Heritage Petroleum Company Limited, one of the companies formed after the closure of state owned oil company Petrotrin one year ago, recently launched its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme which will focus on capability building in its fence line communities.
Petrotrin had a robust CSR programme and reportedly invested an estimated $15 million in community projects across TT for the period 2014/2015. Speaking at Heritage’s CSR launch at the company’s Santa Flora administrative headquarters, Energy Minister Franklin Khan said even while Petrotrin was “haemorrhaging and losing money,” it still attempted to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for sponsorships.
Heritage chief executive officer Arlene Chow, in her remarks, said the nature of CSR has “evolved” to encompass many areas including community and employee engagement, culture, the environment and social development.
“Long gone are the days of simply giving to charity,” she said, adding that at its core CSR is about “empowerment, sustainability and conducting one’s business in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.”
She said the company operates mainly in the south-western peninsular and is “mindful that its activities directly impact the communities around its locations.” The first initiative is its Heritage Information Technology Training or HITT programme and will focus on capability building.
“We want to upskill our community workforce to prepare them for disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. We will provide training and IT workshops and develop and promote staff volunteerism, as many parts this programme will be delivered by our Heritage staff.” She said other CSR initiatives include the Heritage Environmental Excellence programme or HOMEE initiative, which will focus on addressing environmental degradation and flooding. Chow said part of the programme involves the sponsorship of, as well as partnership with the regional corporations and residents on clean-up and recycling campaigns.
“We will also launch, Hero, our Heritage Educational Resource Opportunity which will sponsor and mentor promising students from SEA to university, to support them in maximising their potential and reaching their goals.” Hero will focus on the Santa Flora/Palo Seco districts where selected students are sponsored and mentored from primary school all the way to tertiary level. Another initiative is the INSPIRE Community of the Year which will take the form of an award that will be given to the community that best demonstrates its commitment to environmental excellence.
The objective is to develop and promote environmental awareness at the community level as well as engender behaviours that contribute to environmental sustainability. The Steelband Sponsorship Programme will support local steel bands in the respective communities. This partnership will “guide the steel band’s growth” as well as deliver music literacy programmes. The now defunct Petrotrin had previously sponsored bands such as Petrotrin Katzenjammers and Petrotrin Siparia Deltones, and had assisted the San Fernando based Pan Elders.
The Youth Empowerment Spaces or YES Zones, another initiative, will provide modern youth-friendly spaces equipped to facilitate homework centre, meetings, and other youth activities.