Meeting between three individuals for the project Construction of the intercommunal boarding school

Table of contents:

Actions to respect human rights

The main challenges associated with the effects of the Company’s activities in terms of respect for human rights have been identified using the methodology set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights (UNGP) Reporting Framework relating to the “salient issues”, that is to say, the human rights at risk of the most severe negative impact through the Company’s activities or business relationships.

On this basis, the Company identified six salient risks subdivided across three key areas:

  • human rights in the workplace of TotalEnergies’ employees as well as of the employees of its suppliers and other business partners:
    • forced labor and child labor;
    • discrimination;
    • just and favorable conditions of work and safety.
  • human rights and local communities:
    • access to land;
    • the right to health and an adequate standard of living.
  • respect for human rights in security-related activities:
    • the risk of misuse of force

Strong commitments

TotalEnergies’ human rights approach is based on strong and formalized commitments. It is supported by a dedicated organization, and embedded in an awareness-raising and training program, as well as evaluation and follow-up mechanisms aiming at measuring the effectiveness of the Company’s actions.

TotalEnergies is committed in particular to respecting internationally recognized human rights and standards, wherever the Company operates, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises and the (VPSHR).

In 2016, the Company published a Human Rights Briefing Pape in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework. Consult the 2018 publication on this website. TotalEnergies was then the first company in the oil and gas industry to do this.

A dedicated organization

The human rights road map, developed with the various concerned business segments and divisions of the Company, is regularly presented to the Executive Committee in order to support the ongoing efforts to implement the Code of Conduct and to respect human rights.

The Human Rights Steering Committee monitors the implementation of this road map. It is chaired by the Company's President, Sustainability & Climate. The committee includes representatives of each business segment and of the main functional divisions that have a role related to human rights. It meets four times a year and coordinates the actions taken internally and externally by the various Company entities.

The Human Rights department in the Sustainability & Climate Division coordinates the analysis of the Company’s human rights risks, supports operational teams and supervises the actions to promote respect for human rights, in close collaboration with the Ethics Committee and in accordance with the Company’s Code of Conduct.

The Ethics Committee is where representatives of all TotalEnergies’ business segments sit. Its key role is one of listening and support. Employees, but also people from outside the Company, can contact the committee at the address [email protected]. The Committee protects the confidentiality of the complaints, which can only be lifted with the agreement of the complainant. The Chairwoman of the Ethics Committee presents an annual report on the Committee's ethics-related activities to the Governance and Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors. In 2021, the Ethics Committee received close to 140 reports (internal, external, anonymous) regarding compliance with the Code of Conduct, close to 60% of those reports were about questions related to human resources. All received reports are addressed and, when necessary, recommendations are made in order to lead to the implementation of corrective actions.

The Human Rights Department and the Ethics Committee rely on the network of more than 100 Ethics officers across the countries in which the Company operates. They are in charge of promoting the values set out in the Code of Conduct among employees working at subsidiaries and ensuring that the Company’s commitments are correctly implemented at a local level.

Awareness raising and training

In order to disseminate the Company’s commitments, TotalEnergies raises its employees’ awareness via internal communication channels such as intranet sites or events such as Business Ethics Day, which is held each year (headquarters and subsidiaries). In 2021, Business Ethics Day was held on December 9. Train to Speak Up was the theme chosen in 2021 to reinforce the culture of dialogue within the Company. A live chat accessible to employees was organized with the President of Gas, Renewables & Power, the Chair of the Ethics Committee, the Chief Compliance Officer and the President of Sustainability & Climate.

In addition to the Code of Conduct, the Company also publishes a Human Rights Guide. that is made available to its employees and the stakeholders. This guide specifies the behaviors to be adopted in the activities and relationships with stakeholders. The Company also has a practical guide to dealing with religious questions within the Company. These guides are available on the dedicated human rights intranet site and are distributed at the various training courses and during the Business Ethics Day.

A Human Rights training plan, developed in 2020, aims to promote the development of a culture of respect for human rights within the Company, to better manage the associated risks, and to upskill all employees, so that they become agents of change in the long term. This plan has been rolled out as a priority among categories of employees who are most exposed to human rights risks and the decision-makers within the Company.

