Our culture of integrity and accountability extends to a variety of stakeholders that have an interest in Devon’s business activities.
Building relationships, building trust
Whether talking to a landowner on his front porch, explaining our strategy to investment analysts at an industry conference or discussing road safety with county commissioners, Devon employees engage stakeholders every day to build relationships of trust and cooperation. Through formal meetings and informal conversations, we engage regularly with shareholders, neighbors, landowners, mineral-rights holders, policymakers, legislators, suppliers, vendors, service companies, our employees and their families.
Our strong relationships help us avoid potential problems and address issues in ways that benefit our stakeholders. For example, in the 15 years since we drilled our first natural gas well in the North Texas countryside, residential and commercial areas have expanded close to our existing production sites. Our local land team has worked proactively with housing developers to ensure their plans safeguard residents while still allowing Devon future access to those sites. The results have been so positive that developers now seek us out for help and suggestions.
We recognize that our actions can affect our neighbors, and we are dedicated to improving the compatibility of our operations within the communities where we do business. Our core values include being a good neighbor, because we all share a fundamental respect for the environment. We strive to improve the overall quality of life in the communities where we live and work.
Finding and producing oil and natural gas involve industrial processes that sometimes occur near residences. The most common complaints are noise and traffic, and related industry impacts to local roads – dust, ruts or other damage. We occasionally receive reports or complaints about emissions or spills.
We have a strong record and have earned a good reputation for repairing our share of damage caused by industry activity to local land or infrastructure. We proactively seek opportunities to put equipment and systems in place to minimize the likelihood of problems occurring.
We have formal processes to receive complaints in person, by phone or online, and for responding with the appropriate level of urgency, depending on the situation. Our land, community relations, field operations, corporate communications and related teams are trained, experienced and prepared to respond to complaints, and to forge relationships with our neighbors that can avoid problems before they happen.
We recognize that Aboriginal peoples are key stakeholders in many of our business activities, and we seek to maintain positive and productive relationships with these communities. Our relationships are guided by Devon Canada’s Aboriginal Relations policy, underpinned by a long-standing commitment to face-to-face engagement and doing the right thing. We strive to maintain relationships with the Chief and Council, as well as family members, and a large cross-section of people in the communities that are interested in our operations.
Where feasible, we help build capacity in the communities that are in and around our operating areas. Members of the Devon Canada Aboriginal Relations team visit these communities regularly to discuss education/training initiatives and business development opportunities and to provide regular updates on operational activities. We have honest and transparent communications about our business and ensure that employees and contractors are aware of our expectations.
Over the years, the Aboriginal Relations team has helped to develop more than 25 local businesses, many of which have provided services not only to Devon, but to other industry peers in the region. One of the most recent accomplishments was a collaboration with the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation for a laundry business to service the needs of our Jackfish Lodge and other large camps in the region. Our seed money attracted additional funding from the government, launching a new business that has become a source of jobs and pride for the community.
Our respect and acknowledgement of Aboriginal heritage and culture is engrained in our facilities and practices. For example, four regional artists were commissioned to create original artwork for our Jackfish Lodge that symbolized a number of important concepts to Devon and the communities. We also conduct blessing ceremonies before beginning large construction projects to participate respectfully in the traditions of our Aboriginal neighbors and colleagues.