Connect with us:
Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining

Management approaches

Gold Fields has extensive management approaches, policies, strategies and guidelines for its key sustainable development disciplines and other material topics as determined by the GRI materiality rankings.

Click on the relevant heading for the management approach on Gold Fields prioritised material issues and linked GRI topic specific standards.

Sustainable Development

Our approach to managing sustainable development, and consequently our license and reputation is guided by our sustainable development strategy, policy and framework. We share our approaches to various elements of this on our website.

The success of our business is dependent on our relationships with a number of key external stakeholders that determine both our regulatory and social licences to operate as well as the reputation we have with these stakeholders. As such, protecting our reputation and our licences to operate remains a priority on our scorecard.

Strategic responses - How we'll achieve this Key stakeholders Related risks
  • Reduce risk of safety, community and environmental stoppages through ESG initiatives
  • Continue to embed governance and compliance within the business
  • Continue investor engagement activities
  • Employees
  • Communities
  • Shareholders and investors
  • Governments and regulators
  • Safety and health of our employees
  • Loss of social licence to operate/community acceptance
  • Water pollution, supply and cost

Sustainable Development Policy Statement

Our Sustainable Development Policy Statement was updated in 2017.

Gold Fields Limited seeks to operate in a manner that represents a platform for responsible and ethical investment. Our strategy is to integrate sustainable development principles into strategy, business planning, management systems and decision-making processes to maintain our licence to operate and leave a positive legacy. The results will be an appropriate balance of the company’s requirements to perform financially, to manage the environment responsibly and to ensure broad social benefit.

The sustainable development strategy supports Gold Fields’ overall business strategy and is designed to deliver reduced and stabilised costs, community acceptance, sustainable use of natural resources, managed asset liabilities as well as strengthen Gold Fields brand. The five key elements of the strategy are:

Our objectives Priorities More info
Energy and climate change
  • Maintain security of supply
  • Stabilise energy costs
  • Drive renewables and lower carbon energy mix
  • Start managing climate change adaptation risk
Page XX
Social acceptance
  • Build strong community and government relationships
  • Drive impact through shared value
  • Enhance stakeholder engagement and communications
Page XX
Water stewardship
  • Achieve freshwater withdrawal and recycling/reuse targets
  • Achieve water security through catchment approach
Page XX
Integrated mine closure
  • Business wide integrated approach
  • Liabilities optimised through progressive closure and rehabilitation
  • Address social closure
Page XX
Integrated approach
  • Achieve collaboration across disciplines
  • Regional leadership
  • Integrated planning
Page XX

To ensure our strategy is effectively implemented and monitored, we have a well-defined sustainable development framework. Our framework consists of four key pillars that are interconnected and operate together to ensure we manage sustainable development is a manner that protects our licence to operate and reputation.

 

Direct and Indirect Economic Impacts

Gold Fields' sustainable economic performance is critical to the value creation of the Company. Its financial and operational performance largely determines the profitability of the Company, which is essential for its future growth and longevity. It is also critical in sharing the wealth of mining with our key stakeholders, including employees, our business partners, governments and our capital providers.

An increasingly important partner and stakeholders are the communities that host our mines and operations. Without their support running mines becomes a lot more difficult – indeed, communities can stop operations and in many developing countries they are doing so if they believe they are not receiving their fair share of the wealth or that mining damages their livelihoods.

As such community value creation is a critical component of our direct and indirect economic impact. Directly, through investment in community projects in the area of skills development, education, health and infrastructure development. Indirectly, through the employment of community members to our workforce and by procuring from businesses with a strong presence in these communities.

Economic performance

The four pillars of the Gold Fields strategy are critical in achieving our economic performance:

  • Safe production delivery
  • Captial discipline
  • Portfolio management
  • Licence & Reputation

These are outlined in detail in the Strategy section of the Integrated Annual Report (IAR). (The IAR provides an overview of all aspects of Gold Fields’ economic performance) The highest level of responsibility for economic performance lies with the Board of Directors, which approves the strategic direction for the Company’s economic performance. The strategy is developed by the Corporate Office with implementation by the Regional offices and the various operations.

The economic performance of the Company is presented on a quarterly basis to shareholders and other stakeholders at quarterly results presentations. The Board – representing shareholders – evaluates the economic performance of management.

Community value creation

Introduction

We recognise the importance of solid community relations to our social licence to operate. We are committed to avoiding, where possible, or minimising and managing, the negative impacts of our operations on host communities and other stakeholders in the countries where our mines operate, while also maximising the positive benefits. Through active stakeholder engagement and our Shared Value development approach, our focus goes beyond spending to extend to the positive social and economic impacts that its social investments can deliver.

