Our Group community & stakeholder engagement policy requires our assets to develop transparent, constructive and inclusive relationships with their host communities. Each asset must complete a stakeholder assessment, covering all stakeholder circumstances, needs and concerns, as well as potential impacts, risks and opportunities for that asset.
From this assessment the asset must design an engagement strategy, which may include procedures for information sharing, consultation and collaboration. This strategy is aligned with the asset’s business objectives and changes to its lifecycle, as well as local concerns and the broader local socio-economic situation. Senior management at each asset is aware of progress in implementing these strategies, which we also report on to the local communities involved.
We provide our stakeholders with information in a wide range of ways, tailored to the local context. These include radio broadcasts, site publications, regular town hall meetings, and individual meetings with the community.
We also have mechanisms to receive concerns, including free mobile SMS hotlines, complaints registers and dedicated offices within local communities. These concerns are reported to senior operational and departmental management, and to the Board HSEC Committee on a quarterly basis. All complaints and grievances are registered and investigated; we let complainants know results and any follow-up actions in a culturally and locally appropriate manner.
All our assets must carry out community perception surveys every three years, to check on the effectiveness of their engagement strategies.
Managing operational changes
The challenging financial climate has meant we have needed to reduce production or temporarily suspend operations at certain assets. We are working closely with the local communities to minimise loss of livelihood and other negative consequences. We also see this period as an opportunity to review our community development programming to ensure its continued authenticity and effectiveness. We are working closely with our stakeholders in this area.