The process of identification
In 2017, the newly established Eni Human Rights and Business Working Group started its activities by hosting a Workshop aimed at launching the identification of the company’s salient Human Rights issues.
The Workshop took place in Eni’s Headquarters in San Donato Milanese and involved 26 Managers from 22 Functional Areas. Most of the participants had already been involved in Human Rights activities, but some of them were relatively new due to turnover and because of the need to widen the scope of Human Rights activities to integrate recent developments in the field of Business and Human Rights. Taking these differences in terms of expertise and backgrounds into consideration, a Business and Human Rights training session opened the Workshop on salient issues.
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|
|Access to remedy|
Enablers and barriers
A further key outcome of the Workshop was the identification of key enablers and barriers to addressing severe Human Rights impacts.
For enablers, the participants mentioned Eni’s strong management systems in several areas, e.g. the Health and Safety related systems and the system in place on Operational-level grievance mechanisms. They also mentioned the ongoing activities to work with Business Partners on specific issues and challenges.
As a key barrier, the participants mentioned the challenge of increasing, and using, their leverage in different business relationships, and more specifically in relationships with governments, subcontractors and beyond first-tier suppliers.
In 2018, this list of salient issues was shared with external stakeholders and preminent experts in the field of business and human rights, in order to gather their feedbacks and suggestions on the way Eni is handling the most relevant areas of attention on human rights.
These meetings were held with the Institute for Human Rights and Business, IndustriAll, the Italian Inter Ministerial Committee on Human Rights (CIDU), AVSI and Unicef Italia and allowed Eni to receive several inputs to strengthen our approach and to get important information on the upcoming issues on BHR.
Below some of the most relevant issues that came up during this engagement:
- Issues related to the working conditions of temporary, subcontracted workers, especially those ones hired locally, who are involved in several phases of the O&G industry (preparation phase, construction, etc.), without enjoying - in some circumstances - of the same treatments assured to workers hired by the company directly;
- Need to keep vulnerable groups rights at the center of our approach, granting full access to consultations and opportunity to let their voice heard. Moreover, while Crosscutting nature of assessing social, environmental and health impacts, particular attention should be paid to the minor - especially children - view;
- Considering the “how” and “when” as crucial features when implementing actions to ensure human rights respect and working to social development projects;
- Disruptive contribution of the CEO activism on BHR discussion, which is expected to assume a preminent role in institutional talks.
Inputs and feedbacks received during these meetings have been integrated in the development and planning of policies and tools, interesting both Eni’s policy commitment and its due diligence process, leading to a general enforcement of the company approach to human rights in these areas.