Guiding our Community Relations approach

Gold Fields' approach to creating positive community value creation and community relations comprises the following:

  • An informed understanding of our operating contexts, stakeholder priorities and associated risks obtained through baseline studies, impact and risk assessments and stakeholder engagement
  • Active management of  socio-economic impacts and risks of our operations through implementation of management strategies and plans
  • Building relationships with our stakeholders through open, transparent and constructive engagements
  • Meaningful social investment to address the needs of our host communities in the areas of infrastructure development, economic diversification, education and training, health and wellbeing, and environment and conservation
  • Formalized partnerships with governments, NGOs and other stakeholders
  • Creating  shared value through host community procurement and host community employment

Our approach to community relations and stakeholder engagement is guided and informed by the external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and working groups
 
  • ICMM standards and principles
  • UN Global Compact
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative
  • World Gold Council
  • Global Reporting Initiative
  • IFC Performance Standards
       
  • International Coucil on Mining & Metals
  • The South African Chamber of Mines
  • Business Leadership South Africa
  • Ghana Chamber of Mines
  • Gold Industry Group of Western Australia
  • Peru National Chamber of Mines, Oil and Energy
             

Our Society and Community Charter - our commitments to our stakeholders

Our charter commits to:

  • Building strong relationships with key stakeholders, based on trust and open, honest and frequent engagement
  • Leaving an enduring, positive legacy for host communities and work with our stakeholders to promote sustainable development and to create Shared Value
  • Monitoring and measuring our performance against our commitments
  • Striving to reach a better understanding of the underlying concerns and aspirations of our host communities and to co-create and deliver the right commitments to secure and maintain our social licence to operate.

Shared Value

Shared Value is created when companies take a proactive role in simultaneously addressing business and social needs. Shared Value goes beyond mitigating the potential harm in a company’s value chain – it is about identifying new opportunities for economic success by incorporating social priorities into business strategy and working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to find solutions to various socio-economic and environmental issues. A key component of this approach is to ensure that the value created is shared by the business and the community.

Our Shared Value approach is based on four key pillars:

1 Strategic interventions, to proactively address socio-economic challenges   2 Integration to proactively address socio-economic challenges   3 Participation in collaborative action with other stakeholders   4 Transparency regarding Gold Fields’ economic contributions to its host societies in line with World Gold Council guidelines

We currently have six Shared Value projects in our regions including our Host Community Employment and Procurement program with the goal of increasing the proportion of sustainable host community procurement and employment. Each region is implementing three year action plans that include targets for host community procurement and employment.

Fit for purpose community relations teams are in place in all of our operating Regions. These teams collaborate with other business functions as well as our trusts and foundations to deliver community impact often in partnership with government, NGOs and peers. Investments are funded through the operations budgeted expenditure.

Safety and Health

Our Occupational Health and Safety Policy Statement was updated in 2017. Gold Fields strives for zero harm to our workforce. Our value is: “If we cannot mine safely, we will not mine”. We aim to eliminate the potential for accidents and injury at the workplace and strive to minimise hazards in the working environment.

In the management of Safety, several core beliefs are enshrined in our approach. These include:

  • Leadership is responsible and accountable for Safety performance
  • Living our values is fundamental to our Safety and Health performance
  • All employees should return home safe and healthy every day
  • Prevention is better than cure and therefore risk management is a key component of all systems
  • All injuries and incidents are preventable and rely on good leadership, practical systems and positive employee behaviours
  • The management of Safety should be integrated seamlessly into all activities

Given these beliefs, the key philosophies prevalent in our approach to leading Safety are centred around:

  • Safety performance forms a fundamental component of performance management and talent development through the monitoring of appropriate indicators
  • The delivery of the required performance is not only systematic in nature but requires developing leadership and a culture that enables the performance
  • Risk assessment and the deployment of appropriate controls is a fundamental approach to the elimination of incidents and is therefore required to be a core competency throughout the workforce
  • The application of the hierarchy of controls is particularly relevant to our business and provides the foundation for delivering a hazard and impact free workplace
  • The elimination of incidents is a process of continual learning and drives continual improvement of our systems, practices and process
  • Employees are encouraged to report injuries, incidents or hazards to enable the process of continual improvement
  • Absolute attention should be applied to the verification and maintenance of critical controls,
  • There is no tension between safety and production and our workforce must be empowered to “Stop, Think, Fix, Verify and Continue”

Our overriding strategic goal is focussed on eliminating Material Unwanted Events, Fatalities, Serious Potential Incidents and those injuries that are serious enough to be life changing. Where we have achieved the elimination of the abovementioned injuries and events, our focus remains on maintaining this result.

