Working responsibly


We recognise the impact our activities may have on biodiversity, and commit to protecting habitats, ecosystems and species wherever we operate.

Our precautionary approach

Our exploration and development activities have the potential to affect biodiversity on land and in marine environments. We therefore take a ‘precautionary approach’, believing that where threats of serious or irreversible damage exist, however uncertain, cost-effective damage prevention measures should be taken.

We take our responsibilities very seriously, especially for operations that may affect critical habitats or protected areas. We assess potential biodiversity impacts, and engage with relevant technical specialists, government departments, non-governmental organisations and local stakeholders to guide any mitigation activities.

We do not explore, develop or enter into joint ventures with operations within UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Biodiversity Framework

Our Biodiversity Framework sets out a common approach, with processes and deliverables that apply to all our operations. The Framework is governed by the highest levels of management within Cairn, but implemented locally in accordance with our Project Delivery Process.

We continue to develop programme-specific Environmental and Social Management Plans for all our operated projects, as part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process or an equivalent one.

Specific Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) may be developed where there is either a significant risk to biodiversity or a clear benefit for targeted conservation. We commission independent consultants to conduct our ESIAs or risk assessments and, if required, to advise and assist with managing biodiversity risks and impacts.

Our commitments and principles related to biodiversity are laid out in our Code of Ethics and our Environment Policy.

Read a case study about supporting endangered turtles in Mexico in our Corporate Responsibility (CR) report.

Environmental Baseline Surveys

Environmental Baseline Surveys (EBS) enable us to define existing biodiversity, environmental and other conditions near our activities, using analytical techniques such as seabed sampling and photography. As well as providing data for assessing our potential impacts on habitats and helping us to develop mitigation plans, EBS also help us to determine the extent of existing damage arising from the previous activities of others, protecting the Company from liabilities.