As part of this plan, several training sessions were organized in 2021:

For all employees:

  • An online module on human rights in the workplace with a focus on respecting the ILO’s core conventions has been accessible to all employees since 2019 in all countries in which TotalEnergies operates. It is available so far in five languages. More than 35,000 management-level employees (job level 10 or higher) had taken this module at year-end 2021;
  • An online module on human rights in the workplace with a focus on respecting the ILO’s core conventions has been accessible to all employees since 2019 in all countries in which TotalEnergies operates. It is available so far in five languages. More than 35,000 management-level employees (job level 10 or higher) had taken this module at year-end 2021;

For target groups:

Other specific training programs tailored to issues encountered on the ground were held throughout 2021, in particular:

  • Annual training in ethics and human rights for newly appointed senior executives;
  • A second session to raise awareness about crisis communications and management in relation to human rights, organized in partnership with the NGO SHIFT, for functions that are regularly involved in managing crises at headquarters (Communications, Public Affairs, Legal and Sustainability);
  • A webinar on the respect for human rights in the context of joint-ventures was held for employees in charge of managing participations in the Exploration & Production segment. It brought together 90 participants from around the world;
  • An online training course on the salient risks and human rights issues in the Marketing & Services segment. Several online sessions were conducted in French and English and 60 employees (zone managers, network managers, network inspectors, etc.) representing some 60 countries attended.

In addition, representatives of the Human Rights department regularly participate in external events with other companies and institutional players to share experiences and best practices in this area.


In addition to the audits and assistance missions carried out by the Audit and Internal Control Division, which cover certain human rights-related issues, the ethics and human rights-related practices of TotalEnergies’ entities are regularly assessed by independent third parties and qualified experts.

The British company GoodCorporation has assessed more than 140 entities since 2002 with regard to the principles and values enshrined in the Code of Conduct.

The entities are identified in particular according to the level of the risk of human rights violations in each country, the number of alerts received the previous year and the date of the subsidiary’s last assessment. These assessments help identify best practices, share them in the Company and identify areas for improvement. Knowledge and appropriation of the Code of Conduct are tested and reinforced by ethics and human rights awareness-raising sessions. Employees are encouraged to voice their ethical concerns in a confidential manner and report behaviors potentially contrary to the Code of Conduct. These assessments confirmed that the Code of Conduct has been taken on board by employees.

The ethics and human rights assessments are systematically followed up by action plans within 12 months.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethics and human rights assessments were conducted in 2020 in Madagascar and in Pau (France), and, in 2021, in Kenya and Poland (covering 517 employees for those two entities).

Action plans implemented following the assessments carried out in 2019 and 2020 in subsidiaries in Brazil, Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, Madagascar and Russia (Vostok) were followed up in 2020 and 2021. It is planned to follow up the action plan at Pau's site in 2022.

In addition, TotalEnergies Global Procurement (TGP) rolls out a supplier qualification process (described in “Supply chain" section), which includes an ethics and human rights dimension. A system for the assessment of suppliers by a third-party expert has also been set up on the basis of criteria that measure respect for human rights.

Standalone human rights impact assessments may also be conducted in addition to the environmental and societal impact assessments in high-risk areas or conflict zones with the support of independent experts. For example, regarding the Tilenga and EACOP projects, in order to address the potential impact of the projects on human rights, TotalEnergies launched in 2016 a human rights risk and impact assessment through societal and environmental studies. Those studies were approved by the authorities in 2019 for Tilenga and the Tanzanian part of EACOP, and in 2021 for its Ugandan part. Based on the recommendations of these reports, TotalEnergies decided to carry out specific human rights impact assessments in parallel with the approval process for societal and environmental impact assessments. This specific human rights impact assessments of the EACOP project was published in September 2018. The specific human rights impact assessment on the Tilenga project was carried out in 2021 and will be published in 2022.

