Human Rights

As a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we are committed to respecting human rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and under international humanitarian law. From employees and contractors to senior management, all of our workforce is expected to comply with our Human Rights SEMS standard and Goldcorp’s Human Rights Policy.

Our Human Rights Policy, updated in 2015, reflects the changing social context in which we operate. Our revised policy defines our practices and commitments on human rights. New additions to this policy include clauses on community consultation; grievance mechanisms; commitment to the Conflict-Free Gold Standard; commitment to respect the rights, interests, perspectives, and traditions of Indigenous Peoples; resettlement planning; and potential measures in the event of non-compliance.

Human Rights and Security

Security practices are under increasing scrutiny for human rights compliance in recent years. We are committed to effectively managing and administering our security programs in accordance to company policies, local and national legal requirements, and industry best practices. Our security teams conduct in-depth risk analysis to determine threats to our workforce within their area of operation and influence. Our sites are required to develop security plans in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations as well as with our Human Rights Policy and Security Policy. When local conditions require us to deploy armed staff, careful consideration is given to this deployment and additional safety measures and training are implemented as necessary.

We have designed training programs for security providers at sites in Mexico and Guatemala based on international best practices. In 2015, 100% of our security personnel in our Latin America region underwent training on the use of force and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; 25% of our security personnel in Canada have received this training.

In early 2016, we became a signatory of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles are a set of principles designed to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights. As a signatory, we will implement the principles across all of our operations, and will improve our alignment of corporate policies and procedures with internationally recognized human rights principles in the provision of security for our operations.

In accordance with the Voluntary Principles, in our high- and medium-risk operations, all security personnel are required to undergo annual training on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and have to sign a declaration of compliance with our human rights requirements. The security contractors incorporate human rights training in their employee orientation. All security staff receive at least one pre-shift briefing per month on the use of force. Company security supervisors provide ongoing training and refresher classes. Non-compliance with our human rights requirements is not tolerated.

Conflict-Free Gold Standard

The World Gold Council (WGC), the industry’s key marketing body, has recognized that in some circumstances, gold may represent a potential source of funding for armed groups involved in civil conflicts throughout the world. In October 2012, the WGC published the Conflict-Free Gold Standard, which establishes a common approach by which gold producers can assess and provide assurance that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not cause, support or benefit unlawful armed conflict or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. As a member company, we supported the WGC’s efforts in developing the Standard, and implemented it effective January 1, 2013. We produce an annual, independently assured Conflict-Free Gold Report summarizing our conformance to the Standard.

The Standard requires companies with mines operating in areas considered to be “conflict-affected or high risk” (according to the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer) to evaluate processes and controls and implement additional measures to ensure conformance with the Standard. Although only our Mexican mines are located in areas deemed “conflict-affected or high-risk”, we voluntarily applied the same categorization to our Marlin mine in Guatemala based on our internal security assessment.

Our 2015 findings confirmed that all gold and gold-bearing material produced at mining operations where we operate have the appropriate systems and controls in place to conform to the World Gold Council’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Conformance with the Standard was subject to independent assurance.

For a copy of our 2015 Conflict-Free Gold Report and more information on the background and structure of the Standard, please visit

Investment and Procurement Practices

In order to conduct business in an efficient and cost-effective manner, it is essential that we have a steady, stable flow of production inputs to our sites. We are driven to innovate and address situations that may hinder safe production. As well, we are increasingly automating our processes to facilitate responsiveness to potential opportunities and mitigation of supply shortages.

However, numerous social and environmental risks have the potential to disrupt the flow of goods. In our industry there is increasing awareness of these risks as well as of the opportunities to leverage dollars and relationships to influence supplier sustainability both upstream and downstream. Out of the 324 contracts reported by our sites that were entered into with third parties, 89% were screened for human rights compliance. No contractors or suppliers were found in violation of human rights from these screenings, and as a result, there were no contractors or suppliers declined or removed.

Our approach to risk management and impact assessment also includes reviews of significant investments against numerous criteria, including human rights risks. In this report, we define “significant investments” as those that either moved the organization into a position of ownership of another entity or initiated a capital investment project that was material to financial accounts. There were 94 such investments and contracts reported at our sites in 2015. Of those agreements, 59 had human rights clauses, and 98% were screened for human rights compliance.

Human Rights Training

We recognize that policy alone cannot create meaningful change. In order to ensure that our Human Rights Policy is reflected in our day-to-day activities, we conduct site-specific training on human rights. Other training and awareness programs are specific to certain sites or regions, where issues may be of greater importance. Sites in our Mexico and Guatemala regions, for example, carry our training related to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, as well as general human rights training related to the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Out of 9,796 full-time employees, over 4,200 received training on human rights, equivalent to 43%. More than 1,500 hours of employee time were spent on human rights training in 2015.

