By Henry Uche
Experts at the 11th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference held recently has advised companies to begin their Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG journey to utilise resources such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Standards, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the CSR-in-Action Community Engagement Standards (CES).
Graced by the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner, Captains of Industries, Government agencies, investors, retailers, final users, and local community members including Teshome Nkrumah, Deputy High Commissioner, Sr. Trade Commissioner & Diplomat, Deputy High Commission of Canada, and Rosa Malango, Director, United Nations Regional Commissions, United Nations, the conference sought to explore the possible reforms in critical sectors, with a focus on how the rights of suppliers, women, youth, business, and communities’ interests are advanced.
Put together by CSR-in-Action Consulting in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Ford Foundation, and Zenera Consulting, it had the theme, “Holistic Inclusion in The Extractive Industries”,
The event revealed that stakeholders in the extractive industries are becoming increasingly aware of the need for the industries to demonstrate more structured action and transparency on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and CSR-in-Action has been a frontliner for years in facilitating sustainability through advocacy, training, and consultancy.
According to Bekeme Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, and convener of SITEI, “Equity was the principal consideration whilst developing the theme and thrust of this conference as we sought to examine how key stakeholders can benefit from the wealth of opportunities present or that may be created within the extractive industries. The conference is designed to meet the need to develop a safe space for these critical discussions, and we are convinced this event has taken the subregion one step closer to providing the solutions to the issues faced in the sector.”
Meka Olowola, Chairman, SITEI Organising Committee, while expressing his appreciation for the support the conference received from industry stakeholders, organisations and individuals said “The SITEI conference has continued to yield tangible all-year-round impacts in the extractive industries.
“We’ve seen it birth initiatives such as the Community Engagement Standards, which was developed to ensure smooth and effective interactions between oil and gas companies and their host communities; Earth Woman Documentary, which was created to highlight the plight of women in extractive communities; through the Corporate Sustainable Investor Report (CSIR); and the Community and Human Rights awards.
“We look forward to deepening our commitment to inclusion during the second phase of the SITEI Earth Women program, and extending this to more underserved communities in Africa and Canada”, Olowola added.