In addition, we apply the appropriate level of resources to a lower order priority in achieving continual improvement in the elimination injuries of lower significance (Restricted Work, Medically Treated and Minor Injuries) at our operations. To achieve the goal, the key strategic objectives are as follows:

  • Develop a culture of safety leadership within the organisation and firmly embed safety management as a line management responsibility
  • Provide appropriate mechanisms to engage our employees on safety and equip them with the necessary skills to achieve safe outcomes consistently
  • Ensure the deployment of fit for purpose management systems that are aligned to a Critical Control Management approach and are certified to the ISO 45001 standard

The actions supporting these strategic objectives have been categorised into Leadership and People, Process and Systems.

Environmental Compliance/ Mine Closure Management/ Waste and Effluents

Environment

As a mining business, our operations have a material impact on the surrounding environment. To manage this, we remain committed to responsible environmental stewardship.

Our approach to environmental stewardship is guided and informed by several external standards as well as local legislation, supported by internal policies and priorities. Additional local priorities are identified through stakeholder consultation. Each of the Group’s operations are certified to ISO 14001(2015). All of our eligible operations are fully compliant with the International Cyanide Management Code. Gold Fields does not use mercury for the beneficiation of gold or in any of its processes.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and working groups
 
  • Local legislation
  • ISO 14001(2015) international environmental management system standard
  • The 10 Principles of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and 8 Position Statements
  • The UN Global Compact
  • International Cyanide Management Code
  • CDP: Water Disclosure Project
   
  • ICMM Water Standard
  • ICMM Tailings Storage Facility position statement
  • ICMM Position Statement on Mining and Protected Areas
  • Gold Fields Environment and Climate Change Working Group
  • ICMM Biodiversity Position Statement
  • Group Sustainable Development Policy, revised 2018
  • Group Environmental Policy, revised 2018
  • Group Climate Change Policy Statement
   
  • ICMM Biodiversity Working Group
               

Internally, Gold Fields has implemented policy statements and four Group-level guidelines, which reflect our environmental priorities. These concern energy and carbon management, water management, tailings management and mine closure. A summary of the Group guidelines can be found on the Gold Fields website at www.goldfields.com>sustainability. These guidelines set out the systems and processes necessary to ensure the application of consistently good environmental management practices across the Group while allowing a degree of adaptation to local circumstances.

Gold Fields track regulatory changes which enables the operations to respond (externally to the Regulator and internally re the control environment) to the changes. In addition, it also allows for the consideration of applicable/ existing controls in order to manage control effectiveness.

We continue to evaluate performance through internal assessment processes, such as environmental management system audits, in which opportunities for improvement are identified and implemented. This is complimented through internal audit reviews of key aspects of environmental management such as waste management. Our material non-financial disclosures are assured independently on an annual basis.

Results of our performance are reported through disclosures such as the CDP:Water report, as well as through ESG assessments such as DJSI. These assessments and outcomes are publically available.

Environmental Incidents

Gold Fields reports environmental incidents using a level 1 (most minor) to 5 (most severe) scale. During the year, our environmental incident reporting process was updated to provide additional clarity for defining out level to 5 environmental incidents. Level 3 and above environmental incidents are reported externally, through our Integrated Annual Report.

  Level   Description   Impact
  Levels 1 and 2   Minor incidents or non-conformances   Negligible or short-term limited impact.
  Level 3   Limited non-conformance or non-compliance   Ongoing but limited environmental impact.
  Level 4 and 5   Major non-conformances or non-compliances   Long-term environmental harm, with operation-threatening implications

Waste and Effluents

Water and waste are proactively managed to reduce potential environmental and socio-economic impacts and realise potential opportunities.

We commit to sustainable use of resources, responsible management of waste streams and effectively manage water, and apply strong and transparent water governance to achieve responsible and sustainable water use in a collaborative manner.

The most significant waste materials produced by our operations are tailings, waste rock, chemical waste and hydrocarbon waste. By carefully managing our waste generated by our operations and consequent TSFs, we minimise the environmental and potential social impact.

Our mine closure is guided and informed the external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in.

We manage waste in accordance with a waste management hierarchy through which we aim to prevent or reduce waste generation. Where we do generate waste, we aim to reuse, recycle or treat waste prior to disposal. One of the ultimate goals of our Innovation and Technology strategy, termed “Gold Fields Mine of the Future”, is to seek to significantly reduce the mining waste generated by our business.

