Of the utmost importance for the world's oil corporations, social responsibility integrates the theme of the 17th World Petroleum Congress, namely, The Oil Industry: Excellence and Responsibility in Serving Society. Of the four blocks into which it is divided, the Congress features one entitled "Excellence & Responsibility in Managing the Petroleum Business with Economic, Environmental and Social Dimensions," which is devoted entirely to this subject, and which is made up of six blocks in turn subdivided into ten poster sessions and three technical presentations given by experts on this topic. This block's plenary session, entitled Balancing the Petroleum Business and its Social Responsibility: Enhancing Reputation and Building a Competitive Edge, will feature as speakers Opec president Rilwanu Lukman, Norsk Hydro CEO Egyl Myklebust, and Saudi Aramco CEO Abdallah S. Jum'ah, and will be presided by Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) president Eleazar de Carvalho Filho.
The social responsibility indicators generated by oil companies currently make up one of main aspects to be taken into account when assessing the impact caused by the oil business, the competitiveness levels of the sector's companies and their institutional image. Sustaining quality relationships with society, company employees, suppliers, customers and with the environment is the foremost condition for attaining good results in a market without frontiers. This is an ever more competitive universe constantly flooded by new requirements from society and governments, both of which demand transparency, an ethical stance and social returns. Ten years after Rio 92, it is expected that the Congress become the new venue for discussing trends in the energy area, with emphasis on sustainable development.
On March 27, at a press conference for roughly 60 journalists, the president of Petrobras and of the National Brazilian Committee, Francisco Gros, and the president of the Brazilian Organising Committee, João Carlos de Luca officially launched the 17th World Petroleum Congress. Mr. Gros noted that "this Congress will play a key role in rethinking the new role of the oil companies in economic and social development in the localities where they operate. Still according to Mr. Gros, the new business environment requires companies to focus not just on economic and financial indicators but also on the well-being of the publics with which they interact.
The president of the Brazilian Organising Committee, João Carlos de Luca explains that "the Congress is an impartial forum for discussing the advances of the sector. It brings together all segments of the oil industry, producing the largest international event in the oil and gas business." For Mr. De Luca, one of the Congress' objectives is to call attention to the social responsibility theme. For him, awareness of the need to be socially responsible is a primary condition for the success of any company nowadays.
Brazil's campaign to host the Congress began in 1996, having attained this objective only three years later after competing with Turkey, France, Iran, Indonesia and Egypt. Among the factors that led to Brazil having been chosen we count the recent opening of the market to new investors, the high level of development of the Brazilian oil and gas industry and of its offshore E&P technology, and the growing potential of Brazil's domestic market," Mr. De Luca said.
Mr. Gros in turn highlighted the performance of the Brazilian delegation in its effort to have the Congress meet in Brazil. "It was a close call, and we only won because the Brazilian team worked very hard at it. He also emphasised the benefits that the 17th WPC will bring to the country's economy and image. The week in which the Congress and the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002, Latin America's largest sector show, are to be held will see the injection of US$ 13 million into the economy of the city of Rio de Janeiro, where the events will take place. "The event will also attract the attention of market analysts and sector investors and experts, all of whom will undoubtedly put Brazil and the oil industry in the limelight, showing how important they have become," Mr. Gros noted.
Still According to him, the 17th World Petroleum Congress will cost US$ 7.5 million. Registration fees will amortize 35% of this amount. The remainder is expected to come from the sponsor companies. In the case a balance is recorded, the money will go to sponsor graduate scholarships in the field of Petroleum Sciences and Technology, as well as to sector-related research and development projects.
Are sponsors allowed free access or a discount for bookings to the congress? No. All participants at the congress have to pay the full amount for a booking, even if they are an employee of a sponsoring company. Bookings made before June 30 received the maximum discount. The discount percentage drops after this date until August 25. As of the latter date there is no discount. Only keynote speakers and accredited members of the press are not charged to attend the congress.
Does a delegate to the congress get access to the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002? And will the exhibitor or visitor at the Rio Oil & Gas have access to the congress pavilion? A delegate to the congress will have free access to the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002. But exhibitors at the fair and its visitors will not have access to the 17th WPC.