Human rights in the workplace

Team of operators in a biogas plant

The prohibition of forced and child labor, non-discrimination, just and favorable conditions of work, as well as safety, all form part of the principles set out in the Code of Conduct and are developed in TotalEnergies’Human Rights Guide and in the Human Rights Briefing Paper.


TotalEnergies’ commitment to human rights in the workplace was demonstrated, in particular, by the signature of various agreements, as the one concluded in 2015 with with IndustriALL Global Union(1), for 4 years, which covers the promotion of human rights in the workplace, diversity and parenthood, working conditions, health, the participation of employees and their representatives in social dialogue and the recognition of health and safety at work as absolute priorities in the Company’s activities and global supply chain.

TotalEnergies has set itself the goal that, by the end of 2022, no employees will have a direct salary that is lower than the decent living wage in the country or region, in which they work (refer to “A Company committed to its employees” section).

The respect for human rights has guided the Company’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and is reflected by the adoption of a number of measures aiming to protect the health and safety of all employees in general and the most vulnerable in particular (refer to “Health & Safety for everyone” section).

The “human rights in the workplace” e-learning course also raises employee awareness about upholding these rights and the Company’s zero-tolerance policy concerning forced labor and child labor.

(1) International union federation representing more than 50 million employees in the energy, mining, manufacturing and industrial sectors in 140 countries.

In its activities

TotalEnergies cares about the working conditions of its employees which are governed by the Company’s Human Resources policy (refer to “A Company committed to its employees” section).

TotalEnergies promotes an inclusive corporate culture that allows everyone to develop their potential. It rejects all forms of discrimination related to origin, gender, sexual orientation or identity, disability, age or affiliation with a political, labor or religious organization, or membership in a minority group (refer to “A Company committed to its employees section, in particular for the targets set by the Company in terms of gender diversity and internationalization). 

For many years, TotalEnergies has developed a non-discrimination policy with regard to people with disabilities that focuses on issues related to integration into working life. This policy has resulted in dedicated hiring practices and the promotion of diversity and the advantages it offers for the Company. These issues are coordinated for the entire Company by a “Disability Program” in the People & Social Engagement department (refer toA Company committed to its employees” section).

TotalEnergies signed in 2014 the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) commitment charter. Created by an organization called L’Autre Cercle, the charter provides a framework for combating workplace discrimination in France based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the global level, TotalEnergies plans to commit to the inclusion of LGBT+ people in its Diversity Directive by reiterating that the Company respects all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, and encourages employees and managers to foster an inclusive work environment. Awareness-raising activities on the themes of sexual orientation and gender identity were taken amongst the employees during the 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Week and testimonials were shared on the subject at the event organized by the Company. In addition, TotalEnergies plans to step up its commitment to the following two issues: combating racism by including it in Business Ethics Day in 2022, and combating violence against women by making its commitment more visible and raising awareness among medical professionals and managers.

In 2017, TotalEnergies published a Practical guide to dealing with religious questions within the Company in order to provide practical solutions to the questions raised by the Company’s employees and managers worldwide. It draws on the experiences of the business segments in various countries and encourages dialogue, respect and listening as a way to find solutions suited to the local context. Many internal and external experts helped draft this document, including representatives of various religious communities. This guide is available in 10 languages. It is available on the intranet and is also distributed at training courses.

TotalEnergies also implements occupational health and safety standards that aim to promote safe and fair working conditions (refer to “Health & Safety for everyone” section).

In addition to the Company’s reporting and internal control system, the working conditions of TotalEnergies’ employees are assessed by GoodCorporation, an independent third party.

The Company also conducts an internal opinion survey every two years (the TotalEnergies Survey) amongst its employees in order to gather employees' views and expectations with regard to their working situation and their perceptions of the Company, both at the local level and Company-wide. The results of the latest survey, conducted in 2019 amongst 83,000 employees in 126 countries, revealed a 79% commitment rate, and 86% of participants who are proud to work for TotalEnergies. The next TotalEnergies Survey is planned for 2022.

In the supply chain

The Fundamental Principles of Purchasing (FPP) set out the commitments expected from suppliers in various domains, including human rights in the workplace and safety. A Company directive reaffirms the obligation to annex the FPP or to transpose them in the selection process as well as in the contracts concluded with suppliers of goods or services.

