Aug 2, 2022
The Social Settings Management Strategy aims to contribute to the growth of Ecopetrol and its Business Group economic value, by creating sustainable development conditions that allow the consolidation of operations and the viability of the businesses.
Its specific objectives are:
This strategy establishes the following key axis: Strategic Relations, Social Investment, and Physical/Material Security. These three are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Colombian National Development Plan.
For the Ecopetrol Group, the relationship with different stakeholders is the transversal axis that allows building trustful and long-term relationships with the different actors in the areas where they operate.
The knowledge of the territory in its social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and institutional aspects, allows the company to identify the risks and the impact generated by the presence of the company in the territory, aiming to execute a responsible and sustainable operation. This knowledge also allows Ecopetrol to identify opportunities to improve the conditions of the territory and contribute to its sustainable development.
In this sense, the Social Settings Management Strategy corresponds to the set of actions aimed at building sustainable conditions for the growth of Ecopetrol and its Business Group and, simultaneously, to the generation of local development in the territories:
This axis seeks to build trusting and long-term relationships with the different stakeholders in the territory, which favors, on one hand, the achievement of business objectives and on the other, the contribution to sustainable development. In this sense, the positioning and participation of Ecopetrol as a key player in the territory is fundamental for sharing and acquiring knowledge, identifying expectations and potential requirements, and disclosing information on activities and results of the company. All these contribute to the territorial planning and consolidating long-term development visions.
The following key components have been defined for succeeding with the Strategic Relations Strategy defined: i) preventive, constructive and inclusive dialogue, ii) adequate commitment management, iii) communities’ participation in benefits, iv) Territorial planning v) adequate employability processes (prioritization of local labor, goods, and services), and vi) institutional and community strengthening.
Source: Ecopetrol, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency VDS
Social investment in Ecopetrol is the business practice that allows conditions for sustainable development of the communities where the organization has an interest or in regions of the country where such contributions harmonize with the corporate strategy. Its purpose is to promote local development, closing gaps, improving life quality, and reducing unsatisfied basic needs, what should lead to consolidate high levels of trust in the territories of influence. Our social investment management strategy focuses on three main areas:
These strategic options are deployed in 5 social investment lines:
Social Investment Lines
 The goals and progress include works carried out with strategic social investment resources from the company and those financed through the works-for-taxes mechanism.
Source: Ecopetrol, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency VDS
The social investment strategy also includes investment in relationship building, translated into actions for institutional and community strengthening, seeking to have trained communities and leaders that can take on the challenges of transforming their territories.
Social investment is materialized through projects that are identified and prioritized in the territories in consultation with stakeholders, which include the nearby communities and the Local Authorities. The projects are formulated, structured, and executed with technical rigor both for investments that the company develops voluntarily with its resources, as well as for mandatory investments or those that correspond to the Works for Taxes mechanism (The Works for Taxes mechanism was developed by the Colombian Government with the objective that companies could invest up to 50% of their tax obligations through the funding of projects that are of need in areas that have been affected by local conflict. For more information, visit https://www.renovacionterritorio.gov.co/#/es/page/inicio )
Ecopetrol is committed to the 2030 Agenda and to the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs of the United Nations as a complete and cohesive agenda. It acknowledges the comprehensiveness and interdependence of all the SDGs; however, it also admits that there are some on which it has a greater impact. In this sense, the investment lines are mainly aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals:
Sustainable Development Goals impacted by the Strategy.
*Own elaboration based on United Nations illustrations.
Education, sports and health (Ecopetrol Educa / Ecopetrol Educates)
Investments in education and sports seek to promote quality, coverage, and school retention. With this social investment, Ecopetrol contributes to the promotion of the rights of children and teenagers, the dissemination of culture, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and the strengthening of democratic principles. Between 2019 and 2024, Ecopetrol has set the goal of benefiting more than 626,000 children and teenagers, which is equivalent to 9% of the current enrollment in public schools. According to the numbers reached up to December 2021, 457,773 students have benefited, representing 73.3% of the target, of which 102,715 students were benefited during 2021 through initiatives such as the following:
Increased coverage: Promote access to higher education and improve educational infrastructure:
Increased retention: Implementation of actions to ensure that children and teenagers remain in school and make good use of their free time:
In addition to what is mentioned above, Ecopetrol received in 2021 the ¨Experiencias Significativas¨ award from the Ministry of Mines and Energy for supporting the ¨She is an Astronaut Program¨, through which teenager girls received tools for female empowerment and the confidence to approach STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Better quality education: promotion of teacher training, provision of pedagogical material, and follow-up for the appropriation and sustainability of our investments.
