Community and human rights

We uphold human rights and support the sustainable, long-term development of the local communities in which we operate. 

Why this matters

We bring economic benefits to the countries where we work – by employing people, buying goods and services, paying taxes and royalties, and investing in infrastructure. 

Our operations can bring socio-economic benefits to our host communities. We work in partnership with stakeholders to deliver initiatives that support long-term self-sufficiency.

Stakeholder Engagement

We are committed to building and maintaining constructive, long-standing relationships with our stakeholders, including our host communities. Dealing openly and transparently with all our stakeholders is vital for our future and maintaining our social licence to operate.

Community and human rights: our approach


Our approach is to engage with communities, create value for society, and uphold human rights.

Engaging with communities 

We aim to deal openly, transparently and inclusively with our host communities, listening to and working with anyone impacted by our operations. 

Engaging with stakeholders at Glencore

We undertake engagement activities on local, national, regional and international levels. These take many forms, including:

  • Regular meetings and participation in multi-stakeholder discussions
  • Participation in round tables with government and other industry representatives
  • Holding transparent negotiations with union officials
  • Regularly briefing our employees on a wide range of sustainability matters
  • Hosting open days at our assets, when local people can visit our sites and meet our operational teams.

In particular, we seek to understand the needs of vulnerable groups in our host communities, including indigenous people, women, children, disabled and elderly people, and victims of conflict.

We have formal agreements at assets on or near the traditional lands of indigenous communities, for example in Australia or Canada.

Creating value for society

We aim to create value for society beyond our direct economic impacts – for example, by supporting enterprise development, and facilities such as schools, healthcare, water supplies and roads. 

Creating social value

Upgrading a school in South Africa

We design community development programmes as an integral part of our community engagement.

140,000 local entrepreneurs

supported and developed as part of our community development programmes

In the DRC, we support targeted programmes to reduce illegal artisanal mining, through local co-operatives that work with local communities to generate sustainable income sources.

To measure and report on our contributions, we have developed a Socio-economic Contribution Scorecard, which focuses on the results of our investments.

Human rights

We uphold the human rights of our people and our local communities – working in line with UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, UN Global Compact, International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. We have a global Human Rights policy, which applies across the Glencore Group. 

At assets in regions where there is a high risk of human rights incidents arising from the actions of security providers, we have implemented the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. We also work to:

  • Engage with our host governments to raise awareness of international human rights standards and promote responsible practices
  • Have clear guidelines on our engagement with public and private security providers
  • Incorporate human rights standards into contractual agreements with private security providers
  • Establish the tasks and responsibilities of public security officers who are present on our mining concessions and who respond and report to their own hierarchy and chain of command; and
  • Provide focused Voluntary Principles training for our security employees and contractors. 

Incidents relating to human rights, including complaints and grievances are reported to the Board HSEC committee, which seeks to understand the root causes and agree corrective actions.

We acknowledge the risks of modern slavery, and produce an annual report on our progress in addressing this issue: please see the Glencore Modern Slavery Statement 2016.

We try to avoid resettling communities and it is a measure of last resort – but when a resettlement cannot be avoided, we are committed to following the International Finance Corporation’s resettlement guidelines - IFC Performance Standard 5 - which is international leading practice.

Our progress

Socioeconomic Scorecard

Highlights from our 2016 scorecard include:


of our workforce is local to countries where we operate


of our procurement is with suppliers and contractors local to countries where we operate

$90 million

spent on community development programmes

2.5 million

people benefit from community investment activities

$4.1 billion

paid to host governments in taxes and royalties

$12 million

spent on supporting local entrepreneurs

Community relations training

During 2017, we rolled out our Community Leadership Programme, to guide our people on how to work with communities and meet global standards. Its purpose is to build and enhance the social performance capabilities of our operational teams.

We encourage assets to customise the kit to their local needs.

Principles we follow

UN Global Compact Principles 1 and 2

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

Principle 2: Business should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses

UN Sustainable Development Goals - Goals 1–3, 8–11, 16 and 17

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Goal 17: Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

International Council on Mining and Metals Principles 1–3, 9 and 10

Principle 1: Apply ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance and transparency to support sustainable development

Principle 2: Integrate sustainable development in corporate strategy and decision-making processes

Principle 3: Respect human rights and the interests, cultures, customs and values of employees and communities affected by our activities

Principle 9: Pursue continual improvement in social performance and contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of host countries and communities

Principle 10: Proactively engage key stakeholders on sustainable development challenges and opportunities in an open and transparent manner. Effectively report and independently verify progress and performance

Next steps

We are reviewing our approach to social development as well as developing further supporting guidance and implementation tools for our operational teams.

For Human Rights specifically, we are committed to ongoing participation in an advisory group for a multi-stakeholder initiative (government, NGOs, companies) to develop guidance for commodity companies to implement UN Guiding Principles, led by the Swiss government. Once finalised, the guidance will be promoted globally and implemented by us.