Addressing Our Challenges
At Goldcorp, sustainability is a company-wide commitment rooted in our vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value. Each and every day, we work to provide meaningful and lasting social and economic benefits to the communities in which we operate. Through safe, sustainable and responsible mining, we endeavour to have a positive impact on society. This includes leaving the areas in which we operate in as productive a condition as that in which we found them. While we are proud of our track record, we acknowledge that we can always do better and continually challenge ourselves to improve our sustainability performance.
In 2017, 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.
Our People: Engaging and Motivating Our Employees
One of the highlights for our People team in 2017 was the completion of an Employee Opinion Survey (EOS). We were pleased to see that employees feel that Goldcorp is a safe place to work and that they have the tools and resources to do their job effectively. In addition, we learned through the EOS that employees feel empowered to make decisions and have the authority to do their job well.
The survey also highlighted key opportunities for improvement: 1) the desire for better collaboration across different functions and departments; 2) a better understanding of career development opportunities at Goldcorp; 3) better alignment of priorities from senior management and 4) more frequent and transparent communication from leadership.
In response to this survey, each site and office has been tasked with creating and implementing action plans tailored to their location. Some sites have conducted focus groups and administered additional surveys to better understand the needs of employees and identify further steps that could be taken to engage employees. To ensure accountability for implementing action plans, the 2018 corporate scorecard will include an objective in the Leadership category to engage employees in creating a superior employee experience, focusing on culture, communication and collaboration. In addition, all 2018 site scorecards will include an objective related to their specific employee opinion survey action plan.
Environmental Stewardship: Protecting Our Water Resources
A major water treatment plant was commissioned at our Éléonore mine site in Quebec in 2017. The plant is designed to remove or reduce certain elements from process water for discharge into the environment. To protect ecosystems, discharged process water must meet stringent toxicity standards acceptable for surrounding trout and daphnia populations. Building a plant of this size to exacting standards was a significant challenge. It required considerable planning, collaboration and accountability to execute. We are proud of this project, which has resulted in measurable improvements in water quality. The planning, construction and commissioning of the water treatment plant helped drive home the importance and value of teamwork and community collaboration as part of our combined effort to protect our precious water resources.
Diversity: Building an Inclusive Workplace
Currently, only one-tenth of our staff is female, which hasn’t changed in the last ten years. But it’s not just gender diversity that we need to focus on. We need to look at inclusion more broadly. We need to take concrete steps to ensure our workforce and our operations more accurately reflect our communities. This requires enhanced recruitment practices to attract a more diverse workforce, including more women and Indigenous Peoples into all site-based roles. It also involves providing training and education to help people reach their potential and create a workplace culture where everyone’s contribution is valued.
Towards this end, we have developed a multi-year, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for Goldcorp. Inspired by the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks1, our strategy looks at diversity through a broad lens to advance our goal of building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Our focus for 2018 will be to develop a much broader spectrum of understanding at Goldcorp, where different perspectives, experiences and skillsets are respected and valued.
Communities: Improving Relationships with First Nations
In early 2017, our Coffee Project team submitted the project proposal2 to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board (YESAB) for review, an essential step for the project to move to a full environmental assessment. Following the submission, YESAB notified us that it was interrupting the assessment process, stating that we had not met our obligations to adequately consult with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Selkirk First Nation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. In response, the Coffee team worked diligently to reach out to affected First Nations communities, provide additional information on the project proposal and address their concerns. We submitted an updated project proposal to YESAB in Q4 2017. This experience taught us a valuable lesson about the risks and implications of getting ahead of ourselves, and we have committed to improving our engagement and consultation practices with host communities and First Nations to build lasting and mutually-beneficial relationships in our operating areas.
What Lies Ahead
Risk is an unavoidable consequence of mining operations. We are confident in our ability to effectively manage sustainability risks and opportunities in a disciplined and strategic manner that optimizes our value proposition to shareholders, communities, partners, employees and contractors. Our steadfast commitment to operating safely, sustainably and responsibly will help us maintain our competitive edge and deliver on our vision of Together, Creating Sustainable Value.
Our intent is to make sustainability the foundation of our business. We will continue to proactively engage with our host communities and partners to minimize our impacts on the lands under our care. We will work to strengthen the transparency of our disclosure and maintain the high level of trust that we have established within the industry and around the world. We strongly believe that innovation is the key to sustainable development and will continue to integrate new technologies into our operations to reduce energy use, minimize water consumption, improve workplace safety, strengthen partnerships and increase efficiencies. By living up to our values and commitments every day, we will continue to be seen as a responsible, respected and progressive company – one that will be welcomed into new communities.