Our Approach to Human Rights

Our Approach to Human Rights, and Why It Matters

As a responsible energy producer, Vermilion has always focused on three priorities: the health and safety of the public and those who work with us; the protection of our natural surroundings; and profitability – in that order. Nothing is more important to us than human safety. This is directly linked to our support, within our operations and in our supply chain, for the human rights represented in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.  

This commitment is formalized in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics:  


Vermilion Energy is committed to respecting human rights in its business and operations as represented by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Conventions of the International Labour Organization. All directors, officers, employees, contractors and suppliers must comply with all applicable human rights laws and regulations, and the Corporation’s policies and standards, whichever are higher, with respect to human rights. To be clear, Vermilion will not tolerate human rights abuses within its own operations or in its supply chain. This extends to human rights as informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including addressing risks of modern slavery, forced labour and child labour, while respecting rights related to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

A) Discrimination or harassment against any individual with respect to race, religion, age, gender (including pregnancy and childbirth), marital status, family status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin will not be tolerated. Furthermore, discrimination against any activity specifically protected under the Code of Conduct, such as expressing good faith opposition to prohibited discrimination or harassment or participating in making a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated. 

B) Employees are responsible for taking all reasonable and necessary precautions to ensure their own safety as well as that of their colleagues. Directors, officers and employees must comply with all applicable safety laws and policies, procedures.

We are committed to working with our stakeholders, including our staff, suppliers, governments and communities to increase awareness of, prevent, identify and address human rights violations. In doing so, we are contributing directly to UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which calls for “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.”   

Our Management Approach

We are taking a phased approach, with risk assessment and identification as the first two actions. 

We have conducted a global human rights risk assessment for our business, analyzing risks based on geography, industry and our own business, including a mapping of our supply chain, to understand where and how modern slavery (including forced labour, child labour, human trafficking and discrimination) might occur within Vermilion and within our supply chain. Areas of risk based on the Global Slavery Index and the United Nations Global Compact include agriculture, construction, domestic work, hospitality and food services, and bulk oil carriers. 

We address internal risks via clear policies and processes, including for recruitment (we highlight on our external website that we never ask job applicants to pay fees, for example) and Fair Culture (which establishes fair and consistent procedures to review, investigate, and resolve events and complaints, including related to discrimination and harassment).  

Within our supply chain, we review all suppliers with which we spend more than $1 million annually, assessing their public commitments to human rights, and the level of detail and external assurance within those commitments, including those related to Indigenous peoples, children, migrant labour, and contracted labour.   

In 2022, we also initiated a pilot project to evaluate human rights risks via sustainability data provided by suppliers to our Canada and US business units via a third-party questionnaire. This included policies and management related to human rights, social certifications, forced labour, modern slavery, hiring practices, migrant labour, Indigenous relations, child labour, security services training, labour rights, ethics and inclusion and diversity. Related data can be found in our Environment Investment Performance Metrics.  

We will also be issuing our first Modern Slavery Statement in 2022, covering our Australia Business Unit.