The BG Group (‘BG’) is an international exploration, production, transmission and distribution company of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with facilities in more than 20 countries worldwide and with around 5000 employees.
BG has developed several Policies and Standards which among others include a Human Rights Policy and Social Performance Standard. According to BG Group, the Human Rights Policy is implemented in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The Social Performance Standard sets out the basic framework for implementing the company’s Business Principles and policies related to social issues. The BG’s Social Performance Standard contains provisions which among others refer to:
- Social impact and risk assessment;
- Consultations with identified interested and affected stakeholders throughout the life of BG’s presence in a particular location;
- Land acquisition and involuntary resettlement which refers to the relevant IFC Performance Standard 5;
- Indigenous People;
- Cultural heritage;
- Community health, safety and security.
In order to report any situation alleging there has been a breach, or potential breach, of the company’s Business Principles, Policies and Standards or law or regulations, BG has developed the Speak Up facility. Speak Up is operated by an independent third party specialist provider, Global Compliance.
Who can access it?
Personnel of BG have a duty to report any situation alleging there has been a breach, or potential breach of BG’s business Principles, Policies and Standards or law or regulations by BG Group or anyone associated with BG Group. The mandatory requirements are set out in the Speak Up (Duty to Report) Standard.
In addition to BG personnel, non BG personnel such as contractors, joint venture employees and/or staff working for contractor companies are encouraged to raise genuine concerns. It adds that any other individual or organization, including families of workers or members if the public, can also use the Speak Up facility to report genuine concerns.
The Speak Up procedure allows anonymous reports, although the company states preferring complainants provide their names in order to facilitate the resolution of the reported concern.
In case the complainant has identified his/herself, the company states that it treats the reported concern confidentially, although there may be circumstances where the company is required to disclose the complainant’s identity, for example where the concern may lead to legal proceedings or government investigations.
How does it work?
Speak Up is an independent third party facility operated by Global Compliance intended for individuals who may feel uncomfortable raising concerns through the BG’s internal channels (e.g. Head of Ethical Conduct, Local Compliance Officer, HR etc.).
Individuals can raise a concern through the Speak Up facility by making a phone call or filling out an online report form.
Reporting by phone
If the concerned party wants to use the phone, BG has a dedicated telephone number for each country in which it has a presence and the current list of numbers can be consulted here. The telephone line operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week and if requested by the user an interpreter can be brought into the call to assist the English-speaking operator. The operator will ask whether the reporting party wants to remain anonymous, request relevant information about the raised concern and make a detailed summary of the call. At the end of the call, the user will receive a report number and a pin number in order to follow up on the report by phone.
If the concerned party wants to make a report online, he/she can access the Speak Up online platform which is available in several languages, namely English, Spanish, Kazakh, Chinese, Norwegian, Arabic, French, Thailand, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Swahili. Submitting a new report online, the user has to choose the primary issue of the raised concern (for example discrimination, harassment, environmental, heath, and safety etc.) and then fill out the online form. The user can choose to remain anonymous. He/she has to state the relationship with the organization, provide both a brief and detailed description of the issue, attach any file related to the reported issues, and provide the location of the incident. Once the report is submitted, the reporting party will receive a report number and a pin number in order to check the report’s status or to provide additional details logging in in the follow-up report webpage.
According to BG, investigations will be made about the genuine reported concern, appropriate steps will be taken to deal with it, and proper feedback given to the reporting party. Where there is a risk of infringing the duty of confidence owed by someone else, BG may not be able to report back to the reporting party the precise action the company undertook.