Group of Cairn employees beside tanker on dock


Delivering value in a safe, secure, and environmentally and socially responsible manner for all stakeholders is a key part of our strategy and ensures we maintain our licence to operate.

At the heart of this is our culture which is based around a commitment to working responsibly. It is also measured through our people management process which incorporates certain behaviours identified as critical to ensuring this culture exists. A culture based on working responsibly means having the right values, principles and policies in place, that they are embedded throughout the organisation in our systems and processes and that they are upheld by our people. Our culture is underpinned by our core values, which are known as the 3Rs, building respect, nurturing relationships and acting responsibly.


These core values shape our Business Principles, our Code of Business Ethics and a number of Corporate Responsibility (CR) policies. The Business Principles identify the behaviours we expect and the Code of Business Ethics identifies the standards of business ethics and conduct which we expect. Both the Business Principles and the Code of Business Ethics must be applied not only by employees but by all other parties that work on the Company’s behalf, including contractors, suppliers and partners. They are integrated into our systems and processes, of which the key ones include the CR Management System (CRMS), the Cairn Operating Standards, the Group Risk Management Procedure and the Internal Control and Assurance Framework.

See our Policies and principles.

The behaviours we expect from our people are based on the 3Rs and are known as our High Performing Behaviours. They identify the behaviours we expect to see exhibited by our people in everything that we do, day to day. They are well promoted throughout the organisation and they ensure that everyone understands how they are expected to contribute to the success of the business. The behaviours are:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Entrepreneurial
  • Be Focused
  • Be a Leader
  • Be Collaborative
  • Be Open
  • Be Empowered


To further ensure that these behaviours are adopted by our people and embedded in our culture, this year we included them as part of our performance management process with all individuals in the organisation measured on their performance against each of these behaviours.  

This culture of working responsibly is also built upon global standards, which we uphold and which consequently inform how we deliver strategy. These standards are part of valuable, global initiatives that promote responsible corporate behaviour and working practices.    

We uphold and support the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), an initiative for businesses committed to aligning their strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. We are also committed to working to International Finance Corporation (IFC)* Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability, which are in line with the UNGC principles. 

The Board has ultimate responsibility for ensuring this culture of working responsibly exists within the organisation and our assurance processes help the Board to ensure this. We have three levels of assurance within the organisation: firstly, our values, policies and principles and our processes and systems with which all employees are required to comply; secondly, internal oversight of their application by key committees such as our Senior Leadership Team (SLT), which includes our Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer; and thirdly, internal and external assurance audits and opinions. Our culture of working responsibly is at the very heart of this assurance process and embedded in our values, policies and principles. 

The UN Global Compact

Cairn remains a signatory to the UNGC and we integrate the 10 universally accepted principles into our policies and Business Principles. We have made significant efforts to ensure these are applied in a meaningful manner in our operations, and engage our partners, contractors and stakeholders on these and in the way we conduct our business.

UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015, world leaders committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set out 17 prioritised areas ranging from ending poverty, ensuring access to energy, protection of ecosystems, addressing climate change and responsible working practices. We recognise a responsibility to look at our activities to identify where both our business adds value for society and where we may need to mitigate for potential negative impacts across environmental, social and governance (ESG) related issues. See Cairn in Senegal.

See also our Memberships and partnerships.


*The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.  

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