Anglo American chairperson, Sir John Parker, makes a telling observation in saying that “The role of big business in society has rarely been under such close scrutiny, and some of the concerns that people have stem from a lack of trust”.
This statement accompanies Anglo’s 2012 sustainability report which will be closely watched given rising skepticism about the intentions of major corporations across the globe. This skepticism which is building into resentment can be seen through the rise of resource nationalism in the past few years across world’s mining impacted communities, from Chile to South Africa. In South Africa, the situation is tense partly as a result of the tragic Marikana massacre where close to 50 workers lost their lives in a conflict originating from poisoned labour and community relations. Its is interesting to note that the Marikana tragedy took place shortly after the Bench Marks Foundation issued stern warnings that relations between mining houses, workers and communities in and around the platinum rich Rustenburg area were plunging, in a report which was largely ignored.
Here follows the statement issued by Anglo to highlight its sustainability report. The statement is posted here unedited in line with our stated spirit of the Chairperson’s Corner. You can visit the founding statement of the Chairperson’s Corner in the following link to understanding the ethos behind these postings. The main purpose is to create space for you to engage and hold corporations accountable. https://www.ujuh.co.za/opinions/magnifying-the-role-of-the-board-chairperson/
The Anglo Statement:
Anglo American believes long-term thinking is critical to sustainable development
Anglo American will launch its Sustainable Development Report 2012, “Creating Value with the Future in Mind”, at today‟s annual general meeting in London. The report details Anglo American‟s sustainable development performance for 2012, highlighting how long-term thinking helps to generate wealth, mitigate environmental harm, combat poverty and promote development in the communities in which we operate.
Sir John Parker, Chairman of Anglo American, commented: “Our Sustainable Development Report demonstrates our commitment to continue delivering value to all of Anglo American‟s stakeholders. Through leveraging our supply chains, nurturing entrepreneurship, developing talent and capacity in and around operations, we help to create healthier and better educated communities, foster local economies and work to eliminate, minimise or mitigate any disturbance from our mining activities.
“Anglo American‟s large footprint in the developing world means that our capacity to contribute to the social and economic development of vulnerable communities, beyond mining, is significant and the sustainability of our business is inextricably linked to the sustainable development of the communities around our operations. To be able to make meaningful change, businesses have to be prepared to engage, and understand what really matters to the people living near our operations.
“The role of big business in society has rarely been under such close scrutiny, and some of the concerns that people have stem from a lack of trust. To combat this, I believe we should play our part, along with other businesses, in formulating a „social compact‟ that encourages greater transparency and accountability, better governance and a shared understanding of the role and value of business to society.”
Engaging with communities: Anglo American‟s ability to create a sustainable business is inextricably linked to its relationship with stakeholders – particularly the employees and communities around operations. In 2012, new partnerships were initiated with NGOs and local governments in Brazil and South Africa to help improve the delivery of municipal services to citizens. Globally, enterprise development initiatives in Chile, Brazil and South Africa continue to deliver outstanding results – nearly 65,000 jobs have been created and more than 40,000 businesses supported. Around half of these businesses are run by women or young people in rural areas.
Securing water and adapting to climate change: With more than 80% of Anglo American‟s operations and future projects in water-stressed areas, securing access to water is a priority. Last year saw the roll out of our new water target-setting tool – WETT – and an energy management tool – ECO2MAN – which have already begun to deliver results. Investment in 60 water-saving projects also achieved a saving of 6.8% against projected water use. We are finding new ways to reduce our energy usage, working with experts to understand the implications of climate change in our key locations, and investing in innovative technologies to cut carbon emissions.
Reaching Zero Harm: Ensuring the safety of Anglo American employees is the company‟s first priority. As well as addressing the underlying processes and standards critical for improving safety performance, in 2012 Anglo American hosted its first Global Safety Day for employees to ensure every employee understands their contribution to
safety. Increasingly Anglo American is addressing the safety, health and well-being of its people together, to create a workplace that strives to deliver zero harm. Occupational health is now embedded in operational management, in the same way as safety.
Health: Anglo American‟s work to tackle HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), particularly in southern Africa continued in 2012, with 95,000 people tested for HIV and anti-retroviral drugs provided to more than 5,000 employees. In 2012, 25% fewer new HIV infections were recorded, and an increasing proportion (45%) of estimated HIV positive employees are receiving treatment.
In 2012, Anglo American achieved the highest score in the mining industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and was commended by the Carbon Disclosure Project and entered the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for carbon disclosure information and actions to reduce carbon emissions. Anglo American was also among 30 leading UK companies, and the only mining group, to secure platinum status in the Business in the Community‟s (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index in 2012 and 2013. The BITC Corporate Responsibility Index is the UK‟s leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility.
To access the Sustainable Development Report 2012 in full, please visit our new reporting centre: http://www.angloamerican.com/media/reportingcentre