Message from the Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability
At Goldcorp, 2015 was a year in which we made great strides in sustainability. We recognized the fundamental importance of sustainability at the highest levels of our company by enhancing our Six Pillars – the internal principles that guide our vision and day-to-day decision-making – to include sustainability. This is a meaningful change which reflects a cultural shift that will ripple throughout our company for years to come.
2015 was a critical year for sustainability at Goldcorp. We embedded our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS) on the ground at every one of our mines. We designed training programs related to the SEMS and its standards. There were self-assessments and compliance audits. Sites created action plans to ensure the SEMS standards were met within the local context. The early results have been very encouraging – especially when I see the extent to which our mine sites are taking responsibility for their own sustainability management.
In early 2015, continuing our objective of developing relationships with communities near our operations, we signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Wabauskang First Nation in northwestern Ontario, near our Red Lake mine. Not only does this pivotal agreement pave the way for long-term economic benefits for the Wabauskang First Nation, but it marks our sixth First Nations partnership in Canada.
Recognition of Our Success
For years, we have participated in industry associations, and our SEMS incorporates best-in-class international standards and benchmarks. In 2015, we were broadly recognized as an industry leader, in Canada and internationally, and beyond the extractive industries. For the third consecutive time, we were named to the NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index, which ranks us among the top 100 companies in the world for sustainability reporting and performance. We were named one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations by Sustainalytics.
We also received four awards that were especially close to my heart, because they acknowledge the quality and transparency of our sustainability reporting. Goldcorp was selected by the Finance and Sustainability Initiative (IFD-FSI) as having the best corporate sustainability report. In addition, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada honoured us with the Overall Award of Excellence for best reporting of all public companies in Canada and the Awards of Excellence for Sustainability Reporting and Corporate Reporting for the mining industry.
We will continue to engage with our stakeholders and strive for continuous improvement in the transparency of our disclosure, and maintain the trust that we have established with our communities and other stakeholders. To this end, in 2015 we mapped our highest-priority material topics, internal initiatives and strategies to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. While some of the UN’s goals are not specific to the mining industry, the exercise helped us see where synergies may exist and where there may be gaps. As our sustainability strategy evolves, we plan to align our efforts more closely with these goals.
Stewardship of the Environment
Throughout the year, we noted rising industry and community concerns over mine tailings management. We are responding to this emerging issue with our Tailings Stewardship Strategy. This initiative has already raised the bar on diligence and technology for tailings safety at our operations. This year, under the guidance of our new President and CEO, David Garofalo, we are setting our sights on water, and on strategies and innovative solutions for reducing our water footprint. As water becomes increasingly scarce and precious, we want to work with communities and governments and place ourselves at the leading edge of the search for solutions.
Innovating for Safety
The primary aspect of sustainability is our ability to protect the health and safety of our people. In 2015, while our overall safety statistics continued to improve, we did not achieve our number one objective: that everyone in our workforce goes home safely at the end of the day. In November, there was a fatality at the Musselwhite mine and, in April 2016, there was a fatality at the Marlin mine. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleagues and friends. In response, we have continued our investigation into the root causes of incidents such as these, and we have increased our efforts emphasizing work practices and attitudes that focus on preventative safety. We are also exploring new solutions, through innovative technologies, equipment and processes, that we hope will ultimately improve health and safety, while also increasing productivity. I feel strongly that innovation is a key tool for sustainability in all its aspects.
Partnering with People and Communities
Our mining operations have a major impact on their surrounding regions. While we provide important economic opportunities, our operations also raise concerns to communities. Everywhere we operate, we strive to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. This year, when I attended the inauguration of the Éléonore mine in Québec, I felt proud to be part of Goldcorp. Many people commented on the positive spirit of the event, and how the communities felt respected and included. For me, that moment encapsulated the value of years of relationship-building and collaboration with First Nations, local communities, and government, and demonstrated that there is, truly, a different way of doing business.
Respecting Our Stakeholders and Contributing to the Global Community
For years, we have continually advanced our commitment to human rights across our operations, and in 2015 we reviewed and updated our Human Rights Policy. Our updated policy was expanded to comprehensively address rising stakeholder expectations as well as our external commitments, such as our memberships to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). New additions to this policy include comprehensive clauses on community consultation, accommodation and grievance processes; commitment to the Conflict-Free Gold Standard; and resettlement planning.
In addition, applied to become signatories of the UN’s Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and I am pleased to say that in early 2016, we were accepted without conditions. We also joined the World Economic Forum, which brings opportunities to learn and contribute with policy makers and industry leaders at the global level on issues of sustainable growth and social welfare.
Finally, we developed a new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy that includes risk-based business planning and integrates CSR consistently within the overall sustainability programming of our company. Moving forward, this strategy provides a framework for continuous performance improvement in the areas of stakeholder engagement, sustainable economic benefits, and human rights.
2016 and Beyond
2016 is proving to be a year of continued market volatility, but we are well positioned for sustainable progress. In times such as these, it is incumbent on us to be intelligent in how we invest, for maximum societal and business impact. We need to move past traditional ways and strategies and look to innovation for efficiency; energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions; water conservation; and improved workplace safety.
In closing, I want to acknowledge the communities and stakeholders – from Indigenous groups to the academic and non-profit sectors to the investment community – who have engaged with us on sustainability issues over the past years. The dialogue has been constructive and has had a tremendous influence on us and how we do business. Thank you and we look forward to continuing this interaction.
I also want to state my pride in the Goldcorp team, from our corporate offices through every one of our operations, who take their responsibilities so seriously, and are so effective in changing the way mining is done. We are all ambassadors of Goldcorp, wherever we work and whatever we do. I look forward to working closely with our new President and CEO, David Garofalo, and also want to express my gratitude to our outgoing President and CEO, Chuck Jeannes. Chuck spearheaded the vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value. His supportive leadership has been instrumental in bringing us all to where we are today. Thank you, Chuck.
EVP, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability