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To strengthen relations with the community

Contribution to social progress

To contribute to improving quality of life in regions where the company engages in its operations and to build mutually-beneficial relations based on trust. 

We appreciate that contributing to social transformation in the communities where we operate should be our commitment, since we know that we make local development more dynamic, that communities expect our contribution, and that good community relations contribute to the sustainability of our operation.
Our social activities contribute to the development of collective skills in our territories and pursue the common good by providing local communities with the necessary tools and opportunities to progress toward improving quality of life and education.

Our relations with communities and other parties in areas where we operate are based on the long term, understanding, and trust. We view communities as a priority interest group and are committed to improving their skills as we pursue the common good by providing them with tools and opportunities to progress and improve quality of life by contributing to social development.  

Community relations are based on respecting the community’s customs, traditions and age-old values, their human rights, and on appraising and exploiting local opportunities. Together with the community we identify the possible social impacts of our operations and specific management measures that need to be implemented.  

​​ Social management follows the guidelines established in some of our standards, such as the Social Management Policy, Donations Policy, Community Relations Manual, and Social Acts Guidelines. 

These documents are the benchmark for the operation and for the behavior of employees, customers and suppliers and their relations with interest groups, for all of which respect for human rights is the conceptual framework.     
The principles of our policy are:  

Comprehensive human development:
We foster education as the fastest way for people to expand their opportunities, options and skills, and to lead a dignified life and take part in transforming their community. 

We are acquainted with local policies, programs and projects. We aim for alliance and coordination with the various social parties who are working to transform the territory. We respect special characteristics and we contribute to appropriating the cultural riches of the territories.

Joint responsibility:
We promote people’s joint responsibility for matters relating to their own development and, while not replacing the state, we work with various parties to increase the impact of our social investments and boost the common good.

Social efficacy:
We take the skills, special characteristics and contexts of communities into account as we pursue our social initiatives in our efforts to always achieve the best social impacts and results.

Social learning:
We adopt an open, reflexive attitude in our social activities and we create demonstrative examples that help us to learn with others in order to strengthen relations in the territory. 

We have played an active role in promoting development in vulnerable communities that we work with through continual dialogue, strategic social investment, and contributions via strategic lines in our foundations.

We have worked in conjunction with contractors, which facilitates knowledge of and interaction with various parties in the territory. Induction and reinduction sessions were held on the subject of special social characteristics, in order to promote appropriation of corporate relationship guidelines.   

Joint foundation-company committees were set up to facilitate the incorporation of community approaches into the projects of the different foundations and to integrate various parties and sectors in the territories, apart from school.

We held a Wayúu Customs and Habits Workshop for the team of staff and contractors that will be in charge of projects in La Guajira in 2020, for purposes of contextualizing and generating knowledge of and respect for Wayúu traditions.​

In order to improve relations with Afro-descendant communities, company staff were provided with opportunities to learn about ancient practices, legislation that protects such communities as ethnic groups, their cultural characteristics, and their vision of social and economic ethnic development​

Promigas Foundation: 20 years of writing transformation stories

The work Promigas has done through its Foundation has enabled it to contribute to its commitment to the Global Compact and its principles, as well as to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 4: “To ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

Over a period of twenty years work in the field of education, we have forged more than a hundred alliances with the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, international cooperation bodies and academia to strengthen the social fabric and the educational changes that our region requires. 
​​ ​ Over this period of twenty years work in the field of education, the Promigas Foundation has reached 2,137 public schools in the country, 84% of which have been establishments in Colombia’s Caribbean region and the remaining 16% in other parts of the country. 46% of beneficiary schools have been in rural areas. The programs carried out have impacted the skills of 21,866 teachers and managers and influenced learning for 1,615,231 students.   

During these two decades we have trained 15,031 leaders and other members of the community and strengthened 6,238 small businesses. And 27,817 family members have a better quality of life because of the small businesses the Foundation has supported. 

Other awards received

​​The Promigas and Surtigas Foundations won the “Finalist Experience” award in the fourth version of the RedEAmérica Transformers Prize, Latin American Sustainable Communities Award, for the Communities that Educate Initiative and the Young People who Make their Mark in the Territory Initiative, in the context of the 11th RedEAmérica International Forum, held in Salvador, Brazil.     

The Promigas Foundation was awarded Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital Certification by the firm Belly Knowledge Management, an international knowledge management certification body, for being an organization that meets international standards and complies with fundamental principles for carrying out knowledge and intellectual capital management with its interest groups.   

With the lecture entitled “The Power of Companies to Change their Territory”, and in view of its experience with the Young People who Make their Mark in the Territory strategy, Surtigas took part in the 13th World Forum for a Responsible Economy, in France. 