Region Total number of employees (excluding contractors) Total number of employees trained on human rights policies and procedures Percentage of employees trained on human rights policies and procedures Total hours dedicated to training employees on human rights
Canada and US 3,331 1,375 41% 788
Latin America 6,465 2,879 45% 723
Total 9,796 4,254 43% 1,511

Grievance Mechanisms

Commitments listed in our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and the SEMS include the establishment of grievance mechanisms based on international best practices. We acknowledge the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, which means that we and our subsidiaries must act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others. In light of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, we have implemented grievance and incident reporting procedures. Grievances may come from both internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, contractors, local community members, civil society and government.

At Goldcorp, we have two formal company-wide channels for receiving complaints and grievances, as well as other informal channels, which are implemented on a site-by-site basis.13

Formal Channels for Complaints and Grievances

Ethics from the Ground Up  channels Community Response mechanisms
Purpose Receive complaints, questions and concerns related to the implementation of our Code of Conduct Provide an easily accessible site-level process for community stakeholders to provide feedback to us
Key policies Code of Conduct, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Policy SEMS, Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, Goldcorp Grievance Framework
Communication channels Toll-free telephone hotline, email and mailing address Varies by site: examples include a dedicated website, community drop boxes, offices, telephone lines, email addresses and text message systems
Primary users Employees and contractors Local communities and other external stakeholders
Complaints and grievances process Initial complaint is received (in confidence, if through our ethics and compliance hotline) by an external third party, and the cases are investigated and resolved by the corporate Ethics Committee with local site support as necessary Complaints are received and documented at each operation. Classification and investigations vary based on severity. Operations engage with stakeholders to resolve and close out grievances
Type of complaints reported Issues related to theft, fraud, discrimination, harassment, employee relations, labour, health and safety, and human rights Issues related to environmental performance, physical disturbances, land access, compensation, job opportunities and contractor management

In 2015, our Ethics from the Ground Up channels received 39 complaints and/or inquiries regarding alleged discrimination, harassment and other issues that could relate to human rights, compared to 24 complaints in the previous year. All reports were investigated and 34 were resolved or closed during 2015. The remaining five were received late in the year and the resolution process was ongoing at the end of the reporting period. Two complaints and/or inquiries received in 2014 were also resolved or closed in 2015.

Ethics from the Ground Up  hotline
(human rights–related complaints only)
Received Investigated Resolved/closed Received in previous year,
resolved/closed in
current period
Discrimination 9 9 8 2
Harassment and bullying 11 11 11 0
Impacts to livelihood 2 2 1 0
Impacts on personal safety and security 15 15 12 0
Sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances 2 2 2 0
Total 39 39 34 2

Our Community Response mechanisms are intended to meet the needs of local communities and other external stakeholders. Each Community Response mechanism at our operating sites is tailored to the local context, but they are all designed to comply with the Goldcorp Grievance Mechanism Framework.

In 2015, our sites received and responded to a total of 396 complaints, of which 278 were closed at the time of writing of this report. The remaining 118 are in various stages of each site’s investigation and resolution process. During the year, we started applying a categorization process of grievances against related SEMS standards. In some cases, more than one standard is applied to a given complaint, as they may have impacts or aspects related to more than one category. At Goldcorp, we endeavour to treat complaints in a respectful and holistic manner, aiming to understand and respond effectively to all the root causes.

Grievances received from Community
Response mechanism by category
Number Examples of grievances received
Grievances related to the environment 244
  • Dust concerns
  • Impact on water availability or quality
  • Noise complaints
  • Vibrations
Grievances related to society 178
  • Impacts to infrastructure
  • Lack of communication about activities
  • Community safety around site installations
  • Delays on meeting commitments such as community investments
Grievances related to labour practices 47
  • Labour practices
  • Safety concerns
  • Access to employment
Grievances related to human rights 3
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
Grievances related to Indigenous rights 3
  • Consultation concerns
  • Land and infrastructure access
  • Social, cultural and spiritual well-being
Other 24
  • Requests for information

We received 63 other work-related concerns from employees that were resolved at the site either by line management or by the human resources team and which did not require management via one of our two formal channels.

In addition, in 2015, there were two significant14 disputes related to land use or customary rights of local or Indigenous Peoples:

  • Northern Well Field: Construction on the Northern Well Field project at Peñasquito was halted in the first quarter of 2015 due to land access concerns in the community of Matamoros. Through proactive and continuous engagement, Goldcorp and community leaders were able to reach an agreement to resolve the issue. Construction resumed in the fourth quarter.
  • Cerro Gordo: In Mexico, ejidos are communal agricultural lands managed by community members. Peñasquito negotiated an agreement with the Cerro Gordo ejido related to surface rights for approximately 600 hectares of land within the mine footprint prior to construction. In 2009, the Cerro Gordo ejido commenced an action against Peñasquito in Mexico's agrarian courts challenging the land use agreement. Following a series of legal proceedings, the agrarian courts ruled on June 18, 2013 that the land use agreement was null and ordered the land to be returned to the Cerro Gordo ejido. In March 2015, Peñasquito and the ejido reached a settlement to fully resolve this dispute. Concurrently, Peñasquito and the Cerro Gordo ejido entered into a new 30-year surface land use agreement on commercial terms for the 600 hectares.