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Sustainable investment

Our approach to sustainable investment stems directly from our mission and our strategy. For us, sustainability is about how we create value and provide an essential source of energy whilst, at the same time, safeguarding people, the environment, and respecting and contributing to the communities of which we are a part. We are committed to improving the lives of the societies in which we operate through the integration of economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection.

The way we work

We look to develop sustainable value in our assets and operations, nurturing the talent of our people and building strong, open and lasting relationships with all our stakeholders.

We are committed to forming partnerships that discover hidden value and bring transformational benefits to countries and communities.

We have a diversified but focused asset portfolio, in contrast to large multinational oil and gas companies which often have interests in hundreds of countries.

These factors mean we are flexible and can move quickly. Governments appreciate our ability to act as the catalyst for exploration and production activity.

The benefits we can bring to countries and communities include energy, infrastructure, improved healthcare, employment and trade with local enterprises.

A history of partnership

Since 1991 we have explored in India, Greenland, Bangladesh, China, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, the UK, the North Sea and Eastern Europe. And more recently in Morocco, Senegal and the UK and Norwegian North Sea.


In 1997 we started exploring in the Thar desert in Rajasthan, India. After discovering significant quantities of oil we proceded to develop facilities to enable production, which is ongoing. The Rajasthan project is expected to provide over 30% of India's crude oil production. Throughout the Rajasthan project we have worked in partnership with local communities to build infrastructure, support economic development, improve access to healthcare, and help manage scarce water resources. Examples of projects in Rajasthan, India to date that show a long-term positive impact include:

  • The Enterprise Centre which has trained more than 6,000 people, with 80% finding employment afterwards.
  • The Rural Dairy Development Programme which has developed a marketplace for farmers to sell their surplus milk, turning it into a marketable commodity. More than $815,000 in revenue has been generated through milk sales.
  • The Mobile Health Van provides diagnostic and preventative health care to remote communities in the Barmer region of Rajasthan. More than 100,000 people have been treated through this scheme.
  • Cairn India supported the construction of more than 1,300 rainwater harvesting structures, providing a storage capacity of more than 10 million litres.
  • In India, the transmission of HIV/AIDS as a result of a transient workforce is a particular concern. Cairn and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have co-funded an outreach programme which has advised more than 25,000 adults in 32 villages across the Barmer state in India. Run by the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), an international NGO, the initiative has not only reached local adults and adolescents but also more than 7,400 drivers at truck stops in the region. As a result of the project, a decrease in incidences of sexually transmitted infections has been noted, along with an increase in condom usage.

Cairn has built a strong track record in South Asia by delivering sustainable value for all stakeholders, and ensuring a long-term positive impact from its activities.