The Oman Oil Company (OOC) is a corporate enterprise solely controlled by the regime of the Oman Sultanate. It began its operations in 1996 with the primary objective to look for business prospects in the oil industry within the sultanate and also in foreign nations. The OOC through its contribution in the gas sector helps to undertake significant social responsibility and sustainability projects that will improve the livelihood of the people of Oman. The developments also help to diversify the Omani economy as well as promoting domestic and foreign investment. The framework of the company encompasses four primary pillars including the Takamul Investment Company (TIC), Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP), Oman Oil Duqm Development L.L.C, and the Oman Oil Facilities Development Company L.L.C. All the above pillars contribute to the CSR and sustainability efforts in one way or another either through their initiatives or state mobilization.
That said, by employing Elkington's (1999) Triple Bottom-line of Sustainability, this paper critically evaluates the sustainability efforts initiated by the OOC. That is the economic, social, and environmental significance of a business venture. For instance, the OOC is committed to supporting the growth of the Oman economic through supporting the small and medium enterprises by awarding them Innovation and Capability Vouchers (ICV). Thus, ensuring the retention of maximum value internally. Besides, this essay will employ Carroll's Corporate Social Responsibility Pyramid to analyze the idea of CSR. The essential dynamics of Carroll's pyramid include the philanthropic, ethical, legal and economic responsibilities.
The philanthropic responsibilities of the corporation entail that the company be patriotic and invest resources in the community with the aim of improving the quality of life. For instance, the OOC invests about 3% of its annual income towards various CSR programs. Such projects include the Training for Employment program which offers jobs to secondary school graduates. Thus, in line with this context, the primary goal of this paper is to assess how the OOC manages and applies its CSR and sustainability initiatives. The implementation of the concept of maintainable growth involves the pursuit of the key drivers of business activities which are socially responsible, environmentally friendly and economically valuable. However, the idea of permanent and sustainable development encompasses more than only the care of nature. It also demands the respect for local laws, doctrines of social equality and the involvement in the development of the domestic society or the quest to eliminate poverty.
Discussion of Sustainability
Zak (2015) asserts that the concept of sustainable development has never before occupied a high position among company priorities as nowadays. Studies show that the dynamic global economic situations including growth and recession depend on the existing models of maintainable business activities. The key drivers of sustainability have a significant impact on the daily life of the civilians. According to Zak (2015), the aspect of supportable development is a fundamental model of CSR and sustainability which ensures the non-violation of the natural human environment. Therefore, it is necessary to reconcile the principles of nature and the laws of the economy to achieve sustainable development. In that line, one of the primary foundations of supportable growth is the Elkington's triple bottom line (TBL) concept.
According to Hammer & Pivo (2017), the TBL denotes the communal, ecological and financial worth of investment. Elkington (2004) states that it is essential for companies to prepare three distinct bottom lines including that of the "profit and loss account" which determine the amount of profit earned, as well as the "people account." The latter determines the degree of social responsibility of a company within a specified period. Lastly, the "planet account" comes third. This bottom line measures the extent of ecological responsibility a firm. In general, the foundation of the TBL is based on the norm that a company must evaluate its performance depending on its responsibilities towards the stakeholders like the local authorities and the central government, as well as the employees, customers, and suppliers.
However, many notable corporations including the OOC find it difficult to implement the TBL concept of sustainable development (Nathan & Pierce, 2009). The reason for this is because the concept is not only limited to the constructs of economic aspects including the production of goods and provision of services but also applies the ecological and social measures of performance to the economic actions. Environmental performance refers to the volume of resources a firm uses in its tasks and the output it creates from such operations. The inputs a company capitalizes on to promote its ecological performance include energy, water, and land while the outputs include effluents and gas discharges. Consequently, social performance entails the obligations of the firm towards the local communities including offering job opportunities and providing social amenities.
The OOC commits to supporting the nation's entrepreneurship and retention of maximum profit within the domestic market. A special ICV team known as Takatuf is responsible for providing technical support to the OOC's groups of companies and projects to maximize the total value retained in Omani economy. The individual firms are required to contribute to the ICV in areas such as Omanisation in expertise, provision of financial support to the SMEs, and the local sourcing of goods and services. Similarly, the Takatuf works as the human capital solution provider; in that, it partners with clients and the public to create planned human capital solutions to sustain long-term private, organizational and nationwide development.