Health (Ecopetrol Salud/Ecopetrol Health). Health investments seek to develop actions that improve the quality of health services and close gaps in this topic. Ecopetrol developed the following projects in 2021:
Ecopetrol received in 2021 the Portafolio Award, granted by the country's main economic newspaper, in the Social Responsibility category, for its contribution to the attention of the pandemic through the provision of health centers and the delivery of personal protection elements in coordination with local authorities and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.
Inclusive rural development (Ecopetrol al Campo/Ecopetrol to the Countryside)
This investment line seeks to diversify and strengthen local rural economies and promote productive networks through productive projects that generate income and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. As a goal for 2024, Ecopetrol has proposed to benefit 4,475 small producers; by 2021 we had reached 1,742, 39% of the goal. In 2021 we completed 6 projects that supported 1,099 farming families in Meta, Casanare, Arauca, Magdalena, and Santander. Two projects that strengthened the supply chains stand out:
Also, as part of the Integrated Agriculture and Livestock Solutions Program - Agrosol, which purpose is to strengthen family agriculture and food security, three projects were completed to provide technical assistance to rural inhabitants of the departments of Meta, Casanare, and Santander.
On the other hand, in alliance with FAO, UNODC, SOCODEVI, Agrosavia, the National Land Agency, Universidad de Los Andes and the municipalities of Barrancabermeja, Saravena and Yaguará, another 18 rural productive projects continue to be implemented, involving 3,647 farming families to strengthen their production chains for products and services such as cocoa, coffee, fruit trees, bananas, vegetables, livestock, poultry, pig farming, and environmental services.
In 2021, within the framework of the agreement between the National Land Agency (ANT) and Ecopetrol, support was provided for conducting a land diagnosis in the municipalities of Aguazul, Yopal, and Tauramena (Casanare), helping 80 families to obtain an official and proper title of their lands.
Finally, concerning the allies of the agreements in execution, in 2021 more than 10 commercial alliances were done between producer associations and Ecopetrol´s cafeteria operators and other buyers. On the other hand, more than 15 farmers' markets were held in the municipalities of Castilla, Villavicencio, Guamal, Acacias, and Puerto Gaitán (Meta), in line with the strategic objective of boosting local economies as a strategic option for local development.
Entrepreneurship and business development (Ecopetrol Emprende/Ecopetrol Entrepreneurs)
The purpose of the Entrepreneurship and Business Development investment line is to strengthen the business ecosystem by generating capacities for entrepreneurship and innovation, thus favoring the generation of income and employment. To this end, the company has set a goal of reaching 5,878 beneficiaries by 2024. By December 2021, we had reached 1,219 micros, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), equivalent to 21% of the target, of which 491 benefited during 2021. By 2021, 491 entrepreneurs and MSMEs were benefited.
Among the most relevant initiatives in 2021 is the consolidation of the Ecopetrol Emprende/Ecopetrol Entrepreneurs program, which is executed in alliance with CREAME Business Incubator and aims to support economic reactivation by accompanying entrepreneurs in the materialization of their business ideas, as well as the revitalization of the business ecosystem. On its first year, this program has benefited 425 entrepreneurs and MSMEs from 33 municipalities in the regions where the company operates, providing technical assistance aimed at double-checking business models to enable them to adapt to the new normality. In addition, it included access to a fund of incentive resources for the delivery of goods and services to make the business models operational. Likewise, the support of the business ecosystems in the departments of Meta, Santander, and Putumayo was completed in alliance with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), resulting in the support of 38 additional entrepreneurs.
Among the different programs, we also deployed the “Youth 4.0 Innovating and Transforming Territories Program”, which will benefit 5,000 people. The program offers training in innovation, entrepreneurship, and technologies, providing skills for young people to properly address the fourth industrial revolution (4RI) challenges.
In addition to what is mentioned above, nine projects continue to be executed, benefiting 13,500 young people, entrepreneurs, and businessmen, contributing to strength the business ecosystem.
Public and Community Infrastructure (Ecopetrol Construye/ Ecopetrol Builds)
Ecopetrol's social investment line of Public and Community Infrastructure aims to create or enhance local infrastructure to facilitate commercial exchange, and to promote the creation of spaces for coexistence, participation, education, and recreation.
