Corporate Social Responsibility at New Gold
|Priorities||Target 2012||Performance 2012||Target 2013|
|Economic||Report on local economic impacts.||This report includes a discussion on economic impacts in the Growing Our Communities section.||Economic target for 2013 is defined under Local Economic Impacts.|
|Policy||Advance in our commitment to the UN Global Compact by developing a Human Rights policy.||New Gold’s Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Policy was established.||No target defined for 2013.|
|Metrics||Achieve Level B GRI Reporting.||The New Gold 2012 Report received third-party validation as a Level B GRI by Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. The Report included 31 GRI 3.1 indicators.||Maintain Level B GRI Reporting.|
|Standards & Guidelines||Advance New Gold towards alignment to ISO 26000.
Progress Cerro San Pedro and Peak Mines towards International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC) certification in 2013.
|In 2012 we initiated an awareness building program with all sites and a gap analysis at the corporate level.
Achieved. Both mines have progressed towards ICMC compliance.
|Develop the New Gold Environmental Management System and the Community Engagement and Development Management System in alignment with ISO 14001 and ISO 26000, Towards Sustainable Mining and initiate implementation of priority elements.
Achieve ICMC certification or substantial compliance for Cerro San Pedro and Peak Mines.
Progress towards World Gold Council Conflict Free Gold Standard Certification for its first reporting year.
We understand Social Responsibility as the way we contribute to sustainable development by acting ethically and with integrity, and by taking responsibility for the impacts of our decisions and actions on communities and the environment.
Our Social Responsibility strategy includes commitments to excellence in the management of health, safety, environment, labour practices and community engagement and development through the mine life cycle, from early exploration, development, operation, decommissioning and mine closure.
Our directors and senior managers support philanthropic and charitable organizations using their personal resources, and New Gold makes significant contributions to all of our host communities in the form of donations and sponsorships to support education, health and wellness, economic diversification, job creation and food bank initiatives.
The New Gold Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Policy describes our high-level commitments in these areas and should be read in conjunction with the New Gold Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as New Gold’s Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Policy and New Gold’s 15 Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Guiding Principles.
Our 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles provide a framework for the application of the HSE & CSR Policy and provide clear direction for developing and applying the company’s HSE & CSR Management Systems at all levels. In 2012, we completed a review of these Guiding Principles and began implementing them through the development of Management System standards. In 2012 we developed the Health and Safety Management System, and in 2013, will develop the Environmental Management System and the Community Engagement and Development Management System. These are intended to provide clear and consistent guidance to sites in relation to the implementation of the HSE & CSR Policy.
In 2012 we were identified as one of the Top Ten Most Sustainable Canadian Mining Companies by Corporate Knights, a Canadian organization which aims to demonstrate how markets can promote social and ecological sustainability.
The 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles
- Leadership and accountability
- Requirements, commitments and document control
- Risk and change management
- Planning and measurable goals
- Awareness, competence and behaviour
- Health and hygiene
- Business conduct, human rights and community
- Design, construction and commissioning
- Operations and maintenance
- Suppliers and contractors
- Incident reporting and investigation
- Crisis management and emergency response plans
- Monitoring, audit and review
Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Governance
The Board of Directors (Board) has the responsibility for the overall stewardship of the conduct of the business of New Gold and the activities of management. The Board’s fundamental objectives are to enhance and preserve long-term shareholder value, and to ensure that the Company meets its obligations on an ongoing basis and that the Company operates in a reliable and safe manner.
The Board also considers the legitimate interests of its other stakeholders and impact on local communities. Details on the Board’s members and New Gold’s governance practices are described on the Corporate Governance section of our website and in the Management Information Circular available on SEDAR.
The Board is also responsible for developing appropriate measures for receiving shareholder feedback, and holds an Annual Meeting of Shareholders, during which time is made available for shareholders to direct questions to the Chairman, the President and Chief Executive Officer and other key members of the management team. Shareholders are also encouraged to contact the Corporate Secretary in writing regarding any feedback or concern they wish to communicate to the Board. In addition, the Investor Relations department manages dialogue with current and prospective shareholders on a regular basis.
The Board’s Compensation Committee is responsible for implementing and overseeing human resources and compensation policies and ensures that our executive compensation structure is linked to our social responsibility performance. Performance against annual Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility targets is considered by the Committee during an annual executive compensation review.
The overall purpose of the Board’s Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee is to review and monitor the health, safety, environmental policies and sustainable development of the Company on behalf of the Board. The Committee may investigate any activity of the Company that relates to sustainable development, impact on local communities, environment, health and safety. The Committee has access to such officers and employees of the Company and to independent consultants and advisors, and to such information respecting the Company as it considers necessary in order to perform its duties and responsibilities.
At the corporate level, the Health and Safety and the Environment and Social Responsibility Departments have the responsibility for related initiatives, targets, and performance management. Each operation and project is supported by a professional team to enable the operating teams to perform their tasks in a manner that respects the expectations of our investors, local communities, regulators and other stakeholders.
Human Rights and Ethics
New Gold is committed to integrating human rights and anti-corruption best practices into our business operations and decision-making processes. In observation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and as signatory to the UN Global Compact, we are committed to reflecting its ten principles relating to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in all of our business operations. In 2012, we adopted our first Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Policy.
We consider the key human rights concerns to be in the areas of non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, Indigenous rights and security practices.
Most of our sites are in proximity to, or within, asserted Indigenous traditional territories, and there have been no incidents of violations involving Indigenous rights reported.
Since our sites produce gold, we require security services for the safety of our employees and the public, and for the prevention of theft. A small number of security personnel, often from private security providers, are retained in each operation solely for this purpose. All protection programs are legally established and documented by federal agencies according to their licences, permits or authorizations. Regular communication takes place between the mine management responsible for security personnel and the local police authorities.
New Gold’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects the principles under which we conduct our business. All employees of New Gold and its subsidiaries must review the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and confirm compliance annually.
Our corporate Whistleblower Policy provides a confidential address, phone number, and email address which any employee can use to communicate a concern or complaint, and expect a timely response, with the assurance that there will be no retribution or negative consequences.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
In 2012, there were no instances of significant fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations. We have not had any legal actions against the Company for anti-competitive behaviour.
At Cerro San Pedro, the Ejido (communally owned lands) Cerro de San Pedro filed a complaint with local agrarian authorities to revoke the temporary occupation agreement for the mine’s use of surface land. After successful negotiations, a new agreement has been signed and the Ejido has withdrawn the complaint and the case has been closed.