Gold Fields has a Tailings Storage Facility Guideline and is preparing to be in full compliance with the ICMM’s Position Statement on Tailings Governance by the end of 2018. Refer to https://www.icmm.com/tailings-ps.

Refer to our 2018 Integrated Annual Report for more information on our focus on tailings and waste rock management: insert link

Mine Closure and Rehabilitation

Sustainable and integrated mine closure remains one of Gold Fields’ five key sustainability focus areas. Through the careful planning of mine closure and progressive rehabilitation, we are able to

  • Reduce our environmental impact
  • Reduce social and community impact
  • Optimise financial liabilities
  • Enhance our asset’s value

Our mine closure is guided and informed the external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and working groups
 
  • ICMM: Planning for Integrated Mine Closure and Land Rehabilitation
  • In-country legal and other requirements for mine closure planning and closure liability estimates.
   
  • Mine Closure Planning Guideline, revised 2016.
  • Group Closure Cost Estimate Guidance
  • Group Sustainable Development Policy, revised 2018
  • Group Environmental Policy, revised 2018
  • Group Climate Change Policy Statement
  • Group water management guideline, updated 2017 in line with the ICMM’s 2017 Water Position Statement and Reporting Guideline
  • Gold Fields Mine Closure Steering Committee and Working Group.
  • Utilisation of the Nevada Standardized Reclamation Cost Estimator tool
   
  • ICMM Mine Closure Working Group
               

All Gold Fields operations have Mine Closure Plans that are regularly updated with independent experts supporting the updates on a bi-annual basis. An important component of our Mine Closure Plans in Stakeholder Engagement. All operations have also determined their closure liability for disturbance or liabilities ‘to date’ in line with international financial reporting standards. These liabilities are reviewed and revised annually and are independently assessed. Gold Fields report their closure liability publically, and identify reasons for materials changes on an annual basis.

Our Mine Closure Plans and Closure Liability estimates are guided through the Group Mine Closure Planning Guideline and Group Closure Cost Estimate Guidance . As we aim to integrated mine closure planning through our business, and optimise our liabilities through progressive closure and rehabilitation, we have set ourselves targets through our scorecards which are assessed on an annual basis (as a minimum). Our Group Sustainable Development Manager is the responsible Group lead for mine closure, with all regions and operations having an environmental and mine closure lead.

We utilise the Nevada Standardised Reclamation Cost Estimator (SRCE) tool for all operations’ closure liability estimates.

 

Employment

This comprises Gold Fields’ approach to employment or job creation, including recruitment, onboarding,  development, retention, our working conditions and related practices.. Gold Fields’ abides by the principles of the International Labour Organisation.

Approach details

Our approach to employment considers, but is not limited to:

  • New employee hires and employee turnover
  • Employee onboarding
  • Employee technical and leadership development
  • Talent Management of full-time employees
  • Benefits provided to full-time employees
  • Parental leave

At Gold Fields we track the age, gender, nationality, diversity, localisation and Employment Equity Status (in South Africa) of our employees and new hires as part of our strategy to track our ability to attract a diverse range of qualified employees. This ensures, that we not only have the best talent but also helps to ensure that we implement inclusive recruitment practices based on age and gender and implement talent strategies to make the best use of available talent in the regions in which we operate.  Our turnover rates are key indicators of employee satisfaction amongst employees and also changes in market conditions and is therefore a key indicator in the management of our human capital.

The benefits that Gold Fields provides to employees are governed by the local legislation in the countries in which we operate but as an organisation we include: health care, life insurance, disability cover, maternity leave, options for parental leave from annual leave or parental leave benefits,  retirement provision and other benefits that employees may opt to select from.

Approach purpose

Gold Fields’ will ensure that we abide by the all the local legislation in the countries in which we operate but will also ensure that our employment practices are based on the principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).  We seek to ensure that we offer fair employment practices, use advanced metrics to ensure that we have inclusive recruitment practices and constantly strive to create an environment where all employees can have a great career in mining.

Approach components

The responsibility for employment resides with the Human Resource teams and Executive teams in the Regions with accountability for senior appointments resting with the EVP People and Organisational Effectiveness. Execution and oversight are enabled via a Recruitment system which systemically records, analyses and reports on the number of positions advertised, recruited and placed and is being embedded in each region.

Mechanisms

Group Recruitment policy outlines the recruitment policy for Gold Fields, and this is supported by regional recruitment policies where local legislation has specific requirements Employment is approved as per the Gold Fields approvals framework, with employment decisions requiring a formal process of approval. Recruitment statistics and turnover data are collated and reported.

Benefits are reviewed periodically in line with local requirements and international best practice and all employment policies and procedures are subject to internal and external audit requirements.

Maternity leave in all regions and paternity leave (where provided in line with local legislation) is tracked and recorded along with other leave types.

Gold Fields endeavours to engage with our contactor workforce in relation to matters relating to safety and health. We also seek to work with our largest contractor mining partners, where we can, specifically to engage on working practices.

Results

During 2018, turnover was high in Gold Fields (35%) – with voluntary turnover being 4% (this excludes retirement, disciplinaries, retrenchments). The high turnover rate was due to the restructuring at South Africa and implementation of contractor mining in West Africa
Gold Fields’ employees have the full range benefits in line with legislative requirements in the regions that we operate in.

Parental leave is applied as per local legislation but if this is not a leave entitlement employees can opt to take annual leave for parental leave purposes.

The South America and Australia region need to develop a compelling value proposition to attract and retain skilled staff for the project’s construction in an increasingly competitive market. The benefits offered, while well within industry benchmarks, enabled us to attract the rights skills for the timeous completion of the project (annual report reference)

 

Water Management

Gold Fields is committed to responsible water stewardship – both for the benefit of host communities and for our own operations. Clean water is a basic human right, a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce and vital to our processing activities. Our approach to managing our impact is essential to maintaining our licence to operate. Through careful management, we are able to reduce our environmental impact through responsible use, storage and release of water, while also reducing our costs, thereby benefitting all stakeholders.

Our water management plans are guided and informed the external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and
working groups
 
  • ICMM Water Position Statement and Reporting Guideline
  • ISO certifications
   
  • Group Sustainable Development Policy
  • Group Environmental Policy Group Climate Change Policy Statement
  • 2020 Group SD Strategy
  • 2020 Group Water Charter
  • Group water management guideline, updated in line with the ICMM Water Position Statement and Reporting Guideline
   
  • International Council on Mining and Metals
  • Chamber of Mines of South Africa
  • Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia
               

ICMM’s Council adopted a Water Position Statement in 2016, with a requirement that members conform to it by December 2018. Each region conducted a gap analysis against the requirements of the ICMM in 2017. Plans to close gaps were implemented in 2017 and 2018. The MSA Group, one year after the 2017 self-assessments were completed were contracted to conduct independent verification to ensure adequate insight into the implementation of water management practices against the Position Statement in Q3 2018.

Outcomes of the verification confirm that Gold Fields is aligned to the Position Statement. The detailed outcomes were presented to Exco and the Safety, Health & Sustainable Development Committee.

We have updated the Group Water Management Guideline by incorporating the following ICMM Water Position Statement commitments:

  • Maintain security of supply through the following:
  • Conducting annual water risk assessments, with implementation plans developed
  • Ensuring consistent security of water supply for our operations and our neighboring communities
  • Manage water at operations effectively through the following:
  • Maintaining a water balance and understanding how it relates to the cumulative impact on other users
  • Setting context-relevant water targets and objectives for sites with material water-related risks
  • Proactively managing water quantity and quality to reduce potential socio-environmental impacts and realising potential opportunities
  • Ensuring all employees have access to clean drinking water and gender-appropriate sanitation facilities
  • Apply strong and transparent corporate water governance through the following:
  • Integrating water considerations in business planning – including strategy, life of mine and investment planning
  • Publicly reporting company water performance, material risks, opportunities and management response using consistent industry metrics and recognized approaches
  • Allocate clear responsibilities and accountabilities for water  -  from Board and corporate to site levels
  • Collaborate to achieve responsible and sustainable water use through the following:
  • Identifying, evaluating and responding to catchment-level water related risks and opportunities
  • Actively engaging on external water governance issues, with government, local authorities and other stakeholders to support predictable, consistent and effective regulation that underpins integrated water resources management
  • Supporting water stewardship initiatives that promote better water use, effective catchment management and contribute to improved water security and sanitation

 

Energy and Emissions

Mining and processing of gold is an energy intensive process, exacerbated by changing ore geology, declining grades, longer hauling distances and increasing mine depths requiring additional cooling and ventilation infrastructure. Adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change are material for virtually every country and company across the world, given the disruptive nature of the physical risks across our operations and critical supply chain. The management of energy use and spend is vital given our exposure to external energy price volatilities. Managing energy usage enables us to reduce our carbon footprint, thereby reducing our contribution to the impacts of climate change.

