Eni’s commitment to respect human rights

The dignity of every human being and the wellbeing of people and communities everywhere we work are at the base of our approach founded on respect for human rights and the path towards a Just Transition.

Terms of the commitment

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and International Conventions are key references for Eni for guiding our activities, our regulatory system and governance towards the respect for and promotion of human rights.

Our commitment is reflected in Eni's Declaration on Respect for Human Rights and in a series of documents relating to our internal organisation and relations with external parties, such as the Code of Ethics, the Sustainability Policy and the Supplier Code of Conduct.

Eni's approach to human rights is also confirmed in the international Global Framework Agreement on Industrial Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility, which was renewed in June 2019, and has an explicit reference to the UNGPsEni is also committed to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHRs) and it was accepted as an “Engaged Corporate Participant” in the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI), the multi-stakeholder initiative involving governments, corporations and NGOs. In 2021, Eni also prepared an Annual Report describing the activities carried out during the year to implement the (VPSHRs), a set of principles to support companies regarding respect for human rights in the management of security operations, defined and promoted by the VPI.

Finally, Eni ranked first in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) Human Rights Index in the latest study carried out in 2020, equally with just one other company.


Claudio Descalzi primo piano

We are living in a time that call us to act with even more responsibility to affirm our core values: peace, stability and our sense of community. Promoting skills creation, and exporting growth by investing in people and research, have all become dimensions of an approach to human rights, as crucial as reaching net zero emissions.

Message to our Stakeholders by Claudio Descalzi (Eni's CEO)
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People at the heart of our approach for a Just Transition

Aware of the ambitious decarbonisation path we’ve traced, we strive so that this process is focused on the people, and so that it offers opportunity for converting existing businesses and developing new production chains, with relevant possibilities for the workers, the economies and the communities of the Countries we work in, by leveraging a solid approach to respecting human rights. The “Focus report on Just Transition initiatives for workers, suppliers, communities and consumers” outlines our commitment and our approach, also through the presentation of specific case studies.

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Policy Sustainability

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Due diligence for the respect of human rights

Eni is committed to conducting human rights due diligence on its activities. We do this by continuously assessing and monitoring our actual and potential human rights impacts and identifying specific strategies and solutions to improve the effectiveness of our efforts to prevent and mitigate negative impacts. In particular, we give specific instructions and specialised training to employees, as well as conducting awareness-raising initiatives for subcontractors and other business partners.

Main issues in Eni concerning Human Rights

In the process of identifying Eni’s salient Human Rights issues, the preliminary outcomes following the Workshop can be grouped into four main clusters:

Human rights in the workplace Human rights in contracting and procurement Human rights in communities Human Rights and Security
Discrimination and equal treatment based on religion, ethnicity and gender Modern day slavery Land rights Excessive use of force by public and private security forces
Safe and healthy working conditions Migrant workers Environmental impacts resulting in impacts on livelihood, health, water availability of communities and Indigenous Peoples Employee security in high-risk environments
Freedom of association and Collective bargaining Freedom of association and Collective bargaining Project closure
Working conditions (wages and working hours)
Safe and healthy working conditions

Our priority areas

A key step was identifying the major human rights issues, partly through internal discussions and seminars. These were then grouped into four priority areas: human rights in the workplace, human rights in the supply chain, human rights in communities and human rights in security activities. We are guided by the same principles and strict internal control procedures in each of these areas, in order to prevent any kind of violation and mitigate the effects as much as possible, should they occur.

With reference to the issue of workers' rights, Eni is committed to respecting the four fundamental work standards in the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work:

  • freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour
  • effective abolition of child labour
  • elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Harassment and behaviour resembling bullying are banned, with no exceptions, both inside and outside the company. Eni is committed to guaranteeing that any third parties working with or for Eni will apply the same rules to their own workers, potentially imposing clauses in their contracts to prevent violations.

Our approach to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) does not only consider the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities, but wants to create a working environment in which both cultural and personal diversity can lead to mutual enrichment as well as being an indispensable element for business sustainability. One of Eni's priorities is to make sure that there is fairness in how people are treated, regardless of differences in gender, nationality, political opinion and sexual orientation, social status, physical abilities, or medical and family conditions. 

In 2021, in line with the ILO190 Convention, the company policy on workplace harassment, was also issued to counteract any conduct (expressed in physical, verbal or non-verbal forms) or the threat of it, either on just one occasion or repeatedly, that may cause or result in physical, psychological or economic harm. In order to develop a corporate strategy on the subject, the Diversity & Inclusion unit was also set up to identify corporate objectives on the matter and to define a portfolio of initiatives on how to achieve them. In order to develop a corporate strategy on the subject, the Diversity & Inclusion unit was also set up to identify corporate objectives on the matter and to define a portfolio of initiatives on how to achieve them.

In 2021, Eni also signed the UN Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) to reaffirm its commitment to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment in the workplace, business practices and society, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs. Jointly established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, the WEPs are based on international labour and human rights standards and the recognition of the key role of business in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. In line with this approach, Eni is committed to integrating the gender perspective into its internal and external processes, as well as into its local development projects by conducting assessments to ensure that all activities and initiatives are truly inclusive.

Eni also offers fair pay, guarantees that working environments are safe and clean and that working conditions are in line with international standards. Eni provides its workers with preventive and curative healthcare services, as well as emergency services. This model offers a standard service for all working environments, with services and products that are in-house or bought from outside.

We are committed to complying with ILO Convention No. 135, ensuring adequate access to the workplace for both employees and trade union representatives. We remain neutral with regard to employees' decisions to join or remain in a trade union, transfer or terminate their membership.

