Supporting Local Communities
We engage in social contribution activities to support and enhance the social and economic development of host communities in response to their needs. INPEX contributed JPY 2 billion to social investment programs in FY2021. Next generation education and training is one of the focus areas for our social investment activities, comprising approximately 30% of our global social investment spend in FY2021. Regular meetings are held between CSR teams in Tokyo, Australia, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi to provide updates on community engagement and contribution activities and to share lessons learned.
In Australia, we focus our community investment activities on initiatives that promote positive educational and health and well-being outcomes for people in our host communities, and those that support capacity building in local businesses.
Since 2012, we have contributed more than A$8.4 million to community initiatives in Australia, and in FY2021, we supported more than 30 community programs, ranging from small community grants to strategic partnerships with for-purpose organizations. In recent years, more attention has been placed on establishing larger and longer-term community partnerships that will contribute to more meaningful social impact in our communities of interest.
In FY2021, our activities continued to be influenced by COVID-19 impacts to our community partner operations and the initiatives we funded. We maintained a flexible approach in our engagement and support of our community partners, focusing on organization and program sustainability.
Case study: Supporting community mental health and well-being outcomes
In late 2021, the Aboriginal and Islander Mental health initiative (AIMhi) “Stay Strong” mobile phone app was launched in Darwin as a collaboration between Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) with funding support from INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Joint Venture.
The AIMhi Stay Strong app is a colorful, user-friendly and free-to-download digital tool developed by Menzies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide information about mental health and well-being. It currently incorporates Pitjantjatjara language and Aboriginal English, with plans to include other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
AIMhi Stay Strong was initially developed for tablet use to support health service providers to have well-being conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in primary care and specialist settings. The app has undergone consultation, co-design and implementation cycles for more than a decade, confirming its acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness.
Professor Tricia Nagel, Head of the Well-being Preventable and Chronic Diseases Division at Menzies, mentioned the AIMhi Stay Strong team were excited to launch the phone app version of this simple and practical self-management care planning tool.
“The phone app makes the AIMhi Stay Strong approach even more accessible, putting help easily within reach. This tool and the holistic strengths-based approach it brings to mental health is in use in lots of different services across Australia,” Prof. Nagel said.
Health practitioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders have reported the mobile app is empowering clients to take greater control in managing their health and well-being.
Since 2009, we have engaged in diverse activities at the Abadi LNG Project in Indonesia to support the sustainable growth of local communities, including efforts to preserve the environment and traditional culture and create economic opportunities. We identify community needs through dialogue with stakeholders and carry out activities that serve those needs, based on the Social Investment Strategy, which is formulated from a medium- to long-term strategic perspective.
A wide array of activities have been planned and are being implemented under the Social Investment Strategy 2021-2023, which was drafted in December 2020. Five focus areas have been identified under this Strategy: (1) strengthening local economies; (2) education; (3) public health; (4) environment; and (5) strategic community contribution. Key efforts made in FY2021 include the following:
Scholarship & Mentoring Program:
Scholarships, coaching, and mentoring were provided to selected local students attending college or graduate school.
Clean & Healthy Behavior Program:
We supported efforts to secure a clean drinking water supply for the community nearest the project site. Specifically, we worked together with the community and the local government to install a community water tank and supply pipelines. We also carried out actions with local authorities to educate local residents on public health and water management and to encourage them to follow recommended hygienic practices.
Tanimbar Ikat Weaving Development Program:
We provided support to help preserve, pass down, and spread the culture of ikat (traditional woven textiles) in the Tanimbar Islands in Maluku Province, and create new markets for these textiles.
Environmental Preservation and Conservation Program:
We planted native trees along major roads in urban areas in collaboration with local environmental authorities. We also helped to develop, maintain, and manage a local park.
Tanimbar Ikat Weaving Development Program in Indonesia
We have run the Tanimbar Ikat Weaving Development Program since 2017 to help preserve, pass down, and spread the culture of ikat (traditional woven textiles) in the Tanimbar Islands in Maluku Province, and to support the creation of new markets for the textiles.
As part of the program, fashion shows featuring ikat have been held in Jakarta, Tokyo, and elsewhere.
