AngloGold Ashanti’s Sustainability Review 2009 provides a comprehensive account of the company’s sustainability performance in 2009. In this section, AngloGold Ashanti highlights the key areas of its reporting for 2009, summarises company performance against these issues during the year and details its sustainability commitments for 2010.
In 2009, AngloGold Ashanti undertook an extensive review of the way in which it compiles its sustainability report and made several changes to the reporting format. The company wanted to ensure that its reporting remained aligned with leading practice, that it was focused and accessible to users and presented a balanced and accurate account of company commitments and performance. As in previous years, AngloGold Ashanti has reported at an A+ application level against the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting standard and has complied fully with the reporting requirements of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework.
As part of the revised approach and in order to determine the most important issues for sustainability reporting, AngloGold Ashanti has implemented a formal process for assessing the material sustainability issues for the business. In line with sustainability reporting standards and leading practice, this process incorporates stakeholder input and is aligned with the group’s own risk management methodology.
As a result of a materiality assessment, AngloGold Ashanti identified the following group-level issues for sustainability reporting:
The management of sustainability issues in AngloGold Ashanti is the responsibility of the Executive Vice President: Business Sustainability. The position was created on AngloGold Ashanti’s Executive Committee in 2008 and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer to ensure alignment with business strategy. Oversight at board level is provided by the board committee dealing with sustainable development. The committee meets quarterly to review sustainability performance and is independently chaired. The chairman of the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee was appointed to the Safety, Health and Sustainable Development Committee in 2009 to ensure integration between the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee and the company’s oversight of social and environmental performance.
AngloGold Ashanti’s Sustainability Review 2009 details management’s approach in each area of sustainability performance. A Supplementary Report provides a comprehensive response to reporting indicators in line with GRI. The section below presents performance in 2009 against the sustainability commitments made by the company for the year, and details its sustainability commitments for 2010 and beyond.
|2008 – Commitments||2009 – Delivery|
|Elimination of fatal accidents||The elimination of fatal accidents is AngloGold Ashanti's most important business goal and we continue to work towards this objective. We acknowledge that there is still much work to do in this area and record with sadness the loss of 16 of our colleagues in 2009.|
|20% reduction in all injury rates||In 2009 our lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) improved by 10.24% over the previous year and our medical treatment injury frequency rate (MTIFR) showed a 19.3% improvement. The MTIFR reflects all injuries, including lost time injuries but excluding fatalities.|
|Complete development of the Safety Transformation Blueprint||The Safety Transformation Blueprint was initially released in May 2009 and will be reviewed every six months. Launch of the Safety Transformation project is planned for April 2010.|
|Progress towards the industry milestone of no new cases of silicosis among previously unexposed employees in South Africa (2008 onwards) after December 2013||AngloGold Ashanti has seen a steady decline in the number of new cases of silicosis reported, with the incidence in 2009 (among all South African employees) at 3.5 per 1,000 compared with 4 per 1,000 in 2008 and 7 per 1,000 in 2007. However there is still much work to do in this area and performance in 2009 fell short of expectation.|
|No deterioration in hearing greater than 10% amongst occupationally exposed individuals in South African operations||This industry milestone has not been achieved. The incidence of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in South Africa has decreased from 2.6 per 1,000 employees in 2008 to 2.36 cases per 1,000 in 2009. In total 79 new cases of NIHL were compensated, compared with 88 in 2008¹. AngloGold Ashanti has intensified our hearing conservation programme and have so far silenced 80% of identified sources of noise.|
|Sustain the 80% uptake of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS at all business units in South Africa||The total number of VCT encounters for 2009 (assuming single annual testing) was 87% of the workforce. Much of the continued success can be attributed to leadership and engagement of both senior management and organised labour at the mines, as well as the continued involvement and work of peer educators and counsellors.|
|Increase the ratio of employees in South Africa on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to 90% of those for whom it is indicated clinically||AngloGold Ashanti estimates that 7.5% of employees at its South African operations require ART. As at December 2009, there were 2,216 employees receiving ART. This represents approximately 87% of those estimated to require ART in the region. Non-adherence to drug regimens and exits from the ART programme remain problematic and require greater focus alongside encouraging new registrations.|
¹ The number of NIHL cases in 2008 has been restated from 77 to 88; a classification error was made in respect of the 2008 data.