To promote the reactivation of local economies, in 2021 we highlight the local and national alliances that were made to diversify the infrastructure investment strategy, to create a wider positive impact. Among the allies are the mayors' offices of Puerto Gaitán, Castilla la Nueva, Acacias (Meta), Aguazul (Casanare), Arauquita (Arauca), Barrancabermeja (Santander), Ubalá, Santa María (Boyacá) and Medina (Cundinamarca), the governors of Santander and Casanare, and the Meta Infrastructure Agency. Among the allied national actors are the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC), strategic actors that work in coordination with the communities, making it possible to reach rural areas of difficult access.
As a goal for 2024, Ecopetrol has proposed to intervene 958 kilometers of roads. By December 2021, 504 kilometers have been intervened, which represent 53% of the target; of these, 32 km correspond to projects completed in 2021 that benefited more than 70,000 people, contributing to the dynamism of the regions and the generation of employment, mostly local. 5 of these projects were executed through contracts and 2 through partnerships with municipalities. The following projects stand out: the rehabilitation of the La Soberanía road in the department of Arauca, the improvement of the El Pedral - Puente Sogamoso Road in the municipality of Puerto Wilches (Santander), the improvement of urban roads in Sabana de Torres, department of Santander, and the improvement of the road rings in Aguazul, department of Casanare, among others.
Additionally, 19 projects are underway to improve 236 kms of tertiary roads, mainly in Meta, Casanare, Santander, Cundinamarca, and Huila, with direct execution by Ecopetrol.
On the other hand, the alliance with the Infrastructure Agency of Meta (AIM) and the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP) was consolidated to structure the paving of the first 40 km of the road that leads to the Rubiales district from the Alto Neblinas point in the municipality of Puerto Gaitán. This will help reduce costs for the transportation of more than 160 thousand tons of products associated with corn, soybean, rice, and palm oil crops in this community, contributing to the development of the region. In addition, we continued to develop new technologies for the intervention of the tertiary road network using bituminous material based on oily waste, in alliance with the Universidad Industrial de Santander.
In 2021 we completed the intervention and construction of 15 community infrastructure works for cultural development in the Orinoquía region, and the promotion of coexistence in the Central and Southern regions, such as the adaptation and improvement of the “house of the elder” in Barrancabermeja and the adaptation of 5 “Mitotecas” and the update of the Life Plan of the Cofan people and associated indigenous peoples in the department of Putumayo. All these social investments have benefited more than 62,000 inhabitants.
Public services (Ecopetrol Agua y Vida/Ecopetrol Water and Life, and Ecopetrol Conecta/Ecopetrol Connects)
This investment lines seek to improve access and coverage in basic attention to essential public services for the communities in the areas of influence, to raise the life quality levels and close existing gaps due to unsatisfied basic needs.
Ecopetrol´s goal with this social investment line is to benefit 1,329,704 people with access to drinking water and basic sanitation by 2024. By December 2021, 21,789 people have benefited, which is equivalent to 2% of the goal. In 2021, the construction works for the protection, stabilization, and access to the catchment system of the urban aqueduct of the municipality of Puerto Gaitán was executed, benefiting 8,166 inhabitants.
Similarly, 4 projects are being executed that will benefit more than 900,000 people by 2022. These include the metropolitan aqueduct for the municipalities of Cúcuta, Villa del Rosario, and Los Patios (Norte de Santander), the construction of the San Silvestre Wastewater Treatment Plant (PTAR) in Barrancabermeja (Santander), and the implementation of 4 individual water purification solutions in educational institutions in the municipality of Puerto Wilches (Santander) through the “Water for Education, Education for Water” program in partnership with the EPM Foundation.
On this same line, in 2021, working together with national and municipal authorities, three agreements were signed to provide drinking water solutions that will benefit more than 18,700 people.
Also, with the purpose of strengthening the capacity of the territorial entities in the formulation and structuring of projects through the provision of technical assistance for the development of studies and designs, Ecopetrol completed 4 studies and designs of aqueduct systems to benefit 34,000 people approximately. These studies and designs are: feasibility for the development of a water treatment system for the municipality of Guamal (Meta) and the expansion and optimization of the drinking water treatment system for the same municipality; feasibility for the optimization of the KM8, KM16, and El Pedral aqueduct systems, Prefeasibility for the drinking water system in the Pénjamo, Rodeo, and Campo Gala villages in El Llanito, Barrancabermeja, and Prefeasibility for the optimization of the Puerto Wilches municipal aqueduct in the department of Santander.
