In 2014, we began to develop tools to improve and systematise our understanding of our socio-economic contributions. These tools will help us improve our management of contributions to our host regions. Our work drew on external knowledge as well as our own internal expertise from multiple regions, including countries with both developing and established regulatory environments.
During 2015, we developed a set of metrics for use with our data collection and performance management systems. We piloted these metrics in Zambia and across our Australian operations to test their relevance. We also submitted them to external peer review through development specialists.
Our socio-economic scorecard
The approach includes a scorecard of 10 KPIs, selected to help us understand and communicate how the full spectrum of our activities contributes to local economies.
Going forward, we plan to combine the scorecard with our existing community and stakeholder engagement systems. This will ensure a balanced understanding of how our development efforts affect our assets, both positively and negatively, and support management decisions on the design of asset-level community development strategies.
The scorecard currently focuses on understanding the tangible results of our investments, but over time, the data collected will give us a better understanding of how our development activities affect local economies. We plan to make the scorecard more flexible, to reflect local societal specificities, particularly the presence of various vulnerable groups.
Payments to governments
We pay all relevant taxes, royalties and other levies in amounts entirely determined by the legislation of relevant national, regional or local governments. We strongly support transparency in the redistribution and reinvestment of these payments and are active participants in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
We comply with the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives; in line with those provisions we will publish separate annual reports detailing material payments made in 2015 to governments, broken down by country and project.
To support local markets and provide further economic uplift, we invest significantly in workforce development, as well as offering our host communities training for non‑mining jobs.
We emphasise diversity in our training initiatives, particularly given our own limited capacity to offer additional employment in the current economic climate. We seek to work with local governments, education authorities and community representatives to identify skill gaps and find the best ways to meet the needs and expectations of our stakeholders. We fund and operate training centres and programmes around the world that include complete secondary education, as well as artisanal skills for the mining sector and elsewhere.
We are committed to employing locally wherever possible.
We use local suppliers whenever we can, to reduce our costs and provide our host communities with alternative employment opportunities. Our development of local procurement bases also helps our host governments to fulfil their development objectives.
Some of the regions where we operate lack strong local businesses. Our community and procurement teams work together to identify needs and develop support programmes for local businesses, to help them meet our quality standards and our expectations with regard to conduct. We want to help these businesses grow and become nationally and even internationally competitive.
We work to support and promote businesses based close to our assets to drive local economic diversification.
Our approach varies from region to region, but can include:
- Encouraging our large international suppliers to build partnerships with local businesses
- Financing or constructing business parks and centres to host local entrepreneurs and support their growth
- Training for small businesses
- Programmes targeting local businesses, to help them meet local and international quality standards
We work with local government agencies to support training and help develop and implement business plans.
Many of our operations are located in remote and underdeveloped areas; here we can contribute by sharing infrastructure, such as roads, water and electricity, with our host communities. This will grant local people safer and faster access to other towns and markets, meet local water needs and facilitate access to education and healthcare.
Our community development programmes are an integral part of our community and stakeholder engagement strategies. They help to further improve the prosperity and resilience of our host communities by supporting access to basic services, such as education and health for the vulnerable and under-served groups, such as children, women, and groups affected by illness and conflict.