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Prioritising key issues

In order to deliver our strategy, we set a series of strategic KPIs annually. There are elements of working responsibly in each of those KPIs with one of them, the Maintain Licence to Operate KPI, dedicated to working responsibly.

To achieve the Maintain Licence to Operate KPI, we have a series of Corporate Responsibility (CR) objectives that are set annually and grouped under four themes: Business Relationships, Society and Communities, People, and Environment.

See our CR objectives.

Our CR objectives are set from understanding our risks and material issues. We identify these through our risk management process, which determines the issues that are material to the business, and our stakeholder engagement processes, which identify those material to stakeholders. 

The 15 potentially material issues are plotted on the materiality matrix below.

Seven issues were found to be highly classified to both Cairn and Cairn’s stakeholders and thereby deemed material. These issues are analysed in detail in the Annual Report, but all issues are discussed in this CR section.  

Over the last year, we have seen an increasing emphasis on business ethics, human rights, climate change, and social and economic benefits for our business and stakeholders.

Materiality matrix


Business Relationships

Economics and Funding

High level of materiality

Reserves valuations and capital expenditures

Contractors and Supply Chain

High level of materiality

Culture and leadership
Competency, training and education

Ethics, ABC and Transparency High level of materiality

Principles, policies, CRMS
Risk and material issues
Strategy and operations
Accountability and responsibility
Advocacy and lobbying
Cairn ABC practices
Contractors and suppliers
Government and authorities
Tax and payments to government
Fines and prosecutions
Non-operated joint ventures and international investments


Society and Communities

Social and Economic Benefit

High level of materiality

Shared value
Benefits and impacts to communities
Local content
Social investment
Government relations

Human Rights

High level of materiality

Working conditions/T&Cs
Freedom of association
Modern slavery/security

Communities Medium level of materiality

Local community Stakeholders
Indigenous peoples
Local labour
Community health
Cultural heritage



Major Accident Prevention and Safety

High level of materiality

Asset integrity
Major accident prevention
Major oil spill prevention
Workplace safety

Health and Well-being

Medium level of materiality

Workplace health
Infectious diseases
Well-being and health Support

Security Medium level of materiality

Local assets
Cyber security

Employees Medium level of materiality

Culture and leadership
Workforce planning

Equality and Diversity Medium level of materiality

Equal pay
Equal opportunities and diversity



Climate Change, Emissions and Discharges

High level of materiality

Energy use and alternative sources
Other emissions
Flaring and venting
Strategic carbon risk
Discharges/disposals to water and land
Reuse, recycle and waste management
Stranded assets


Medium level of materiality

ESIA, environmental surveys and ecosystem services
Biodiversity action plans

Resource Use Medium level of materiality

Water abstraction and use
Local resources

Product Stewardship Low level of materiality

Oil and gas sales and impacts


Read more on our Stakeholder engagement processes and How we assess material issues.

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