The prevention of risks relating to working conditions, especially forced and child labor in the supply chain, is a major area of concern and one of the Company’s commitments. The supplier selection methodology was therefore strengthened in 2018 to take better account of the risks of human rights violations.

In addition, the partnership formed in 2016 between TotalEnergies and a third-party service provider to assess suppliers’ practices in terms of fundamental rights in the workplace remains in effect (refer to “Supply chain” section). For all its activities, the Company has set itself the target of auditing 100% of its at-risk suppliers and 100% of its strategic suppliers by 2024. These at-risk suppliers are identified on the basis of the mapping of country-related risks and the mapping of CSR-related risks. The audits are carried out on site and include interviews with employees. Suppliers with non-conformities must present an action plan, the implementation of which is monitored with internal teams.

By way of illustration, the working conditions of the employees of Company-branded service station dealers are also assessed by GoodCorporation. Between 2016 and 2017, a baseline study on a group of 22 subsidiaries in the Marketing & Services segment across different continents was also conducted. On the basis of the recommendations identified to improve service station managers’ awareness of the Code of Conduct principles and of the fundamental Conventions of the ILO, Marketing & Services has adapted its online training in relation to human rights in the workplace and observance of the ILO’s core conventions to managers’ specific needs in particular. By the end of 2021, more than 20,000 people in the Marketing & Services segment had taken the e-learning course dedicated to Human rights and the Network sector managers had been trained. The awareness of the directors, managers and trainers in the network has also been raised. In addition, in 2021, Marketing & Services continued to implement the clauses related to respecting human rights in contracts with service station managers when renewing and negotiating contracts, in particular in Africa, America and Asia-Middle East.

Respect for human rights of local communities

Students from Guarani communities

TotalEnergies’ operational activities may have impacts on the human rights of local communities, in particular when TotalEnergies obtains temporary or permanent access to their land for projects that may involve the relocation of places of residence and/or economic activities and the resettlement of these populations.

In addition, noise and dust emissions and other potential impacts may also have consequences for the livelihood of neighboring communities. Consequently, the access to land of local communities and their right to health and an adequate standard of living are two salient issues for TotalEnergies

In accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards, TotalEnergies expects from its entities to have a regular dialogue with their stakeholders and make sure that their activities either have no negative consequences on local communities or, if these cannot be avoided, that they limit, mitigate and remedy them.

The solutions proposed in response to the expectations of local communities are coordinated by the societal teams that work in close collaboration with the Human rights department and the legal, safety and environmental teams.

As part of its activities, TotalEnergies promotes dialogue and discussions with human rights defenders, as defined by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The Company decided to reinforce the network of people in charge of monitoring human rights issues. As an illustration, a security advisor was created in 2020 as well as a human rights coordinator in Uganda in charge of relations with the local communities in the Mozambique LNG project have strengthened dialogue with the internal and external stakeholders concerned.

In 2021, TotalEnergies also faced several sensitive human rights situations in countries where the Company operates. This is the case in Myanmar.

TotalEnergies withdraws from Myanmar

In Myanmar, following the coup d'état of February 1, 2021, TotalEnergies has firmly condemned the violence and human rights abuses perpetuated in the country. In order to maintain a source of electricity to the people of Yangon and western Thailand, and to protect the Company's employees from forced labor, TotalEnergies decided to continue gas production while halting ongoing projects. But, the impossibility - despite the Company's efforts - to meet the expectations of stakeholders regarding the cessation of payments linked to gas sales, and the deterioration of the human rights situation and the rule of law in Myanmar, led TotalEnergies to reassess the situation, which no longer allows the Company to make a sufficiently positive contribution in this country and to decide on January 21, 2022 to initiate the process of withdrawing from contracts, effective July 2022.

The company’s approach to this topic is described in the “Value creation for host regions” section.

Respect for human rights in security-related activities

In certain situations, intervention by government security forces or private security companies may be necessary to protect TotalEnergies’ staff and assets. In order to prevent any misuse of force, TotalEnergies is committed to implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) issued by States, NGOs and extractive companies.

