Addressing Our Challenges
Sustainability is foundational to the way we do business – and it’s incorporated in our company’s vision statement: Together, Creating Sustainable Value. Simply put, we are committed to creating positive social and economic benefits for our stakeholders everywhere we do business. We believe in having a lasting positive impact on people’s lives, and in leaving the areas where we operate in as good, or better, condition than when we arrived. While we are proud of our success to date, we strive for continuous improvement, and we know that we can always do better.
Over the past year, we were faced with a number of challenges. In response, we will continue to refine our policies and practices for environmental stewardship; improve our community relationships; and work to ensure the health and safety of our employees, contractors, partners and neighbouring communities.
Strategy and Governance for Uncertain Markets
In 2015, for the fifth consecutive year, commodities prices were volatile. We responded with a renewed focus on driving down costs and improving efficiencies wherever possible – even as we brought two major new gold mines into production. Despite these efforts, our share price performance was relatively weak.
Over the year, the new Éléonore mine experienced start-up issues, while at Cochenour and Los Filos, exploration and revised modelling assumptions resulted in a drop in gold reserves and resources.
The recent up-tick in gold prices is very encouraging. However, we expect continued market volatility in the short term, and we will continue with our unrelenting focus on financial discipline, without compromising our commitment to responsible operations and the highest sustainability standards.
Working with Communities
In 2015, we worked with local communities near the Peñasquito mine to resolve two significant disputes related to land use and customary rights. These cases highlight the challenges we face and demonstrate the importance of proactive and continuous community engagement. Throughout the mining industry, external stakeholders are increasingly demanding greater involvement and transparency, and we will continue to work to maintain open dialogue with those impacted by our operations.
Looking forward, we will continue working to enhance our partnerships with stakeholders. With our First Nations partners, we will ensure that we comply with the commitments established in our collaboration agreements. We will move forward with the implementation of our CSR strategy to improve the consistency and effectiveness of our sustainability efforts. In particular, we are working to improve our practices for receiving, documenting and investigating stakeholder feedback and grievances, and to systematize our tracking of engagement and community contributions.
A Relentless Focus on Safety
Safety continues to be our number one priority. However, following two years of steady improvement in our efforts toward fighting fatalities, we were deeply saddened by a fatal accident at our Musselwhite mine in 2015 and another fatal accident at our Marlin mine in early 2016. These incidents occurred despite years of effort dedicated to strengthening our safety culture and measurable reductions in our All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR).
Since 2015, we began consistently tracking safety interactions and have seen the practice adopted across the company. We believe engagement improves personal accountability and our ability to assess risk. For the year, our AIFR was 1.26, a decrease of 9% compared to 2014, but slightly above our target of 1.24. While we made good progress reporting Potential Fatal Occurrences (PFOs), more work remains to be done to reduce or eliminate repeat PFOs.
For the year, our achievements in safety were greatly overshadowed by the fatality, and we recognize that moving forward, we cannot let up in our efforts to make Goldcorp Safe Enough for Our Families.
Attracting and Retaining the Best People
Our company and our industry are challenged by a shortage of skilled workers and by a lack of diversity in the workplace. This year, we were also challenged by reductions in our workforce from having to operate in a lower commodity price environment. Attracting and retaining top talent is essential to our future, and maintaining our position as an employer of choice requires continuous improvement and innovation.
In 2015, we launched STEPUp, a behaviour-based competency program that is intended to improve our risk management capabilities, with strengthened ethics and compliance oversight and improved diligence in our commercial practices. We were able to pilot the program at two mine sites, but rollout was delayed at our other operations.
In 2016, we will begin implementing a global Human Resources Information System, which will enable company-wide, accurate, timely and consistent information about our people, and help us coordinate initiatives across sites. The new system will be valuable, especially as we acquire new mines and face the challenge of integrating staff and communities into the Goldcorp culture.
As we move forward, we will strengthen our training programs to help in tracking and retaining top talent. We will introduce new analytic tools to provide up-to-date analyses and performance indicators to support global recruitment. We will focus on hiring locally to create sustainable value in the communities where we operate, and continue to emphasize diversity through the creation and implementation of our Diversity Policy and programs.
Promoting Environmental Stewardship
Our new SEMS standards have added clarity and consistency to our environmental governance. With these standards – and auditing – in place, we can improve the visibility of our results and ensure follow-up. One area for improvement that will be developed in 2016 is the need for a consolidated sustainability compliance-assurance program, based on a common platform across all our sites. This will provide company-wide visibility on compliance issues and allow for focused follow-up and support.
In 2015, our Tailings Stewardship Strategy continued to roll out across the company. In 2016, the program will address inactive sites with tailings storage facilities and water retention structures.
Renewable energy is of increasing interest across our industry, for cost savings and the reduction of GHG emissions. At the Cerro Negro mine, where wind patterns seemed promising, we conducted a pre-feasibility study for a potential wind farm. The results were favourable, and a full feasibility study will be completed in 2016. Moving forward, we will look to leverage innovative energy solutions and collaborate with partners to tap into unconventional energy sources. Recent cost reductions in solar energy technologies may also open new options.
In 2016 and beyond, the emerging issue that faces us and our industry is water management. The increasing scarcity of water affects all of our activities, in every region and country. Over 2016, our Water Stewardship and Energy strategies will continue, and we will monitor progress towards our water milestones. We will manage our environmental impacts and work with stakeholders on innovative solutions for environmental management and mine reclamation – always considering the present and future of water, energy and biodiversity.
What Lies Ahead
In 2016, as always, we will focus on keeping our sites Safe Enough for Our Families. Zero Fatalities remains our highest priority. We expect the coming year to challenge the mining industry, but we are confident that our discipline in cost control and value optimization – combined with our values of transparency and partnership with stakeholders – will help us maintain our competitive edge and deliver on our vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value.