Thus, energy use and building climate resilience have been identified as one of Gold Fields’ top five sustainability priorities until 2020. As the mining get more difficult, energy demand also rises. In our quest for energy security, we assess feasibility for low carbon energy sources, particularly gas, solar and wind. These energy sources enable us to meet multiple objectives: securing supply, reducing carbon emission and optimizing energy costs. Through energy efficiency initiatives, we aim to improve our energy productivity, we have since updated energy and carbon management guideline to align with the global energy management system standard, ISO 50001, aiming for full alignment by 2020 at our operations.  We seek to embed our strategies in projects – new projects, stay in business and life extension type. We  achieve this by including energy deliverables in the study standards.

On climate change, we conduct vulnerability and risk assessments to understand the risks, develop and implement mitigation actions through partnerships and review adequacy of controls every 5-years.

Our approach to managing energy consumption, costs and building climate change resilience is guided and informed by external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in. Many of these forums provide platforms through which effectiveness of our programmes and initiatives are benchmarked.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and working groups
 
  • ISO 50001
  • Recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate Financial Disclosure
  • Carbon Disclosure Project
   
  • Group Climate Change Policy
  • Group Energy and Carbon Management Guideline
   
  • Energy Intensive Users Group
  • Minerals Council (South Africa)
  • Chamber of Mines
  • Chamber of Commerce
             

Climate change affects the availability of natural resources, with availability and infrastructure of water and energy most affected, owing to:

  • The impact of extreme weather events on our operations, supply chain and host communities, including severe rain or snow fall, severe winds, extreme temperatures and prolonged drought; and
  • An increasing number of climate-related regulations, carbon emissions taxes, stringent water regulations, the impact of new technologies and standards, as well as investor perception.

During 2017, the Board adopted an updated Group Climate Change Policy, which advances and communicates a balanced mitigation and adaptation approach to achieving our climate change objectives. The policy contains a set of commitments that include:

  • Conducting climate change vulnerability assessments utilising Group risk guidelines and International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) tools and guidelines
  • Annual reporting and disclosure via a number of reporting frameworks including the Carbon/Water Disclosure Project (C/WDP) and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change by increasingly investing in renewable energy and low-carbon energy sources, energy efficiency initiatives and water use optimisation initiatives
  • Supporting research, development and innovation to assist our operations to cope with climate change
  • Factoring in a regional carbon price for both costing and as a potential revenue streams
  • Participating in various industry forums, including the ICMM climate change and Group energy working group, stakeholder and NGO engagements

Business impact on the climate, and companies’ ability to withstand climate change, are issues of increasing global importance, and vital to our stakeholders. In 2018, Gold Fields became the second Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited (JSE)-listed company in South Africa (and the first mining company) to publicly back the United Nations (UN)-endorsed recommendations of the TCFD. The recommendations have been adopted by many national financial regulators.

Indigenous Peoples

Our policy with regards to Indigenous People is captured in our Community Policy Statement, 2014. Gold Fields seeks to develop mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples, wherever we operate. 

We support the definitions of Indigenous Peoples provided by the International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 7, as well as the definition provided by the International Council on Mining and Metals, as defined in article 1 of the International Labour Organisation’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO 169).

We recognize that Indigenous People often have cultural characteristics, governance structures and ways of integrating and decision making that sets them apart from non-indigenous population. This requires engagement in ways that are culturally appropriate, paying special attention to the capacities, rights and interests of IPs, within the broader context of community engagement.

To attain this vision we are committed to the following principles:

  • Respecting local traditions, rights, interests, cultures, perspectives and special connections to lands and waters of surrounding communities;
  • Adopting and applying culturally appropriate engagement and consultation processes that ensure meaningful and fair participation of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Timely and ongoing engagement through appropriate systems that provide for dialogue, understanding views and understanding our impacts on those around us in accordance with our values and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
  • Working to obtain consent of surrounding communities, using appropriate mediation and capacity building processes where necessary, for new projects and changes to existing projects, including where projects are located on lands traditionally owned by or under customary use of Indigenous Peoples and are likely to have significant adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples;
  • Stipulating that suppliers and contractors conduct themselves in accordance with Gold Fields policies, standards and guidelines.

Gold Fields Community Relations Standard 7 provides guidance on the Company’s approach to engaging with and respecting the rights and interests of indigenous peoples.  This is outlined in detail in the Gold Fields Community Relations Handbook. Our guidance is based on international good practice principles that include the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, Equator Principles and AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Principles, ICMM Principles 3, 9 and 10, our vision, values and group policies as well as our commitment to being a trusted and valued mining partner to our key stakeholders.

Two of the most important outcomes when dealing with Indigenous People are Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and formal agreements with Indigenous People.  These are enabled by:

  • Baseline studies, conducted by appropriately skilled and experienced practitioners, of Indigenous communities including socio-economic conditions, land use practices, rights, interests, connections to land and water, decision making and conflict resolution practices 
  • Preparation of a stakeholder engagement plan for all stages of the life of mine

Gold Fields Community Relations guidance and standards are equally applicable to Indigenous People (cross reference to Community Relations and Creating Shared Value).

