The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How Genel supports the communities where it operates

Case study: How Genel supports the communities where it operates

Genel Energy is a socially responsible oil and gas producer and the largest holder of reserves and resources in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), where it has been operating for over a decade. Supporting the communities in which it operates is fundamental to Genel’s ongoing success.  Tweet This! Accordingly, Genel creates local jobs, sources locally, and invests in projects that meet needs in education, health, and employment.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by Genel published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Genel’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy emphasises meeting community needs and aims to produce tangible and sustainable impacts that improve the quality of life for locals, enabling them to achieve greater long-term success. In order to support the communities where it operates Genel took action to:

  • implement education projects
  • support health care
  • promote economic development

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Genel identified a range of material issues, such as process safety and asset integrity, anti-bribery and corruption, socio-economic compliance, emergency preparedness. Among these, supporting the communities where it operates stands out as a key material issue for Genel.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Genel engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics Genel engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Investors/financial community



·      Comprehensive investor programme

·      AGM

·      Roadshows

·      Conferences

·      Financial reporting

·      Meeting with shareholders

Host government/regional and local authority ·      Regular meetings with ministers and civil servants


Employees and contractors ·      Holding regular staff and contractor meetings


Local community


·      Community meetings

·      Interviews

·      Surveys

·      Social investments

·      Board/senior management visits

Business partners


·      Senior executive meetings

·      Active management of key projects and assets

Suppliers ·      Contract and tenures
NGOs and community organisations ·      Collaboration on social investments

·      Media monitoring

Industry associations


·      Frequent event participation

·      Payment of fees

What actions were taken by Genel to support the communities where it operates?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Genel reports that it took the following actions for supporting the communities where it operates:

  • Implementing education projects
  • Over the years, Genel’s education projects have contributed to the development of the KRI’s educational sector, created more effective learning environments, and emphasised the significance of education in local communities. Various education related projects Genel has enacted over the years include the refurbishment of schools across the region, the construction of a library and nursery, and the purchase of computers, books, school supplies, sports equipment and toys. For example, in 2019, major projects carried out in Qara Dagh included the provision of heaters and fuel to 36 schools attended by 1,754 students in the surrounding region, the renovation of a school attended by 70 students, the donation of toys, the funding of carpeting for two local kindergartens for 110 children, and the supply of sports equipment to a sports club. Genel also continues to organise and provide educational and training programmes, teaching skills that are mutually beneficial for locals and Genel by creating a future workforce. In 2016, Genel’s CSR department embarked on a training initiative to provide English language and IT training to local residents. To date, a total of 116 local men and women have benefited from this training. In collaboration with the local Koya, Sulaimaniyah and Erbil universities, Genel also provides technical training and capacity building for engineering students. In 2019, 262 students participated in Genel’s summer training programme at its Taq Taq site.
  • Supporting health care
  • In the health sector, Genel has undertaken a number of projects over the years that directly contribute to the development of the local health sector and have had a direct positive impact on local and regional communities. Genel has long supported the Hiwa Cancer Centre in Sulaymaniyah, firstly through the purchasing of high-grade medical equipment in 2013 and then through the construction of a new bacteriology laboratory in 2014. Every year Genel also sends its Taq Taq medical team to conduct visits on a biweekly basis to the 15 villages that surround the asset. Approximately 45 to 50 medical visits are made per year, allowing for anywhere between 450 to 500 patients to receive medical care. In 2019, Genel conducted 47 medical visits and provided medical support to 437 patients.
  • Promoting economic development
  • By sponsoring economic development and training projects for local community members, Genel is demonstrating how the benefits of the energy sector can bolster a diversity of supplementary economic sectors that further generate employment opportunities. The greatest demand Genel has from local people, and the most direct way it can improve their lives, is to provide employment. By employing and buying locally whenever possible, and requiring that its contractors do the same, Genel can make an immediate difference to local families. In this regard, Genel has developed a Local Content Policy (LCP) and a Local Workforce Development Plan. Its LCP ensures that Genel localises its operations in accordance with its PSC obligations. The Policy document and guidelines include the basic terms and conditions to be applied when working with local companies and how Genel responds to the MNR’s (Ministry of Natural Resources) requests applying its directives, regulations and bylaws. The aim of this Policy is to give local contractors equal opportunity to provide services to Genel’s operations and to assure that the maximum number of locals can be employed through Genel’s supply chain. Genel also supports local enterprises, including local vendors and suppliers in their efforts to develop capabilities in line with international oilfield standards and to hire locally as much as possible. For example, Genel has developed and implemented plans and strategies to improve the technical qualifications of local community-centred companies to support them through the tendering process. Genel has also promoted the Local Content Policy with 3C companies which has resulted in the increasing number of local hiring. Finally, Genel prioritises 3C companies in the tendering process for services that do not require technical qualifications. In doing so, Genel increased the financial capacity of 3C companies and makes sure that economic benefits are felt by local communities. Genel is committed to the utilisation of local workforce development programmes which employ nationals in its projects, as their participation adds value to their local economies. For example, in 2019, of the 326 permanent staff members at TTPOCO, 241 were local nationals.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs

Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs does not correspond to any SDG.


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1) This case study is based on published information by Genel, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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