Trust in our company is built on long-term relationships and relationships are built on dialogue and collaboration.
We need to understand how our business impacts people and listen to community and societal expectations so we can build and maintain legal and social consents for our operations. Across our organisation, business units will have different types of relationships with different stakeholders, each requiring different formats and approaches for engagement and collaboration.
For directly affected communities and stakeholders, we seek to obtain and sustain a broad base of support. This support is built when we listen to different views in the community on the impacts and risks of business activities, including potential mitigation measures, and apply this information to our operational and business planning and decisions.
This approach – known as ‘Informed Consultation and Participation’ (ICP) – is characterised by:
- In-depth exchange of views and information between OceanaGold, community groups and stakeholders;
- Disclosure of relevant company information that helps affected communities and stakeholders to understand the impacts, risks and opportunities of the business;
- Organised and iterative consultation by OceanaGold with communities on matters that impact them;
- Participation of and partnerships with communities and stakeholders to identify impacts and develop mitigation or enhancement solutions;
- Participation of a broad spectrum of community voices, including informal and traditional leaders, formally elected and appointed leaders, families, women and vulnerable groups; and
- Formalised commitments and agreements for how OceanaGold, communities, and stakeholders will work together.
All operations maintain active and transparent engagement with our communities through community engagement meetings, individual and group presentations, and multiple site visits. The public has direct access channels to provide feedback or comment in person, mail, email and/or phone. Most of our sites have a designated contact line and process in place to accommodate any concerns or complaints in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. At our Waihi Operations, for example, we have a free call 24/7 number that the community can call to express concerns or simply ask questions. This number is advertised on the regular update in the Waihi Leader along with all printed material that is given to the public. It also features on our website and is communicated directly to community members by our Company Liaison Officer.
GOVERNMENT & CIVIL SOCIETY
Strengthening engagement and collaboration with government and civil society essential for the sustainability of our business and our commitment to leave behind a positive legacy.
Sustainable progress will only be achieved through genuine dialogue and engagement between employees, governments, business, investors, customers, and civil society. In 2019 we introduced a new government and civil society policy and performance standard to outline the necessary steps to engage responsibly and transparently with our key stakeholders. This commits us to working with all groups in a manner that is transparent and allows us to exchange ideas, plans, and opportunities to create shared value, and resolve differences fairly and in good faith.
Collaboration, engagement and dialogue with government and civil society helps reduce the level of societal conflict around mining, enhances the contribution of mining to the sustainable development of the countries we operate in, and helps ensure the long-term viability of the business activities and the broader mining industry. Academic and research institutions, industry associations, embassies, bilateral and multilateral development agencies also have significant influence over mining policies and can be excellent sources of expertise and partnership.
Civil society includes the full range of formal and informal, non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations that publicly represent the interests, ideas, and values of citizens and their members. Civil society organisations encompass a diverse range of groups including international non-governmental organisations, youth-led coalitions, professional associations, faith-based groups and service-providers, charitable organisations, research institutions, and more.
OceanaGold’s reputation and brand is determined by our activities across our business units, including operations, exploration, projects, and corporate offices. For this reason, no business unit is reputationally independent of the others and it is important to ensure our communication standards and practice across the company supports the whole.
All marketing and communication activities must support our overarching purpose to produce superior results that leave a positive legacy every day. Our values of respect, integrity, teamwork, innovation, action, and accountability should be reflected in all internal and external communication activities.
We achieve this by:
- Communicating clearly and honestly, with the goal of never knowingly misleading the public, media or our employees;
- Always engaging in two-way communication and dialogue and proactively identifying opportunities for listening;
- Promoting transparency and accessibility while complying with the law and maintaining appropriate business confidentiality;
- Providing information both internally and externally in an accessible, timely, and engaging manner to all; and
- Adapting our communication style to support the geographical and cultural diversity of our employees and stakeholders, while safeguarding OceanaGold’s corporate reputation and identity.
COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES
Our site-based community engagement teams provide an important conduit for identifying, reporting, and responding to complaints and grievances.
Each of our operations record, monitor and respond to community enquiries, complaints, and grievances, and take corrective action as required. Every operation has a community hotline or office where community members can report grievances (via phone, online or in person). Community members may also report concerns relating to non-compliance with our Code of Conduct through our independent, confidential whistle-blower hotline service managed by Deloitte.
A new, enhanced Complaints and Grievance Mechanism Standard was implemented in 2019. This Standard confirms the timely and adequate resolution of concerns, complaints, and grievances relating to our operations and projects through a process and management system that allows preventive and transformational conflict management. It is aligned with the criteria of effectiveness for non-judicial grievance mechanisms in the UNGPBHR – legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible and a source of continuous learning.
We have a whistleblower service, managed by Deloitte, to respond to stakeholders’ concerns about potential breaches of our Code of Conduct. You’ll find more, including our Whistleblower Policy on our corporate governance page.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
OceanaGold’s vision is to be the best gold mining company for our employees, communities, the environment, regulators, investors, and business partners. It’s a vision that gives us clear purpose – to produce superior results that leave a positive legacy every day.
One way we are adhering to both our vision and purpose is by actively contributing to the global Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. To do this, we leverage our contributions and benefits across four categories:
- Collaborative management of socio-economic change: Through collaboration with local communities, government, and stakeholders we can address the causes and effects of socio-economic change adopt a shared management approach;
- Local employment and supplier opportunities: Using the economic contribution we can make directly through local employment and creating business opportunities for suppliers;
- Shared infrastructure: Through collaboration on shared or multipurpose use of infrastructure required by business units and communities such as roads, railways, bridges, etc.; and
- Partnerships on shared interests: Through collaboration and partnership with local communities, government, and stakeholders on issues and challenges of shared interest. For example, integrated watershed management and improvements to health and education services and infrastructure, among others.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the world’s plan of action for social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and economic development. Targets for delivering specific outcomes by 2030 have been set across 17 goals. The Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas provides specific examples and guidance on how mining companies can contribute.
CSD refers to the strategies and action we are taking towards the sustainable economic and social development of local communities in our areas of operations, adjoining regions, and at a national level. In the context of mining, sustainable actions are defined as ones that continue to make positive impacts well beyond the end of company involvement.
CSD actions complement and do not replace management strategies designed to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts to local communities, government, and stakeholders. The first responsibility of the business unit is to avoid or mitigate business activities that may cause harm (see the External Affairs and Social Performance Management Standard).
Unlike impact management, which involves anticipating, avoiding and/or mitigating impacts, CSD actions are based on the concept of ‘outcome-based management’ – developing actions to achieve positive outcomes for sustainable development. Sustainable development aims to use natural resources to meet people’s needs, without compromising future generations and the environment.
At OceanaGold we support local employment and supplier opportunities. Further information about how we do this can be found in the latest edition of our Sustainability Report.