Even so, the Takatuf intellectualize and implement schemes aimed at improving personal and commercial results. For instance, the Takatuf Scholars project supports the academic empowerment of Omani students by imparting in them crucial skills that prepare them for the job market (Minnee, Shanka, Taylor, & Handley, 2013). The Talent Development plan also ensures that firms recruit the most qualified personnel. Besides, the Human Capital program guarantees that the companies enlist the best applicants and that they have the suitable human resource strategies to retain the recruits. Minnee et al., (2013) assert that the Takatuf also has the duty to implement the national Value-Offering program to strengthen the economy of the Sultanate as well as to provide financial benefits to the people. Also, the OOC partners with other locally based corporations that are concerned with issues regarding educational and employment requirements necessary for the workforce to help in the strengthening of the local economy.
Frynas (2010) asserts that a company creates a social structure in which its significance, objectives, and duties align with the interests of the stakeholders. The OOC allocates approximately 3% of its total annual income towards various CSR and sustainability initiatives. The company has a vital obligation towards the community as well as the employees in particular. Responsibility towards the company's staff involves treating them according to the values of equality and trustworthiness in a work environment. The OOC strives to promote equality within its work environment through the inclusion of females in senior positions. For instance, the board of the OOC includes Sayyida Rawan Ahmed Al Said who is a female. She is also the managing director of Takaful Oman SOAG which is one of the company groups forming the OOC.
Besides, one of the many missions of the OOC is to invest in the future of Oman by enriching lives through corporate sustainability enterprises. The firm proactively implements social sustainability programs and initiatives that focus on three primary mandates. That is Training for Employment, Capacity Building, and Entrepreneurship. The latter is run through the Oman Society for Petroleum Services. The initiative offers employment opportunities to secondary school graduates. The "Sharakati," which is an umbrella project of the Training for Employment programme targets over 450 college students to familiarize them with the corporate duties and procedures necessary to start a company. The company also offers training to people with visual disabilities regarding digital literacy, mobility, and orientation as well as on how to use the smartphones. Upon finishing their training, these individuals become certified trainers. Hence, they are able to share their knowledge with other visually impaired persons. The program is known as the Qadiroom. The Entrepreneurship project ensures that the future workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to perform company duties. The Capacity Building programmes offer educational opportunities to the youths to build the local economy and reinforce the labor force.
Over the years, the OOC has supported programmes and activities that enhance the protection of the environment. The company through its subsidiary of the Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production (OOCEP) has put forward certain mitigations that will help to protect nature. For instance, six years ago, the OOCEP in collaboration with professionals at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) developed a plan to conserve the coral families that were under threat as a result of ongoing pipeline construction works. A new gas plant, the Musandam Gas Plant, was being constructed close to their habitat thus threatening the existence of the corals. The aim of the project was to facilitate the growth of new coral communities far from the construction site. The new proposed area will act as an off-site preservation and restoration habitat.
The parties involved in implementing the task agreed to adopt a five-point plan including the building of a non-natural coral harbor and the construction of a "mixed coral garden" with the bay facing the Musandam Gas Plant site. The plan also encompassed the translocation of coral calories and monitoring of the artificial coral habitats (Avina, 2013). The plan also included the need to sending two SQU Master of Science students for training in foreign universities on the appropriate techniques applied in monitoring the coral communities. The OOC also provides scholarships to university students to enable them to study abroad and learn the suitable skills on how to maintain the pipes and the appropriate security protocol to follow in case of an emergency including gas leakage. The training also includes the necessary measures to take in the event of oil spillage and how to prevent such incidences from occurring in the future.
Discussion of Corporate Social Responsibility
Over the years, there has been a debate among scholars and specialists concerning the company's responsibility to the local community. Before the idea of CSR came to exist, many believed that the sole obligation of a firm was to deliver maximum monetary earnings to the shareholders. Nevertheless, it became apparent that the quest for realizing maximum profits had to occur within the constructs of a civilized society. Hence, activists began to advocate for a broader concept of CSR. By 1970s, many governments had already set up fundamental social laws that protected the employees, consumers and the employees, as well as the environment.
Thus, apart from pursuing maximum revenue, the companies now had other obligations to the e...
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