TotalEnergies has been a member of this initiative since 2012. Within this framework, the Company publishes an annual report setting out the challenges, lessons learned and good practices in relation to security and human rights and, if applicable, reports any incidents associated with the Company’s activities. This report is available on the VPSHR Initiative website and on this website.

A new Company rule came into effect in 2019 to define the Company’s requirements for implementing the VPSHR. This rule is accompanied by a VPSHR implementation guide published in late 2020, which aims to provide practical advice for operating entities. In 2020, the self-assessment and risk analysis tools in this field were updated and made available on a secure digital platform. In 2021, these tools were rolled out to subsidiaries in 101 countries with a response rate of 87%. This evolution allowed the completion of their rolling out within the countries in which the Company operates, as well as the strengthening of monitoring and increased traceability of results.

A new Company rule came into effect in 2019 to define the Company’s requirements for implementing the VPSHR. This rule is accompanied by a VPSHR implementation guide published in late 2020, which aims to provide practical advice for operating entities. In 2020, the self-assessment and risk analysis tools in this field were updated and made available on a secure digital platform. In 2021, these tools were rolled out to subsidiaries in 101 countries with a response rate of 87%. This evolution allowed the completion of their rolling out within the countries in which the Company operates, as well as the strengthening of monitoring and increased traceability of results.

The Company promotes these principles and the VPSHR requirements to the private security companies it hires in connection with its activities. These companies incorporate them, for example, through the training provided to security staff on the VPSHR.

TotalEnergies regularly organizes VPSHR training sessions and awareness-raising initiatives for its employees, in particular to encourage them to report any incidents related to these principles. Specific awareness-raising work on compliance and deployment in the entities considered to be most at risk is carried out annually. The contribution of the subsidiaries to the annual "ADRA Campaign" (Auto-Diagnostic and Risk-Assessment) enables the VPSHR teams of the Security division to assist them with improvement actions throughout the year.

In 2021, this awareness-raising work led the VPSHR liaisons to revise the content of the training courses in order to make them more accessible and better adapted to changes and issues related to human rights and security. This improvement was made mainly by developing a new online training module for the Country Security Officers, who support Country Chairs in their role of being responsible for the Company’s security at country level and who are the representatives of the Company Security division in charge, among other things, of implementing the VPSHR.

For example, taking into account the security situation and its development projects, the subsidiary TotalEnergies EP Mozambique Area 1 has adopted a specific human rights policy and action plan. Regarding security, Mozambique LNG project has included VPSHR clauses in the Memoradum of understanding with the government security forces to deploy a Joint Task Force (JTF) to protect its operations. These clauses continued to apply, despite the suspension of the project activities in April 2021.

The project continued to conduct human rights training sessions for all Army and police officers when deployed in the JTF. In 2021, 1,027 officers were trained by qualified personnel from the project's security team. To improve the sustainability and the ownership of the training courses, an intensive Train-the-Trainers session was also delivered by an accredited international expert to 16 of the JTF commanders in June 2021. The commanders left the course with a practical kit to be used in an operational context, which has since enabled 716 members of the JTF to be trained. Consequently, the members of the JTF can now be trained directly by their superiors. A new Train-the-Trainers session is planned for 2022.

In parallel, since June 2021 and in close cooperation with the project, the JTF commander has appointed 6 officers in charge of relations with the local communities, involved in humanitarian and social activities. These efforts aim to build trust between local communities and the JTF, thereby contributing to a better resolution of any potential disputes.

In parallel, since June 2021 and in close cooperation with the project, the JTF commander has appointed 6 officers in charge of relations with the local communities, involved in humanitarian and social activities. These efforts aim to build trust between local communities and the JTF, thereby contributing to a better resolution of any potential disputes.

Finally, the subsidiary is also involved in the promotion of VPSHR at national level. The project contributed to the initiative to create an In-Country Working Group on the VPSHRs and also organized an awareness-raising day for 35 representatives from civil society and the government in June 2021.