During the planning stage of the project in 2018, before a final investment decision was made, we partnered with Enact to carry out a human rights risk assessment to understand the potential human rights impacts that could occur in the construction phase of the Neste Singapore Expansion Project. The assessment highlighted migrant workers as a vulnerable group, and identified risks related to ethical recruitment, fair wages and working hours, occupational health and safety, grievance-raising, and access to remedy.
Image: Conversation with a worker on-site during a safety audit
Following the recommendations from this risk assessment, Neste put in place a number of measures in 2019 and 2020, beyond the requirements of local laws and regulations, in order to protect the rights of workers on the construction site. This includes strong pre-qualification criteria for all contractors and subcontractors, regular site inspections and social audits, and stationing two sustainability specialists onsite to manage human rights and sustainability issues.
We also built a site-level grievance mechanism specifically for the Neste Singapore Expansion Project, to ensure that the workforce on the construction site, who are mainly employees of contractors and sub-contractors, have the right to be heard and to raise any concerns they may have directly to Neste. Suggestion boxes were set up on site in multiple languages, with the aim of capturing the voices and needs of migrant workers, identifying issues on the ground, and providing effective remedy as required.
Image: Suggestion boxes have been set up in multiple languages and locations on site, to ensure accessibility for migrant workers of different nationalities.
Throughout 2020, Neste has closely monitored the impacts of COVID-19 at the Singapore Expansion Project, and adapted our human rights priorities accordingly. To read more about the Singapore Expansion Project and the steps taken to safeguard the rights of workers during COVID-19, please visit here.