Explore Newsletter: May 2012
The same attributes that drive Apache’s progress in operations are bringing new ideas to the company’s wellness and outreach programs.
In the North Sea Region, an employee-driven program to use market prices on offshore platforms to encourage employees to quit smoking is paying dividends for a planned cancer caring center in Aberdeen.
The initiative in Scotland is just one element of Apache’s support for medical research and health care institutions around the globe.
Ed Smith, one of the North Sea Region’s offshore installation managers, first highlighted in 2010 that workers on the Forties platforms could buy cigarettes at significantly reduced duty-free prices because of the platforms’ distance from shore. He concluded this was not consistent with the region’s wellness program.
Although the initial proposal to eliminate tobacco sales on the platforms was not fully embraced during discussions with the workforce, an alternative emerged: raise the rate to the onshore Aberdeen prices and funnel the full difference to cancer-related local charities.
In 2010, nearly $200,000 (£120,000) of incremental revenues from nine months of tobacco sales was divided between Cranes – a local cancer research organization – and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, which is developing a center in Aberdeen as part of a network across the UK. The region also contributed $100,000 (£60,000) from its corporate outreach allocation.
The price increase is having the intended effect: In the first three months, sales volumes declined 12 percent. In 2011, the charity-directed “profits” were 25 percent below the 2010 level on an annual basis, and the region contribution was increased by a similar amount.
With the excess proceeds from offshore tobacco sales and Apache’s corporate contributions now totaling about $500,000 (£320,000), Apache has emerged as the leading contributor to the campaign to build a Maggie’s Centre in Aberdeen. A foundation established by Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie is leading the $5 million (£3 million) campaign.
The communications committee representing Mobil North Sea Limited employees who joined Apache at year-end 2011 have voiced their support for the program, which means the proceeds from tobacco sales on the Beryl Field platforms will be funneled to a cancer charity program as well.
“I wholeheartedly agree that the ideal case would be zero sales,” said Jim House, North Sea Region vice president and managing director. “Although that is not the situation, overall this is a very good outcome for the Aberdeen community and in terms of discouraging smoking among our employees.”
Several Apache regions as well as the corporate office have made health care and medical research priorities in outreach activities:
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