Introduction

We recognise the importance of solid community relations to our social licence to operate. We are committed to avoiding, where possible, or minimising and managing, the negative impacts of our operations on communities, while also maximising the positive benefits. Through active stakeholder engagement and our Shared Value development approach, our focus goes beyond spending to extend to the positive social and economic impacts that its social investments can deliver.

Guiding our Community Relations/Our Approach

Gold Fields’ approach to creating positive community relations comprises the following:

  • an informed understanding of our operating contexts, stakeholder priorities and associated risks
  • active management of social risks and impacts
  • building relationships with our stakeholders through open and honest engagements
  • meaningful social investment to address the needs of our host communities
  • creating shared value through host community procurement and host community employment

Our approach to community relations and stakeholder engagement is guided and informed by the external standards, guides and codes we have adopted, our internal policies and guidelines and commitments as well as the industrial forums we participate in.

  External documents     Internal guidelines, policies and documents     Industrial forums and working groups
 
  • ICMM standards and principles
  • UN Global Compact
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative
  • World Gold Council
  • Global Reporting Initiative
  • IFC Performance Standards
       
  • International Coucil on Mining & Metals
  • The South African Chamber of Mines
  • Business Leadership South Africa
  • Ghana Chamber of Mines
  • Gold Industry Group of Western Australia
  • Peru National Chamber of Mines, Oil and Energy
             

Our performance in community relations and social investment is subject to independent measurement by external assessors.

Partnering to protect the industry/Enhancing the industry’s reputation.

Given the socio-economic and at times political pressures the mining industry faces, several industry organisations, of which Gold Fields is a member, have started communication campaigns aimed at improving the image and reputation of mining and corporate South Africa in general.

These include the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the South African Chamber of Mines and Business Leadership South Africa. The ICMM’s work can be found on a newly created website, www.miningwithprinciples.com.

Gold Fields is working with these organisations to provide relevant material – mostly relating to community investment initiatives and/or other ESG work, particularly on renewable energy, as well as water and electricity supply.

Gold Fields has developed a Community Relations and Stakeholder Engagement Guideline based on international good practice principles that include the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, Equator Principles and AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Principles.

These are outlined in detail in the Gold Fields Community Relations Handbook. This Guideline is also aligned to the ICMM Principles 3, 9 and 10, our vision, values and group policies as well as our commitment to being a trusted and valued mining partner to our key stakeholders. The implementation of the nine Community Relations Standards, which guide our interactions with communities as well as other key stakeholders, are key to achieving this commitment. The nine standards are covered at a high level in this guideline and are described in more detail in the Group Community Relations Handbook.

Our Society and Community Charter - our commitments to our stakeholders

Our charter commits to:

  • Building strong relationships with key stakeholders, based on trust and open, honest and frequent engagement
  • Leaving an enduring, positive legacy for host communities and work with our stakeholders to promote sustainable development and to create Shared Value
  • Monitoring and measuring our performance against our commitments
  • Striving to reach a better understanding of the underlying concerns and aspirations of our host communities and to co-create and deliver the right commitments to secure and maintain our social licence to operate.

Building Relationships through Engagement

We understand that stakeholders are an integral part of our business – representing a wide range of interests that both influence and are impacted by our operations.  Consistent with our values of Integrity, Respect and Responsibility, we develop relationships with our stakeholders built on open, transparent and constructive engagement. This engagement allows for participative and informed decision making, by balancing the interests, needs and expectations of our stakeholders with the best interests of Gold Fields.

We actively identify and regularly engage with the representatives of the following stakeholders in a formal and informal manner:

  • Employees;
  • Host Communities;
  • Financial market participants (Shareholders, Investors, Capital providers and Analysts);
  • Governments (national, regional and local) and Regulators;
  • Industry associations;
  • Media;
  • Non-governmental organisations;
  • Organised labour;
  • Third Parties (Business partners, Contractors and Suppliers); and
  • Traditional authorities

During 2017, we reviewed and updated our Stakeholder Relationship and Engagement Policy to be inclusive of our material business-wide stakeholders (the policy is now aligned with ICMM’s Sustainable Development Principles and King IV).

Operations in Peru, South Africa and West Africa also regularly publish and distribute communication materials to stakeholders, keeping them informed about our community relations activities and initiatives. Gold Fields also uses its Group and Australian social media sites to communicate both with employees and communities as well as the wider public.

