Last week I was in Jakarta, capital of the world’s fourth most populous country and third largest democracy. I was there to speak at the Strengthening Indonesia’s Competitiveness conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia. The conference was also organized through the efforts of Dino Djalal, Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States, whom I had the honor of introducing at an event in Dallas just weeks before.
I was asked to speak on corporate social responsibility in the supply chain, a topic affording me the opportunity to elaborate on some of the ways in which ExxonMobil conducts operations all over the world.
The supply chain is critical to any manufacturing operation, but I thought it important to start with a broad overview that explained the position we view ourselves in when it comes to supporting economic growth not just in the Asia-Pacific region but around the globe.
Energy fueling economic advancement
The simple truth is that a world with a growing population and expanding economies will require energy. Between now and 2040, energy demand in Asia-Pacific will increase by roughly 70 percent, even with expected energy efficiency improvements. More people means more growth means more energy.
Energy is fundamental to economic growth, and ExxonMobil helps provide the energy supplies that fuel it. That’s our supply chain in its broadest form, and as I explained to conference delegates, it informs our view of social corporate responsibility.
For one thing, it underscores our primary responsibility – providing the energy needed to sustain and improve living standards in Indonesia and around the world.
Investing in local communities
Moreover, that view informs the activities above and beyond supplying energy that ExxonMobil supports in countries where we do business, like Indonesia. After all, we believe that we have a stake in the economic and social wellbeing of the people in countries where we have operations. That explains the large investments we make to improve the quality of life in these countries.
In Indonesia, for example, ExxonMobil and our ExxonMobil Foundation have:
- Donated $1 million to the non-governmental organization Dompet Dhuafa to fund groundbreaking education programs that improve school facilities and train teachers.
- Committed $3.5 million to the establishment of the Sampoerna Academy in Bogor, West Java to support needy students.
- Since 2007 we have invested $30 million in local communities’ health and environmental initiatives to improve water delivery and sanitation and to promote conservation.
- And we have sponsored economic development programs, such as sponsoring the participation of Indonesian women in our Global Women in Management program.
These activities come in addition to the economic benefits that accrue to the local population from our business-line investments, such as the Banyu Urip oil project in East Java. Our Mobil Cepu Ltd. subsidiary and its contractors have employed 6,000 Indonesians during the development phase of the Banyu Urip field, which is expected to produce 165,000 barrels of oil per day when it goes on stream in 2014. The drilling, construction and installation of facilities is being accomplished with the support of 240 local contractors, and training is underway for local technicians who will be responsible for operations when full production begins.
These types of programs and investments in Indonesia are typical for how we operate across the globe, and I encourage readers to study this primer on what we call our National Content strategy. It explains our philosophy of engagement and spells out our responsibilities as partners when we invest in countries like Indonesia.
I also invite you to check out this interview conducted last week by the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia with ExxonMobil’s lead country manager and me. Its headline – “Working with the community is the way we do business” – does a good job explaining our approach.