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SUSTAINABILITY

Communities

Our activities can make a valued contribution to social progress and national, regional and local economies through the production and marketing of commodities that provide the basic building blocks for development. We provide employment and training, business partner opportunities, tax and royalty payments to governments that help provide essential services, socioeconomic development and environmental stewardship. 

We respect human rights and seek to learn about the traditions, cultures, perspectives and development priorities of people with whom we engage and build trusting and constructive long-term relationships. In line with our core value of integrity, we follow through on the commitments we make. We aim to avoid harm to people and the environment from our activities, respect human rights, contribute to social and economic development of affected people and society more widely, and to establish and maintain trusting relationships with stakeholders, through ethical and responsible business practices. 

Our approach

Our assets are located in diverse contexts, some in highly developed countries with strong legal and political frameworks, and others in more challenging socio-political circumstances with a history of conflict, limited basic services, and weak rule of law. We adopt an inclusive community approach informed by the local context.

As a member of the societies where we operate, we work in partnership with government, civil society and development agencies to share knowledge, build capacity and contribute to enduring social and economic outcomes.

We support economic development by providing local employment, procurement and contracting opportunities to local enterprises and by incorporating social transition strategies into our planning process to mitigate closure impacts. We measure and monitor our community impact and aim for continuous improvement. 

Engaging with host communities

The first step in designing our social programmes is to build an understanding of our host communities through data gathering and engagement. 

We as analyse local demographics, economies, sociocultural activities, religions, existing and potential conflict, and availability of services and infrastructure to build a picture of our host communities. 

We supplement this work by listening to people’s needs and concerns, as well as identifying our potential impacts, risks and opportunities.

From these assessments, we design stakeholder engagement strategies aligned with our business objectives and local needs. We work to create meaningful, constructive and proactive dialogue with our local communities. 

We design our community consultation processes to be inclusive, respectful of local context, cultures and traditions. We take particular care to identify vulnerable groups, such as women, children and Indigenous people, and develop and implement strategies to include them in the engagement process. 

We provide our local communities with information in a range of different ways, tailored to the local context and culture. These may include radio broadcasts, social media channels, site publications and a range of face-to-face meetings.

We require our assets to review regularly their approach to ensure that they are meeting community needs and addressing priorities. Community perception surveys are performed every three years to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach and provide valuable information to shape future plans.

Case study: Creating sustainable livelihoods in the DRC

Paying special attention to vulnerable groups

Some people living in our host communities are at risk of economic and social discrimination. These may include Indigenous people, women, children, disabled and elderly people, and victims of conflict. 

Wherever we operate, we look for these groups during our stakeholder identification and determine the most appropriate ways to engage with them. We try to understand and respect their situation and concerns, and identify opportunities for their inclusion and participation.

Working with Indigenous groups and respecting cultural heritage

Our business interacts with many diverse communities around the world. We appreciate and respect the importance of their cultural heritage and seek to avoid, or where avoidance is not possible, minimise impacts from our operations and activities on places, items or other aspects of historical and cultural significance. Wherever possible, we work with relevant parties, including the people whose heritage may be affected, to identify, preserve and protect heritage of significance. 

Some of our assets are located on or near the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples. We engage in open and continuous dialogue with local and Indigenous communities affected by our activities to better understand their culture, views, and aspirations, and work with them to minimise adverse impacts and create enduring benefits. 

We work to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples for new projects and changes to existing projects where significant adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples are likely to occur, including relocation, disturbance of lands and territories or of critical cultural heritage. We seek, through good faith negotiation, to reach mutually beneficial agreements with Indigenous Peoples who have an interest in, or connection to, the land on which we operate, formalising engagement processes and sustainable benefits.

A number of our assets have formal agreements in place with Indigenous groups including Indigenous Land Use Agreements in Australia and Impact Benefit Agreements in Canada. At relevant assets, we focus on practical and meaningful measures that can enhance the socio-economic capacity and well-being of our local and Indigenous communities.

At all assets, our activities focus on practical and meaningful measures that can enhance the socio-economic capacity and well-being of our local and Indigenous communities. Our approach aligns with the ICMM Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining , demonstrating respect for Indigenous People’s rights, interests, special connections to lands and waters, and perspectives. 

In 1995, our Raglan Mine, located between the Inuit communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq in northern Quebec, the operation signed The Raglan Agreement. The Agreement between Raglan Mine and five Inuit partners enshrines comprehensive socio-economic impacts and benefits with local stakeholders. Read more

We have been closely following the Australian inquiry process following events in Western Australia in 2020 where mining activities affected internationally significant cultural heritage. 

We also established an Indigenous Relations and Cultural Heritage Working Group in Australia to review our approach to Indigenous engagement and assess our current heritage management governance, standards and practices. Independent experts from Australian Cultural Heritage Management supported the design and analysis of the review. 

Building on the Australian review, in early 2021 we commenced a risk-based review of our assets globally to better understand the extent to which our operations may affect cultural heritage on or near their sites, along with the management systems and organisational structures they have in place. 

We also commissioned a report that into the cultural heritage protection laws in the international jurisdictions where we operate to assess those laws against international standards. The report identified countries with strong legal protection of cultural heritage and others where the rule of law was quite weak and where we will need to meet or exceed internationally accepted good practice. 

Supporting local business

We support economic development by providing local employment, procurement and contracting opportunities to local enterprises and by incorporating social transition strategies into our planning process to mitigate closure impacts.

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 helps host governments to fulfil their objectives.

We work to support and promote businesses based close to our assets to drive local economic diversification through the provision of finance, management expertise and advice, or work premises. 

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 and support local entrepreneurs
  • Training for small businesses
  • Programmes to support local businesses meet local and international quality standards
  • Working with local government agencies to support training and help develop business plans

In regions with a less developed small business sector, our community and procurement teams work together to identify needs and develop programmes to help local businesses meet our quality standards and expectations for conduct. We offer targeted business management training, underwrite credit applications and guarantee future business within specific limits. We also encourage large international contractors to develop local partnerships to transfer skills and build capacity locally. 

Supporting students and teachers around the world

We support schools and teachers around the world, working to shape the minds of the future.

To help provide students with access to education, we work with schools and teachers to create mobile learning opportunities, including an e-Learning System in South Africa and a Mobile School Bus in Peru. These systems enable students in rural areas to connect with experienced teachers to improve their performance, creating new opportunities for their future. Learn more in the following case studies:

Watch the video from South Africa

Watch the video from Peru

Making our payments to governments transparent

We pay all relevant taxes, royalties and levies required by local and national regulation in our host countries. 

The payments we make to the governments of the countries in which we operate include local, national, sales and employment taxes, government royalties and licence and permitting fees.

In addition, we contribute to local economies through our use of local suppliers, wages and employee benefits, voluntary support of socio-economic initiatives such as health and education projects and infrastructure development.

We welcome fiscal transparency, as it encourages the responsible management of revenues from extractive activities. We are a supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and its principles of transparency and accountability. We participate in in-country forums supporting the EITI. 

Our annual Payments to Governments Report includes the information required by the EU Accounting Directive, and details payments by country, project and recipient. The report includes disclosure on our oil purchases payments to state-owned enterprises in EITI-compliant countries.

Principles we follow
UN Global Compact
Principle 1

businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

Principle 2

make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Decent work and economic growth
Reduced inequalities
Sustainable cities and communities