At a corporate level, our External Affairs & Social Performance (EA&SP) function adds value to the business by allowing us to understand community and societal expectations for our business and participating in meaningful community relations activities; engaging with government, civil society and stakeholders; delivering internal and external communications; human rights initiatives; due diligence; land access and sponsorships.
Measurable deliverables from good EA&SP include:
- Access to resources (land and water) via permits and legal and social consents;
- Community, regulatory and stakeholder support – contributing to business continuity;
- Positive legacies aligned with community and societal expectations; and
- Agile adaptation to changing expectations allowing us to operate successfully in a complex and changing world.
Our EA&SP management system standardises and benchmarks our approach, while bringing together good practices into one comprehensive system. Accordingly, a consistent and well-implemented EA&SP management system provides:
- Improved consistency in EA&SP management;
- Improved knowledge base (data and information) across all material areas;
- Improved identification, avoidance, and mitigation of potentially negative effects from our operations on local communities and broader society;
- Improved identification of opportunities to strengthen collaboration and benefits-sharing;
- Clear linkages between EA&SP performance and business value; and
- Continuous improvement through consistent monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive learning.
Our EA&SP management system assists with training and education and acknowledges that all parts of our approach are cohesive and interconnected. The system and associated Policies, Statements of Position, Operational Standards and guidelines were created in consultation across the business and with direct input from external experts in human rights, grievance mechanisms, land access, community engagement and mining industry standards.
The EA&SP Management System
The External Affairs and Social Performance Management System helps us understand and manage how our business affects the communities we live and work in, and broader society. In other words, it helps us identify and analyse how we impact the communities and societies where we operate; how we can work to align our operational performance with local aspirations, values and culture; and how we should behave as a company and as employees.
The system is intended to drive us to better understand the needs of our communities and stakeholders, and improve planning based on verifiable data and information. Like the approaches for managing Health, Safety and Environment, the system follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act ISO approach.
The process for building and implementing EA&SP is implemented in four sequential steps.
Step 1: Context
Understand the context in which we operate, including the culture, economy, social and political institutions both locally and across the host society. Identify the impacts, risks and opportunities created by our business activities for individuals, families, communities, regions, and country. Gather reliable information and analysis of the context from our own work and from independent, credible sources to inform our understanding. Listen to our communities and stakeholders’ expectations for how we should perform, understand their perceptions of how we operate, and hear what they have to say about our positive legacy.
Step 2: Planning
Plan what we need to do as a company and what we need to do in partnership with our stakeholders to avoid or mitigate potential and actual negative social impacts, enhance potential and actual positive impacts, and contribute to sustainable development.
Step 3: Performance
Implement the plans and behave in a way that aligns with our values and local expectations. Good EA&SP is also about how OceanaGold and its employees behave and engage with communities and other affected or interested stakeholders.
Measure outcomes and learn from the results to ensure we have managed our impacts, risks, and opportunities effectively and have contributed to sustainable development.
Step 4: Reputation:
Share our progress, values, and vision for best practice; identify what works and what we need to improve; and listen for new ideas. Inform stakeholders accurately, with credible data and in a timely manner on how we are managing our impacts and contributing to sustainable development.
Throughout the four-step process, it is essential to:
- Listen to our communities, government and other stakeholders; understand their opinions, expectations and perceptions of how we operate; and demonstrate we have heard them by adapting the way the work;
- Build partnerships to help us manage our impacts and contribute to our host communities and society; and
- Ensure that reliable and verifiable data are collected and used, and that the data analysis is done by qualified professionals, using credible, internationally accepted methodologies.