In FY2021, we carried out the following efforts to promote the passing down of ikat weaving skills, the wider use of ikat textiles, and the creation of business opportunities:
- Skills training and mentoring for 20 ikat artisans
- Mentoring on SME-related matters
- Construction of two local galleries to display ikat products.
Scholarship Program (INPEX Scholarship Foundation)
The INPEX Scholarship Foundation, established in March 1981, provides scholarships aimed at promoting mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill between Japan and Indonesia through student exchanges.
The Foundation has supported 144 Indonesian and 61 Japanese students as of March 2022. Many of the students are now contributing to their home countries in the research and development fields they studied during their time abroad.
Social Contribution Activities in Abu Dhabi
Our business activities in Abu Dhabi have entered a new phase following: the acquisition of an interest in the onshore oil fields in 2015; the extension of an interest in the Upper Zakum oil field in 2017; and the extension of an interest in the Satah and Umm Al- Dalkh oil fields and acquisition of an interest in the Lower Zakum oil field, both in 2018. In addition, we were awarded the rights to operate Onshore Block 4 in 2019 and are undertaking exploration activities. To further enhance our long-term relationship with the UAE and Abu Dhabi over the next 40 years, we focus our social contribution activities on support for the country’s next generation.
Introduction of Kumon Method to Abu Dhabi
Since 2018, with the aim of nurturing young minds to develop mathematical proficiency—the foundation for education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—, we have collaborated with the Kumon Institute of Education and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to introduce the Kumon Method in four Abu Dhabi elementary schools. In 2019, we commenced the world’s first tablet computer-based Kumon learning program outside Japan.
From 2020 onward, we developed a new Kumon mathematics learning format using tablets and other digital tools in order to facilitate at-home learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is being run for some 6,000 students at nine schools. Since 2021, efforts funded by INPEX are being made to expand the program to more students and schools.
Student ambassadors at Expo 2020 Dubai
We support an education program for UAE children at the Japanese School in Abu Dhabi, and dispatch instructors to teach participating children, with assistance from other companies. Five UAE graduates of the school who are studying at high schools and universities in Japan were appointed by the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to serve as PR ambassadors at the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, where they helped to communicate the appeal of Japanese culture.
Promotion of judo and judoka training
We also strive to promote the spread of judo in the UAE by supporting the training of young, Abu Dhabi-based judoka by a judo instructor invited from Tokai University in Japan. We also co-host the annual Judo Japanese Ambassador’s Cup tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Social Contribution Activities in Japan
Our headquarters runs a charitable giving program whereby employees can opt to have a portion of their pay deducted for donation to NGOs and NPOs chosen through an annual employee vote. The beneficiaries engage in activities related to three themes: Environment, Education and Fostering Future Generations, and Support for Local Communities. In May 2022, the program sponsored the Music Festival for Children and Young People (organized by the Sony Music Foundation and Suntory Foundation for the Arts) as one contribution to Education and Fostering Future Generations.
Since 2020, a program coordinated by our subsidiary INPEX Solutions has provided on-site workshops—led by richly experienced employees—to students at junior and senior high schools and colleges. The lessons cover energy development, the general energy situation, and climate change. In 2021, a workshop titled “The Changing World of Energy” was held at Nobi Junior High School in Yokosuka, and other seminars were hosted at the Department of Civil Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Gunma College, as well as other technical colleges and universities.
Our Akita Field Office staff teams up with local residents to plant flower seeds along Cosmos Road in Akita City’s Yabase district, while Nagaoka Field Office employees join with agricultural workers and organizations to pick up litter and maintain flower beds in the area around Koshijihara Plant.
Personnel at Naoetsu LNG Terminal participate in beach clean-ups organized by a local environmental group, pick up litter and cut grass along roads near the office, and carry out other beautification activities to do their bit for the local community. We also support requests for educational field trip opportunities from the local community—e.g. government offices, residents, businesses, and other stakeholders—and offer tours that explore the terminal’s LNG tanks and other facilities. The tour includes a stop at the on-site INPEX Museum, a small theater that screens a fascinating video presentation of the story of oil and natural gas—from its formation through to its use in our everyday lives. (The tour program was suspended in 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions).