As a responsible energy producer, Vermilion has always focused on three priorities: the health and safety of the public and those who work with us; the protection of our natural surroundings; and profitability – in that order. Nothing is more important to us than human safety. This is directly linked to our support, within our operations and in our supply chain, for the human rights represented in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. It also relates to the responsibility of all of us to support the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our wider communities.
Vermilion Energy does not tolerate human rights violations in our operations or in our supply chain. To be clear, human rights violations such as forced labour and other forms of modern slavery, and child labour, have no place in our business.
Ensuring human rights violations do not occur in our own operations, and working to prevent them in our supply chain, is part of our commitment to being a responsible energy producer.
We are committed to working with our stakeholders, including our staff, suppliers, governments and communities to increase awareness of, prevent, identify and address human rights violations. In doing so, we are contributing directly to UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which calls for “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.”
In 2018, we began a global human rights risk assessment for our business, analyzing risks based on geography, industry and our own business, including a mapping of our supply chain, to ensure we understand where and how modern slavery might occur within Vermilion and within our supply chain.
As a first step in analyzing our supply chain, we are focusing on all suppliers with which we spent more than $1 million in 2018, assessing whether they have public commitments to human rights in place, and the level of detail and external assurance within those commitments. Our assessment is continuing, and specifically examines the risk of human rights issues within our operations, and within our value chain, including Indigenous peoples, children, migrant labour, and contracted labour.
So far, this is providing a useful view of where and how potential human rights issues may occur, along with recommendations for Vermilion’s due diligence and commitment in this area.