Principal initiatives carried out

Healthy environments  

​We assisted two Zenú indigenous communities in Chinú, Córdoba, by providing them with primary health care training and reinforcing their overall action model in their territory. Patients at the health sessions were given treatment in general medicine and oral health, and received vaccinations. 

We also provided primary health care in Manaure, La Guajira, the aim being to assist four Wayúu indigenous communities by providing them with primary health care training and reinforcing their overall action model in their territory. Symbolic agreements were reached with the authorities to train health administrators in the four communities and to define elements of their Ayaawataa: we recognize each other and think together (community, family and institutional observatory which seeks to identify potentialities, needs, and ways to meet these). 

The SaludArte Festival strategy of building healthier environments in settlements in the Banana Zone extends to young people, families, leaders and local governments, and emphasizes nourishment and self-care in the school and family environment. 

As a result, progress has been made on inter-sector work with such entities as the Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), the Health Secretariat, community councils, communal action boards, and parents. Work has also been done on consolidating policies and regulations, on creating suitable environments, and on managing social services aimed at providing a comprehensive and integrated response to human development and quality of life.  

​Quality education and development skills​

The Promigas Foundation  has projects and strategies that contribute to the development of quality education, which creates opportunities for significant changes. We assist schools in their task of doing what they should do but better, with a view to improving student learning. 

In 2019, the education assistance provided by  the Promigas Foundation enabled  311 education establishments to be reached in Colombia’s Caribbean region. ​

The programs implemented had a direct impact on the skills of around 2,300 teachers and managers and 8,000 students, and an indirect impact on more than 5,500 teachers and managers and 160,000 students.​

The following were the most notable achievements:

The project to strengthen ethnic education in official institutions in María La Baja (Bolívar) between 2017 and 2019 succeeded in carrying out the basic primary school training and assistance process for institution and teacher teams at the two participating institutions, namely to update their institution improvement plans and study plans on the basis not only of Ministry of Education quality benchmarks but also the ethno-educational nature of the institutions and the existing Afro-Colombian  heritage in those communities.     

As part of the Prisma II: Assist to Transform Mathematics program for first and second primary school levels, in conjunction with Universidad del Norte, a guidance chart was designed for working on reading comprehension as a transverse strategy for the teaching and learning of mathematics in the classroom by basic primary teachers, and to strengthen student problem-solving capabilities.

The Soledad Education Secretariat was assisted in drawing up the strategy for social appropriation of the Municipal Ten-Year Education Plan. 

Drawing up the Ten-Year Education Plan in Polonuevo (Atlántico) has resulted in the Education Secretariat being able to lead the process of drawing up other Ten-Year Education Plans.​


The Gases de Occidente Foundation and the Palmira Education Secretariat joined forces to introduce the Reading Schools project, which seeks to assist with improving the teaching and learning of reading comprehension in official education establishments. The project began in 2019 in ten education institutions and impacted 30 teachers, 38 managers, and 332 basic primary school pupils. The Palmira Education Secretariat therefore made Gases de Occidente Foundation an award for its contribution to quality education in the municipality. 

Support was also given to the Jerry Mina Foundation’s education program, in which psychologists and teachers attempt to stimulate interest in various fields of learning in children and young people with a view to preventing or reducing the numbers who abandon school, which are high in these areas. The program converts football pitches into schools and trainers into teachers who use football as a universal language for educating children.

In Peru, Quavii signed an agreement with the provincial municipality of Chiclayo to offer 30 youngsters from the town the opportunity to be trained as Category IG1 natural gas installers by Tecsup, a prestigious training institution. By strengthening their skills, Quavii aims to ensure that they have better opportunities of getting employment, contributing to economic development, and improving their quality of life.   ​

Community infrastructure

​With respect to the CEO Learning with Energy campaign, two photovoltaic systems were installed in education establishments in Cauca, benefiting over 500 students who now have clean, environmentally-responsible energy, thus guaranteeing optimum conditions for education activities and contributing to the sustainability of these communities. With these actions we contribute to SDG 7 and 13.   

As far as construction projects are concerned, Promigas carries out voluntary social investment activities in community social infrastructure in the respective areas of influence of those projects. In the case of the Jobo-Majaguas gas pipeline project in Sucre and Córdoba provinces, Promigas built deep wells which enabled 11 communities to have a water supply, which constitutes a considerable improvement for those people.