In 2016, all operations prepared community relations and stakeholder engagement (SE) strategies and three-year plans focused on maintaining their social licences to operate. The Regions are progressing with implementation of their three-year community relations and stakeholder engagement plans. Progress highlights for all of our mines are outlined in the infographics.

Understanding our grievance mechanisms

We are committed to timeously and effectively addressing community issues and concerns. To this end, all our operations have established mechanisms through which stakeholders can share their grievances about Gold Fields, its actions or the behaviour of its employees on social, environmental and human rights issues. We use a three-order system. The first order is where complaints can be resolved between ourselves and the complainant in a timely manner.  Grievances are escalated to the second order when time is needed to investigate and resolve the claim.  Mediation by a third party, usually from the local community, may be involved.  A grievances is escalated to the third order when it cannot be resolved by the parties involved and is forwarded for legal action.

Summaries of the engagements held by each region in 2017 are available at www.goldfields.com/investors.

Shared Value

Shared Value is created when companies take a proactive role in simultaneously addressing business and social needs. Shared Value goes beyond mitigating the potential harm in a company’s value chain – it is about identifying new opportunities for economic success by incorporating social priorities into business strategy and working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to find solutions to various socio-economic and environmental issues. A key component of this approach is to ensure that the value created is shared by the business and the community.

Our Shared Value approach is based on four key pillars:

1 Strategic interventions, to proactively address socio-economic challenges   2 Integration to proactively address socio-economic challenges   3 Participation in collaborative action with other stakeholders   4 Transparency regarding Gold Fields’ economic contributions to its host societies in line with World Gold Council guidelines

We currently have six Shared Value projects in our regions, either already running or at implementation stage – which are profiled in the Host Community Employment and Procurement section and the infographics on p110-121 of the IAR 2017.

Labour Practices

Labour and Management Relations

This covers Gold Fields consultative practices with employees and their representatives, including our approach to communicating significant operational changes. Gold Fields’ approach to consultation is aligned to international norms and standards. In our environment with a large workforce we have 0% of our employees in Ghana, 95% in South Africa, 19% in Peru as members of a union (the % in Australia in smaller and harder to determine). Collective bargaining therefore plays an important role in in our consultation practices. Typically Gold Fields will consult employees on working conditions and terms of employment and to manage relationships between ourselves and our workforce.

Approach details

  • Gold Fields recognises the right of employees to have the freedom to choose to join a union of their choice
  • We have policies in place to recognize and engage with organised labour once a certain threshold is achieved in membership
  • Interactions with organised labour is through a series formal decision making forums depending on the decision required as well as informal discussions
  • We consider organised labour as a key stakeholder in our business and they form part of key decisions around the safety and health of our employees.
  • Consultation practices are in place to ensure that we take the views of employees into account when making specific decisions, particularly when there are plans for substantial operational changes
  • Meaningful consultation by Gold Fields includes the timely provision of all information needed to make an informed decision by employees or their representatives. This includes extensive dialogue and discussion between management and representatives or employees on the proposed changes.
  • In the case of any potential restructuring Gold Fields makes every effort to explain to the affected parties the impact of the changes, and given the an opportunity to jointly find alternative solutions to avoid or mitigate any potential negative impacts as much as possible. This engagement is done in order to try and ensure good industrial relations and a positive work climate.

Approach purpose

  • Fair and transparent process of engagement to ensure the needs of organised labour are addressed and considered
  • Ensure the facilitation of the resolution of key business issues jointly between management and organised labour where required
  • Recognition of shop stewards or representatives of organised labour on our operations
  • Facilitating a structured engagement approach to ensure that all issues raised are dealt with in a timely and professional manner
  • Engagement with employees to advise on Group/Region strategy and performance

Mechanisms

  • Formal engagement forms some of which are mandated by legislation
  • Formal processes by which to lodges grievances and issues with management and the organisation
  • Formal processes and procedures for negotiating wages

Results

  • Volatile industrial relations climate period at South Deep in 2018, but stable in all other regions across the group
  • The Australian Employee Collective agreement’s engagements have been concluded with both the workforce and unions on a new agreement, though this still has to be ratified by the government’s Fair Work department. The agreement, which will apply for the next four years, will see improved benefits and conditions of employment

Management at South Deep has engaged extensively with organised labour, which represents 95% of our employees, most of them by the National Union of Mineworkers. Constructive engagement has helped to improve the relationship between the two parties, and during 2018 management resolved a significant portion of the key outstanding issues with the unions. There is also understanding among the union representatives of the challenges facing the mine and the need to change to an operating model that is more aligned to bulk mechanised mining.