Are there special booking prices for chairmen, forum and RFP authors? Yes. chairmen, forum and RFP authors are entitled to a 25% discount on the registration fee. Vice-chairmen, second vice-chairmen and poster session authors are entitled to a 20% discount on the registration fee.
What are the rules for cancellations, refunds and transfer of payments for bookings? Cancellations and transfers will be accepted in writing only. Fifty per cent of the total amount will be refunded if written cancellation notice is received by June 30; after this date no refunds will be given for cancellations or reductions of booked activities. The congress registration fee, including social event fees and accompanying programme fees, are fully transferable at no cost if requested by August 15.
Are there discounts for the tourist trips, official lunches or technical visits? No. The technical visits, tours before and after the congress, the official lunches, the programme for accompanying persons and the Brazilian Night, the only social event not included with registration, do not have any discounts.
What happens if the passport photo is not included together with the booking form? The booking will be made just the same. However, for reasons of security, all delegates should be properly identified with a photo ID card, for access to the congress pavilion. Those who do not send a photo with their booking form, can make use of the photography service provided on site.
If the on-line booking process was not completed because of some error or system failure, what should be done? Just re-connect and, using the same registration number, complete the booking.
Is it possible to transfer the booking, if the person who was booked is unable to make it to the congress? Yes. Transfer of bookings, including the social events and the programme for accompanying persons may be carried out up to August 15 at no cost.
What does a booking for delegates give them access to? Booked delegates can attend all the plenary and technical sessions at the congress, visit the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002, attend the opening and closing ceremonies and the Maracanã Night, at the largest soccer stadium in the world. The reception at the airport, transport to and from the hotels to the Riocentro, the congress bulletin, which will be given out during the event, and the briefcase with publications produced especially for the delegates are also included in the registration fee.
What does a booking for accompanying persons gives them access to? The accompanying persons' fee includes: opening ceremony and reception; closing ceremony and reception; Maracanã Night; Global Business Opportunities Centre; Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002; shuttle transfer to and from hotels to the Riocentro; and on arrival there will be a reception at the international airport. Accompanying persons can't take part in the 17th WPC conferences.
Is there a different price for junior professionals? The registration fee is US$ 700. This amount was valid until June 30, when the bookings for this category ended. To be considered a junior professional, the person should be no older than 28.
What is included in the registration for junior professionals? They can attend all the plenary and technical sessions, the Global Business Opportunities Centre, the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002 and the Maracanã Night, at the largest soccer stadium in the world. The reception at the airport, transport to and from the hotels to the Riocentro, the congress bulletin, which will be given out during the event, and the briefcase of publications produced especially for the delegates are also included in the registration fee.
Of the 30 thousand square metres set aside for the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002, 100% have already been marketed. Organisers' estimates show that roughly 800 companies will exhibit their products and services in the oil, gas and energy areas to 35 thousand visitors who will move about the exibition's four pavilions set up in the Riocentro conventions centre, where the event will be held.
International pavilions will hold great potential for impressing visitors. The fact that the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002 is to take place concurrently with the 17th WPC has contributed towards raising high hopes on the part of exhibitors for enhanced business and networking opportunities. Evidence of this is clearly seen in the remarkable growth of the national pavilions. The area of the British pavilion, for example, doubled in size from the 600 metres it occupied in 2000. The Chinese companies in turn have purchased 850 square metres, while the Italian pavilion, the Expo's third largest, is to take up 360 square metres, trailed by the Norwegian pavilion with 220 square metres in size. Also for the first time, India has made the decision to take part in the Expo.
A highlight available to all is the virtual reality lab to be set up in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo premises. There, state-of-the-art 3D seismic technology employed for mapping oil reservoirs is the attraction. The cutting-edge equipment works by "x-raying" the underground at depths of up to 5 thousand metres to spot oil fields and thus provide very specific data for the development of highly detailed reservoir exploitation projects. The use of this technology has led to significant cost cuts in E&P and to a hike in well productivity rates. Visitors to the lab will embark on a virtual voyage through the inside of the earth by means of 3D and stereoscopic images of underground layers.
The convenience court, which will take up 2 thousand square metres, and is to be set up by BR Distribuidora. BR is in the process of signing partnership agreements with service providers in various branches of activity with the aim of offering solutions designed to meet visitors' needs. Some of the services available to all visitors: Business Centre, cybercafé, Blumar Travel, Varig Airlines, Banco do Brasil branch office, DHL courier, laundry, cloakroom, seamstress, men and women's apparel shops, convenience stores, gift shops.
Whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro to take part in the 17th World Petroleum Congress will have the opportunity of experiencing the natural beauty, the dance, the music, the art and the food of a continental-size country with a diverse culture and which is internationally recognised for its hospitality and the up-beat nature of its people. 17th WPC organisers have put together a series of excursions that can be embarked on before or after the Congress. Also available is a tour programme for accompanying persons. Either way, unforgettable moments are in store for those who choose to go on any of these superb excursions, which range from a trip to the Amazon jungle to a simple cable car ride to the top of Rio's very own Sugar Loaf, where visitors have a panoramic view of the Wonderful City.
The pre-Congress excursions offer guests an opportunity to explore attractions located less than three hours away from Rio by car. On the menu: The world-wide famous beaches of Búzios, Angra dos Reis and Paraty, the latter a World Heritage town of colonial times. Another interesting tour includes a visit to Petrópolis and its museums. Nested in the mountains, Petrópolis hosted the Imperial summer residence in the nineteenth century. Post-Congress tours in turn explore the country from north to south, unveiling its contrasts and beauties. In the north, you will be able to see the biodiverstiy of the world's biggest rain forest, the Amazon jungle. In the north-east, you will be enthralled by the magic of exotic Salvador, a coastal city with a fascinating culture. Still in this region, Recife / Porto de Galinhas beckon with their beaches, vegetation and long sunny days. In the west-central region the Mato Grosso marshlands is a haven for the Earth's most extensive wild life variety. In the south-east, Ouro Preto, the world's largest eighteenth century colonial architecture complex, displays the unique art of the Brazilian baroque. In the extreme south, in the border with Paraguay and Argentina, Foz do Iguaçu attracts visitors from around the world eager to gasp at the spectacle of the magnificent Iguazu Falls.
The tours for accompanying persons offer the best of Rio de Janeiro: visits to the Corcovado and the Sugar Loaf, a tour of Tijuca Forest, a helicopter ride showing Guanabara bay in all its beauty. Another option is a tour of Historical Rio, where you will go back in time to get to know the monuments of colonial times.
Social events, a time to relax and network: The social events programme will highlight the importance of Brazil in the global scenario: cultural and geographic diversity, a market displaying great potential and growing technological development, in sum, Brazil as a cradle of great wealth and natural beauty. The first event, of course, is the Congress' opening night, which will stage dance, music and art focusing on Brazil's cultural breadth.
Then there is the Brazilian Night, with great surprises in store for guests. Different theme rooms will exhibit the country's splendor by developing on its natural beauty, its importance in the world, its architecture, handcrafts, cultural influence and cuisine. Do not miss these attractions plus the many other surprises that await you.
The Maracanã Night has the world's largest and most famous football stadium for setting. If Brazil wins the World Cup, the night's main attraction will be a game between Brazil and a composite of players from other national teams; if it doesn't win the Cup, then the game will be played out between the Brazilian national team and the Cup winner.
The closing ceremony in turn will feature a video showing the Congress' best moments, a review of the 17th WPC as a whole, the presentation of a video that pays homage to South Africa, the 18th WPC host country and the ceremony where the baton will be handed to the new WPC board of directors.
For the first time in the business world, the 17th World Petroleum Congress will debate the issue of corporate social responsibility in the oil industry at the dawn of a new century. This year's Congress theme, "Petroleum Industry: Excellence and Responsibility in Serving Society" will determine the Event's programme agenda. "Companies in our business have to consider the interests of all stakeholders. We have to worry about the impact of our activities on all of those around us and, in particular, on the communities in which we operate," states Francisco Gros, president of Petrobras and of the WPC National Brazilian Committee.
Of the four blocks into which it is divided, the Congress features one devoted entirely to this subject: "Excellence & Responsibility in Managing the Petroleum Business with Economic, Environmental and Social Dimensions." In addition to its six forums, ten poster sessions and three technical presentations, this block will present "Balancing the Petroleum Business and its Social Responsibility: Enhancing Reputation and Building a Competitive Edge," a plenary session to be presided by Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) president, Eleazar de Carvalho Filho and that will have the participation of OPEC president Rilwanu Lukman; Norsk Hydro chairman, Egyl Myklebust; and Saudi Aramco CEO and president, Abdallah S. Jum'ah.