We adopt an approach designed to ensure the full commitment of the entire supply chain to respect human rights. This is done by using specific evaluations and contractual requirements, as well as by involving suppliers in dedicated initiatives to obtain and concretely monitor the level of awareness and attention to the supply chain.

Find out more about our relationships with our suppliers:

We expect our Business Partners to respect the principles stated in our Declaration and we make every effort to include human rights clauses in their contractual agreements in relation to activities with or for Eni.

Eni is always mindful of the rights of people and local communities in the countries where it operates. We care for biodiversity, defend the right to property and safeguard the resources in the places where we operate. Every step is taken with respect for fundamental rights, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups.

Our commitment to communities is built around the following elements:

  • free, prior and informed consultation
  • the undertaking of environmental, socio-economic and cultural impact assessments, including those relating to indigenous people. This is to identify, prevent and, where applicable, mitigate the potential and/or actual adverse effect on Human Rights caused by, contributed to or associated with society, such as those relating to land rights
  • the right to food and drinking water, the highest standards of physical and mental health, adequate housing, schooling and the special rights of indigenous people and tribes
  • a commitment to avoid the resettlement of local communities and to provide adequate compensation in the event of unavoidable land acquisition and resettlement of those affected, with whom agreements must still be reached
  • the management of security activities with respect for communities and in accordance with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

Eni has designed a coherent set of rules and tools to ensure that:

  • contractual terms include provisions on respect for human rights
  • security force suppliers are selected on the basis of human rights criteria, among others
  • security operators and supervisors receive adequate training on respect for human rights
  • events considered most at risk are managed in accordance with international standards.

The importance of the complaints mechanism

Businesses should actively cooperate with judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, creating grievance mechanisms at an operational level that are available to individuals and communities, as recognised by UNGP No. 29 and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

That is why we adopted a procedure called the "Community Grievance Mechanism" in 2016, to handle written and verbal reports or complaints received about our activities. A grievance mechanism at an operational level allows Eni to respond quickly and effectively to possible critical situations, preventing them from getting worse and avoiding conflicts.

Eni also cooperates with other judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, such as the National Contact Points established by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

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Collaboration with international bodies

Our commitment to human rights – and the promotion of them – is also proven by our constant, lengthy collaboration with different international bodies, be they from the UN or civil society. To give just a few examples:

  • In 2001 we were the first Italian company to sign up to the UN’s Global Compact.
  • We organised training in collaboration with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) International Training Centre.
  • We talk with other companies in the O&G sector on themes of sustainability (biodiversity, local content, community development, reporting, human rights) within IPIECA.
  • We collaborate with IHRB, an independent company and global centre of excellence and expertise (a “think and do tank”), when it comes to the relationship between business and human rights.
  • We also enjoy stable co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme, FAO and Unesco.

Spreading awareness and contributing to improving access to fundamental rights in local communities are the main aspects of Eni’s approach to its own operations. To this end, Eni relies on the Danish Institute for Human Rights to carry out human-rights impact assessments (HRIA) in certain areas of operation like Myanmar, Mexico, Angola and Mozambique. The collaboration with DIHR has touched various aspects from impact assessments to training and other elements that helped shape Eni’s approach on the topic.

Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights

Among Eni's relevant stakeholders, the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights (CIDU - Comitato Interministeriale per i Diritti Umani) plays a very important role: In fact, Eni engaged with the committee when drafting its new Human Rights Declaration and identifying 'salient issues'. The CIDU aims to fulfil Italian obligations under agreements and conventions adopted at international level relating to the protection and promotion of Human Rights. It has directed and coordinated the process of drafting the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, one of the first to be adopted globally (2016).

Renewal of the Global Framework Agreement

In terms of international industrial relations, on 21 June 2019 the Global Framework Agreement on International Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility (GFA) was renewed with the Filctem unions, CGIL, Femca CISL, UiltecUIL and IndustriALL Global Union. 

The main changes from the previous agreement include increased attention to occupational health and safety, supplier relationships, sustainable development and environmental protection, as well as the introduction of a compliance monitoring system for the provisions of the agreement. Since 2018, a training programme on the Global Framework Agreement on International Industrial Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility has been active and available to all Eni employees.

Together with world leaders for human rights

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi signed up to the Call to Action initiative, together with 35 leaders of other large companies that are members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). CEOs and senior managers commit to taking concrete action on the respect of human rights, as well as following the guidelines set out in the CEO Guide on Human Rights.

Our transformation path and the health crisis due to Covid-19

The last few years have been characterised by the world health crisis caused by Covid-19, which will be remembered throughout in the years for the impact it had on global economies, energy use, and on society as a whole.

In tackling Covid-19, we reacted promptly, making the most of the experience we gained in the past pandemics, such as Sars-Cov-1 and Ebola. We mobilised all available resources, in terms of economics, human and technological capital, to support our country, our people and the communities where Eni operates.

As the world continues to cope with the impacts of Covid-19, it is essential that the strengths to support economic recovery is aligned with the path to net zero. That is why, during the last year, we have worked even harder to make our ambitions stronger. We took the momentum to strengthen our climate commitment and our role in a just energy transition, launching a brand-new strategy that will bring Eni to reach the complete carbon neutrality by 2050.

At the same time, June 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), a cornerstone to define the role and responsibilities of enterprises on human rights. From the adoption of the UNGPs companies are expected to take clear commitment towards respecting human rights and to perform due diligence, acting proactively to identify the potential human rights impacts of its activities, whilst mitigating any negative effects, whether they are directly or indirectly attributable to its operations. As Eni, this anniversary represented an opportunity to take stock of the work carried out over the past five years to give new strength to our approach to human rights.

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