Finally, given the challenge to benefit more than 1.3 million people by 2024 through supply of basic sanitation solutions, we continued with the agreement signed with the Ministry of Housing, City and Territory - MVCT to promote social investment strategies with national programs such as Guajira Azul, Agua al Barrio, and Agua al Campo, as well as identifying new national allies and companies with whom we can carry out interventions in rural areas through individual solutions, implementation of new technologies and institutional strengthening.
Through Ecopetrol Conecta/Ecopetrol Connects, the Organization contributes to close gaps in access to public energy and gas services. As a goal for 2024, Ecopetrol has proposed to connect 34,448 families to gas networks. By December 2021, 10,691 households have been connected to gas service, which is equivalent to 31% of the target, of which 6,132 users were connected in 2021 through 8 completed projects. These are listed below:
6 projects are currently being executed to increase gas service coverage. Likewise, in 2021, 5 new agreements were signed in the Arauca Catatumbo region, which reflects the articulated work between Ecopetrol, the Fundación Oleoducto Vivo / Bicentenario, and local authorities, to benefit more than 11,000 users in the municipalities of Fortul, Cravo Norte, Puerto Rondón, Arauca and Arauquita in the department of Arauca. Also, thanks to the alliance with the District of Barranquilla (Atlántico), an agreement was signed to benefit more than 14,000 families that will have access to natural gas service. Also, agreements were signed for the massification of gas service in Casanare and Santander, for a total of 9 agreements, that will benefit people that live nearby the company´s operations.
INVESTMENT FOR INSTITUTIONAL AND COMMUNITY STRENGTHENING
In 2021, 21 Health Institutions were strengthened with medical equipment delivery, as part of the health support for the emergency caused by Covid-19. Likewise, 59,979 people benefited from the Institutional and Community social investment line. Among the projects completed in 2021 are: the delivery of humanitarian aid to the vulnerable and poorest population of the municipalities where Ecopetrol has its operations; support to territorial entities in the response to emergencies caused by natural events and the provision of furniture to Community Action Boards, among others.
Other ongoing initiatives include the implementation of a project to strengthen youth leaders in Puerto Wilches (180 beneficiaries) in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and another 650 young people in the rest of the country in partnership with the Asociación Amigos del Museo Nacional. This year we began training 64 Community Action Boards in the Meta department, in alliance with the Administrative Unit for Solidarity Economy Organizations, so that these organizations can develop their capacities as managers of their territories within the legal framework.
Finally, regarding the infrastructure development that facilitates meeting spaces for the communities, in 2021 we were able to complete structuring the project for the construction of the Intercultural Thinking Center of the U'wa indigenous community in the municipality of Cubará (Boyacá). The structuring of the project leads to the signing of an alliance for its construction, aiming to benefit more than 7,500 people once the construction is finished.
To strengthen the relationship between the community and the company, Ecopetrol, within the framework of its corporate social responsibility, seeks to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of stakeholders through the awarding of "Free Transfers", prioritizing requests from entities located in its areas of operation and influence.
As of December 31, 2021, Ecopetrol transferred free of charge, in the Arauca-Catatumbo, Orinoquia and Central regions, materials required by different municipalities such as: Orito, San Miguel, Valle del Guamuez and San Martin - Meta. In addition, a piece of land was ceded to the National Police in Tibú.
The total cost of the free transfers, for the material and premises, was $374.416.824 COP awarded to six recipients. The intended recipients were for the construction, maintenance, improve ment and adaptation of different community structures: enclosures, accesses, booths and minor pedestrian bridges that meet the multiple needs of the municipalities and the recovery of infrastructure works for sports and recreation of the communities.
Source: Vice Presidency of Sustainable Development
Physical Security Management supports the strategic plan of the Ecopetrol Group, mainly by providing security to the following elements: current assets of the company, exploration activities in Colombia, and exploration activities in unconventional fields.
Extortion, kidnapping, and homicide are high-impact crimes that may affect Ecopetrol employees and, attacks, theft, de facto actions, seizure, and contamination events could generate the greatest impact on the continuity of the operation and projects. Taking these topics into account, the following elements have been defined as part of the roadmap for managing security risks and potential impacts: i) social relationship and strategic axis, ii) risk management, iii) employees security, iv) protection of critical infrastructure and operations, v) projects feasibility, vi) monitoring and statistics, vii) Crisis management and business continuity, and viii) human rights as a transversal line applying the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; each of these components have specific objectives and action lines.
Source: Ecopetrol, Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency VDS