A Luncheon solely on this theme will be held as well. Here strategic issues concerning the oil industry and sustainable development will be discussed. The Brazilian Organising Committee has invited Brazil's first lady, anthropologist Ruth Cardoso to take part in it. Ms. Cardoso is also President of the Board of Comunidade Solidária, a Brazilian NGO devoted to striking partnership agreements between the federal government and civil society with the objective of reducing the rates of poverty and social exclusion in this country.
The executive director of the WPC Brazilian Organising Comittee, Milton Costa Filho, remarks that, "For the first time, we are clearly articulating the words responsibility and society as a whole." The event will set an example, he says, by creating employment in local communities and by inviting NGOs to take part. "NGOs will have space to exhibit their products and ideas, what they are fighting for", states Costa Filho. "The oil industry is at the forefront of developing concepts of how to work in a socially responsible way and is setting an important example to other industries."
To deepen the debate on Social Responsibility, which is one of the central themes of the Congress (Petroleum Industry: Excellence and Responsibility in Serving Society), the Brazilian Organising Committee is promoting a meeting between community and oil industry representatives. The Social Responsibility Arena of the 17th World Petroleum Congress, an unprecedented initiative in the history of the event, will bring together around 30 governmental, non-governmental and business organisations currently developing social and environmental action programmes and projects, as well as experts and opinion makers.
Open to the general public, the Social Responsibility Arena will meet from September 2 - 5 in the Riocentro, the same convention facility where the Congress is being held. The Arena will consist of an exhibition of programmes and initiatives that focus on sustainable development. It will also feature a seminar gathering leaders from the private and third sectors, scholars and journalists.
The exhibition held at the Arena will be devoted to innovatory third-sector action programmes that centre on sustainable development, ethics and environmental education. Each organisation will have booths available to exhibit its innovatory projects and solutions. The Arena will also be the venue for socio-environmental business rooms, where Congress delegates and social and environmental NGO representatives can meet to discuss action projects of mutual interest, thus creating opportunities for the exchange of experiences and new achievements.
The Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Seminar will meet from September 2-4, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in an auditorium with capacity for two hundred people. The seminar has been structured around two blocks, each lasting two hours. The seminar themes, which include issues such as social responsibility, education and social change, sustainable development and the environment, will be developed in the form of conferences, panels, round tables and case presentations conveyed in a talk-show format.
The Brazilian Organising Committee expects the Arena to afford those who take part in it to gather some of the resources they need to improve their strategies and the outcome of their action programmes. The committee also aims to stimulate the dissemination of innovatory action programmes and methods that have already shown their worth in the social and environmental areas.
The Social Responsibility Arena of the 17th World Petroleum Congress is open to governmental and non-governmental organisations, private institutions and other associations. To register, fill out the form available at the Congress web site (www.wpc2002.com). The same form may also be sent via e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org until the 17th of July. A Consultative Committee made up of experts and third-sector representatives will be in charge of selecting the participants.
The concept of social responsibility is to be applied in the 17th WPC organisation itself. In addition to the activities developed in the Social Responsibility Arena, Brazilian non-governmental organisations were hired to provide services during the event. Among them is the Computer Democratisation Committee (CDI), an organisation devoted to facilitating access for all to computers, which will lend computer support to the Congress. This is a pioneer institution that works against digital exclusion with technical courses for children and adolescents from low-income communities.
Selective litter collection at the Riocentro
The 17th WPC will also represent a landmark for the Riocentro. A selective waste collection programme and a waste processing centre will be implemented in the conventions facility during the Congress and expo set-up phase, and be used throughout the duration of both events. The selective waste collection equipment will be donated to the Riocentro. The waste processing centre will be open to visitors. The organisers estimate that, together, the Congress and the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002, will generate a total of 16 tonnes of recyclable waste (plastic, aluminium, paper and glass). Proceeds obtained from the recycling will be passed on to a residents' co-operative in the Caju district, which has six thousand inhabitants and is located in the port area of Rio de Janeiro.