Activities were also carried out to repair and maintain 24 km of tertiary access roads used by the inhabitants of rural settlements in the areas of influence of various projects. In the case of the Mamonal-Paiva and Paiva-Caracolí gas pipelines, as part of the compensation paid to the community under a commitment made in the prior consultation processes with community councils in the municipality of Santa Rosa de Lima, roads were repaired which today provide access to the school in one hamlet, which had been closed due to access issues. 


GdO took part in the Active Buenaventura initiative, a regional development project that is cofinanced by the company, the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid), and other important institutions. The initiative, which meets the need to reconfigure the relationship between local institutions and inhabitants, helps to reinforce public administration and democracy.  ​​ CEO promoted improvements to community radio stations in Cauca, with a view to forging alliances with the different communities who view this means of community communication as a source of information and entertainment. The radio stations, in turn, have become partners who inform the communities of CEO activities in the province.  

Relations with the community

Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities 

Our relations with indigenous and Afro-descendant communities are guided by our corporate and human rights policies, which stress respect for diversity, among other things. The ethnic groups we had most relations with in 2019 were the Zenú communities in the area of influence of the Jobo-Majaguas project and Afro-descendants throughout Colombia’s Caribbean region and in Cauca, in the Pacific zone.

​​ All projects and activities with these types of community are carried out from an inter-cultural perspective, and to this end:

We clearly and precisely establish which ethnic groups inhabit areas where operations by Promigas companies and their foundations are being executed. 

We identify the cultural characteristics that define customs, meanings about their territory, community practices, and other benchmarks that have to be taken into account.

We involve various parties from the territory, and also from the ethnic group when so required, in community relationship processes with Promigas and its Foundation.

We generate actions aimed at awareness and appropriation of interculturality with the team involved in projects that are to be executed in areas where there is an ethnic population. 

We engage in communication strategies that contribute to a greater and better intercultural dialogue with the following communities: 

La Guajira: Wayúu indigenous community;

Magdalena: indigenous peoples on the Sierra Nevada, and the Gran Vía and Kennedy community councils in the Banana Zone;

Bolívar: Amanzaguapo (Santa Catalina), Santa Rosa, Rocha (Arjona), Correa, Níspero and Flamenco (María La Baja) Afro-descendant community councils, and Zenú indigenous groups in Gambote and Membrillal (Cartagena). Also the following Afro-descendant communities:  Ararca, Barú, Bocachica, Caño de Loro, Pasacaballos and Santa Ana, in Cartagena, and Bocachica and Tierrabomba, on the island of Tierrabomba. 


Sucre y Córdoba: Zenú indigenous reserves and council.

With respect to prior consultation processes in previous years in connection with the San Mateo-Mamonal Loop, Jobo-Majaguas, Mamonal-Paiva and Paiva-Caracolí projects, we have continued to adhere to agreements made with ethnic communities. 

Many of these consultation processes cannot be closed until construction activities have been completed, but follow-up has been carried out in all cases on adherence to agreements with communities, with assistance from the Ministry of the Interior and other guarantors of rights in the municipalities.

​We have management specifications covering all possible social and environmental impacts, and follow-up on these is carried out by the environmental authorities, while in the case of prior consultation agreements with ethnic communities, follow-up is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. 

Our best practices for guaranteeing adequate community participation include the following:

Operation Workshops.  Visits to the SPEC regasification terminal were arranged in 2019 for communities, who were shown round the facilities and had the main activities involved in the operation explained to them.

Community Participation Committees. The aim of community participation committees is to present social and environmental information and receive feedback from the community.

Distribution of InformationIn conjunction with communities, wall newspapers were put up in community centers and information bulletins and electronic bulletins were provided, containing relevant information about our social and environmental management. 

Follow-up on Prior Consultation Agreements. We hold follow-up meetings that are arranged by the Ministry of the Interior’s National Prior Consultation Division, where we provide information about the extent of compliance with formalized agreements. 

Exchanges of Experiences. We hold sessions with community leaders to swap experiences, where community council representatives and representatives of communal action boards share their views on how relations with Promigas companies have contributed to their vision and their development plan. 

Community information programs

With a view to minimizing the risk of third parties affecting transportation infrastructure, Promigas carries out a Preventive Information Program with communities in its area of influence. This consists of informing the company’s Contingency Plan and information about risks associated with the gas pipeline and preventive actions, and it also educates communities and entities in risk management and dealing with emergencies.  

At the end of the training, each community is certified and is donated an emergency kit containing a stretcher, a first aid kit, a megaphone, jackets, and a meeting point table. 

Activities connected with this program were carried out in 2019, and a 100% coverage figure was achieved in municipalities where the company has infrastructure and in high risk and priority interest areas for the company in terms of risk prevention.