteria: their innovative character, their social and societal impact and their feasibility and development potential.

A Grand Jury will then meet to select the six continental “Grand Winners” from the winners in each country. In keeping with the Group’s promise to develop women’s careers, the 2018-2019 challenge will award one “Female favorite” per country to support female entrepreneurs. This special prize will be awarded in addition to the other prizes.

Much more than an entrepreneurial contest, the 2018-2019 Startupper Challenge confirms Total’s wish to support the socio-economic development of the countries worldwide where the Group is present. It contributes locally to the strengthening of the social fabric by helping the most innovative entrepreneurs to turn their projects into reality.

In parallel to this initiative, the Group’s segments and subsidiaries locally support entrepreneurship through partnerships. 

Engaging in citizenship initiatives


Total is also involved in the community through civic initiatives in all of its host regions. They extend and complete the actions taken as part of its economic activities.

The Total Foundation program

In the face of societal issues and today’s environmental challenges, Total wishes to strengthen its public interest initiatives. This strong commitment is part of Total’s ambition to become the responsible energy major. In 2017, the Group drew up a new citizenship commitment policy, aligned with its history, values and businesses, to intensify its impact. This policy is currently being deployed internationally to gradually include community support initiatives.

Against this backdrop, the Total Foundation program covers the actions of solidarity taken every day worldwide by the Group’s sites, subsidiaries and Fondation d’entreprise. The Total Foundation program is driven mainly by Fondation d’entreprise Total in France, whose accreditation was renewed at the end of 2017 for the five years from 2018 to 2022, with a budget of €125 million.

Through this program, the Group and the Fondation d’entreprise Total want to contribute to the development of the territories where the Group is present, alongside their partners. With a clear focus on young people, the program concentrates on four themes: road safety, forests and climate, youth inclusion and education, and cultural dialogue and heritage.

In 2018, the Group’s citizenship initiatives were gradually brought into line with these themes:

— Road safety: safer mobility by educating youth under the age of 25, training and raising the awareness of specific populations and supporting and encouraging the authorities to implement road safety policies.

For example, in 2018, the Fondation d’entreprise Total teamed up with the Michelin Company Foundation to launch the VIA road safety education program. With its innovative and interactive methodology, this program aims to raise awareness amongst 10 to 18-year-olds by inviting them to propose ways of identifying risks and changing behaviors. The program kicked off with three pilots in France, Cameroon and India. The Fondation d’entreprise Total is also a founding member of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund that aims to contribute to the achievement of target 3.6 of the United Nations SDGs: to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

— Forests and climate: an environment more beneficial to humans through the natural storage of carbon by conserving and restoring forests, mangroves, wetlands and degraded soils, by improving biodiversity and the quality of life of local communities through the conservation and restoration of sensitive ecosystems, by raising awareness and training, especially young people, in environmental conservation.

For example, in 2018, three new partnerships were launched to conserve and protect sensitive ecosystems in France: one with the French State forestry agency ONF, to conserve France’s State-owned forests and protect them against natural risks, one with the agency for the protection of the coastline, to look for natural solutions to the effects of climate change on the coastline, and one with the Port-Cros national park, to restore Mediterranean forests destroyed by fires and manage fire-related risks. The Fondation d’entreprise Total also plans to become involved in a junior tranche of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, the world’s leading fund tasked with restoring soil or reducing soil degradation on a large scale. This fund was created in 2017 under the terms of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Mirova, the Natixis management company dedicated to responsible investment.

— Youth education and inclusion: empowering socially at-risk young people, through actions in support of academic success and personal development, the development of training and professional integration programs, in particular in industry, and support for entrepreneurship.

For example, in 2018, to contribute to the empowerment of socially fragile young people and their professional integration, in France, the Fondation d’entreprise Total supported the development of Les Ecoles de production that enable young people to learn a trade using the “learning by doing” teaching method. It is supporting the United Way-l’Alliance’s “Défi Jeunesse” program that aims to create the conditions conducive to a professional future chosen for young people from priority districts. It is also pursuing its involvement with “Sport dans la Ville”, whose “Job dans la Ville” project supports the training and professional integration of young people. Additionally, the Fondation d’entreprise Total continues to support “La Fondation La France s’engage”, which allows for the development of innovative projects in the social and inclusive economy.

— Cultural dialogue and heritage: for cultural openness and the promotion of heritage through actions to conserve and hand over architectural and cultural heritage, to support contemporary creation by young people and access to culture and artistic and cultural education.

For example, in 2018, the Fondation d’entreprise Total renewed its three-year agreement with the Fondation du patrimoine to fund works to restore heritage that encourage the socio-professional integration of young people and local vitality. It also supports numerous initiatives in favor of artistic and cultural education that attempt to combat the mechanisms of social reproduction and to broaden the opportunities of the participants, including the Paris National Opera’s “Dix Mois d’École et d’Opéra” program and the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Démos” program. Additionally, it works to enhance the appeal of the areas where it is present and to promote contemporary creation in the regions, by supporting events such as Marseille Provence 2018.

The employee volunteering program

Since the end of 2018, the Group has launched Action!, the Group’s Employee Volunteering Program, through which Total gives its employees the time and means to get involved and contribute to the development of the areas where the Group is present. It thus gives employees, on a voluntary basis, the possibility to support, up to three days per year during their working time, or outside of it, local solidarity projects within the scope of the Total Foundation Program.

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