Addressing Our Challenges
Sustainability is foundational to the way we do business – and it’s incorporated in our company’s vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value. 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 believe that we can always do better.
Over this past year, we were faced with a number of challenges. In response, we will continue to refine our policies and practices for environmental stewardship, strengthen 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
Facing a sixth consecutive year of volatility in commodity prices, we adopted a decentralized operational model that drives costs down and we seek efficiencies wherever possible. The mines now have increased accountability for local operations, and we maintained our commitment to local hiring and local sourcing of goods and services. The resulting job losses and other adjustments were challenging, but they were necessary to maintain the sustainability of our business.
Unfortunately, today the risk of cyber-attack is a reality for everyone in business. In 2016, we faced a cyber-hacking incident. We appropriately managed the incident and with lessons learned, we reached out to our industry peers. We held a cybersecurity information summit in Vancouver where common experiences and best practices were shared. The summit was well attended by over 130 people that included our peers and information technology professionals. In addition, we have implemented a cybersecurity strategy which includes an information security incident management plan.
Working with Communities
2016 was an active year for community engagement. Our company-wide restructuring drove an examination of cost structures at each site, which included consultation and negotiations with labour unions and suppliers.
At Peñasquito, an illegal blockade was resolved through active communication and engagement, and at Cerro Negro, we also engaged with our unions to resolve a temporary work stoppage. These cases highlight the challenges we face and demonstrate the importance of proactive and continuous engagement with our stakeholders. 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.
A Relentless Focus on Safety
Safety is our number one commitment. However, we were deeply saddened by a fatal accident at our Marlin mine in early 2016. This incident occurred despite years of effort dedicated to strengthening our safety culture and measurable reductions in our All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR).
As a result of the fatality, we have audited our sites against their Ground Control Management Plans and are implementing corrective action plans. We have also developed new standards around barricading, marking and signage. Our safety achievements this year were overshadowed by the fatality, and we recognize that we cannot let up in our efforts to make Goldcorp Safe Enough for Our Families.
Attracting and Retaining the Best People
Our entire industry is challenged by a shortage of skilled workers, an aging workforce, and a lack of diversity in the workplace. This year, our need to streamline our workforce in order to remain competitive in a low-commodity price environment was challenging, and we will continue to focus on local workforce opportunities and investing in local procurement.
The challenges of having an aging workforce directly affect succession planning for some of our most critical positions. For this reason, we have developed our Future Leaders program, which identifies and supports the development of our employees while encouraging diversity in the workforce. To plan for the mine workers of the future, we are also exploring training for automated and remote-controlled equipment, and we will invest in maintaining and growing mining-specific skills.
Promoting Environmental Stewardship
In 2016, we faced allegations regarding water contamination at Peñasquito. The allegations related to an event in 2014, when we proactively notified regulatory agencies of naturally occurring selenium in waterbodies, although there has been no evidence of impacts beyond our property boundaries. We engaged local communities and government agencies on this issue and communicated openly about the allegations presented. This incident points to the importance of open and continuous engagement with those affected by our operations. Moving forward, we will continue to maintain open dialogue when issues like this arise.
In 2017 and beyond, a critical issue facing our industry is water management. Our Towards Zero (H2Zero) initiative should trigger a series of innovations and initiatives that lead us to significant reductions in our water footprint.
When our Borden mine opens, we plan on powering its underground equipment with clean, renewable energy. From battery-operated drilling and blasting equipment, to electric bolters, personnel carriers and, ultimately, a battery-powered haul truck, the mine will set a new standard in clean underground air and GHG emissions that are a fraction of conventional mines.
Moving forward, we are actively seeking innovative energy and environmentally sound solutions. We will continue to manage our environmental impacts and work to innovate environmental management and mine reclamation, always considering the present and future of water, energy and biodiversity.
What Lies Ahead
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 commitment to sustainability and responsible mining practices – will help us maintain our competitive edge and deliver on our vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value.
Our goal is to place sustainability at the forefront of our activities. We will continue to proactively engage with our stakeholders and strive for continuous improvement in the management of our impacts, the transparency of our disclosures, and in maintaining the trust that we have established with our communities and stakeholders. We strongly believe that innovation is a key tool for sustainability in all of its aspects. For this reason, we must move past traditional ways of doing business, and look to innovation to achieve energy reductions and water conservation, strengthen partnerships and improve workplace safety. By living up to our values and commitments every day, we will ensure we continue to be responsible, respected and welcomed.