|Achieving a further 20% reduction in all injury rates in 2010 with the long-term objective of operating an accident-free business||Safety is AngloGold Ashanti's most important business consideration. The company are focused on creating the safest possible working environment for our employees, a commitment which is reflected in the company's safety goals.|
|Begin implementation of the Safety Transformation project||AngloGold Ashanti plan to launch this project in April 2010, with the objective of achieving a quantum improvement in safety performance.|
|Elimination of new cases of silicosis among previously unexposed employees at South African operations by 2013||Silicosis remains the most significant occupational health issue at our South African operations and we are placing significant focus on reaching the industry target of eliminating the disease among previously unexposed individuals by 2013.|
|Intensify hearing conservation programmes and continue to silence to acceptable levels all identified noise equipment in order to achieve the industry milestone of no deterioration in hearing greater than 10% amongst occupationally-exposed individuals at South African operations||NIHL remains a significant challenge at our South African operations, particularly in light of the increase in NIHL incidence in 2010, despite hearing conservation programmes in place. AngloGold Ashanti will be increasing the frequency of sampling data on exposure to noise in 2010 and will be progressing the silencing of all identified sources of noise. The use of Hilti electric rock drills that have a lower noise level than conventional drills is being piloted at two of our South African operations.|
|Maintain a rate of 80% of South African employees attending VCT during 2010, excluding current wellness clinic attendees||In the absence of accurate measurements of prevalence of HIV/AIDS, targets in this area focus on VCT and wellness. True measurements of prevalence are currently unavailable owing to the anonymous testing system in place. With the agreement of key shareholders, the implementation of single testing could be used to calculate prevalence and enable us to combat this disease more successfully. Once current prevalence can be determined (a two-year period would be required following agreement to single testing), targets for prevalence can be set.|
|Reduce by 50% the number of avoidable drop-outs from wellness programmes in 2010||Achievement of new clinic enrolment targets accompanied by targets to reduce avoidable dropouts by 50% will result in improvements in wellness clinic attendance and will assist our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through wellness programmes.|
|Reduce occupational tuberculosis (TB) incidence to: ||In the South African mining industry TB is associated with HIV/AIDS and with the incidence of silicosis. The incidence of occupational TB rose in 2009 despite significantly improved dust control. AngloGold Ashanti therefore conclude that HIV prevalence rose even higher. Our long-term objective is to reduce the incidence of all TB to approximately the level of the background community. While HIV remains at high levels, it is a challenge to control TB (some 10-15% of all HIV-positive people will develop TB each year). Combating HIV will assist AngloGold Ashanti in controlling the level of TB in our workforce.|
|2008 – Commitments||2009 – Delivery|
|Develop quantitative performance targets for energy and water during 2009 ||
AngloGold Ashanti remain committed to group energy targets to improve energy efficiency per ounce of gold produced by 15% in the short to medium term and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per ounce of gold produced by 30% in the longer term.|
With more difficult mining conditions encountered as our mines mature, reducing energy consumption further is challenging. Developing site-level energy performance objectives will only be completed in 2012. In the interim, we continue our efforts to reduce energy consumption, particularly at our energy-intensive South African operations (41% of total energy consumed in 2009). While our electricity consumption at these operations has reduced by 7.3% in the last two years and our electricity consumption per tonne of rock treated has reduced by 11.5% in the same period, electricity consumption per unit of gold produced has increased by 20.6% as a consequence of the more difficult mining conditions encountered.
Decreasing water consumption is equally challenging. AngloGold Ashanti continues its efforts to improve water consumption efficiency and water management at all sites.
|Address key opportunities and risks identified by the 2008/9 climate change study||This high-level study was completed during 2009 and raised awareness of the implications of climate change throughout AngloGold Ashanti. A project to develop carbon credits under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has already been initiated, as recommended by the study.|
|Implement an integrated incident notification and reporting system to include community incidents||An integrated incident classification and reporting standard was implemented as planned in 2009. New and clearer environmental and community incident classification criteria have been adopted.|
|Roll out new policies and practices and train security personnel in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles)||The implementation of the new global security framework started in 2009. It is a three-year plan and good progress was made in key areas in 2009, particularly in the roll out of Voluntary Principles procedures and best practice and in the training of AngloGold Ashanti and third party security service providers. Self-audits were undertaken at the end of 2009 to identify gaps and mitigation strategies.|
|Maintain certification to the ISO14001 environmental management system standard and incorporate community aspects (by 2011) and implement environment and community management standards||ISO14001 certification was maintained at all operations. In 2009 progress was made on development of management standards that incorporate community aspects. This work will be completed by 2012, rather than 2011 as originally scheduled. Standards on air quality, chemicals, closure and rehabilitation, land use, waste and water have been approved and implementation has begun.|
|Conduct a Corporate Environmental Review Programme biennially||The programme was conducted at our operations in Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and the USA. The scope of the review was extended during the year to include community aspects.|
|Conduct a review of closure planning practices in 2009||A closure and rehabilitation management standard was introduced. It was externally reviewed against international best practice before finalisation. Each mine’s closure plan was reviewed against the standard in order to identify gaps in implementation.|
|Establish a government relations function and embed it into the company’s decision-making processes||The function has been established. In 2009, significant work was undertaken to put systems in place, including the generation of quarterly reports on government relations and political risk which are reviewed by the Executive Committee.|
|Develop and pilot a globally applicable model for government engagement practice||In 2009 a model was developed and a pilot engagement exercise initiated in South Africa. This will be continued in 2010.|
|In South Africa, participating in the Mining Charter review and influence outcomes||In South Africa, the company, through the industry representative body, the Chamber of Mines, is actively involved in the Mining Charter review process. AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Cutifani, has been elected Vice President of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa and will, by virtue of this position, play an active role in the review process|
|Continue work to improve energy and water performance, including through the development of site-level objectives||To assist in developing site-level objectives and action plans by 2012, energy and water maps will be refined for each operation during 2010 and 2011, detailing the sources and quantities of energy and water used in each process within the operation. The energy and water benefits from each business improvement initiative will also be quantified.|
|Audit the global energy and water security position for all operations||The site-by-site results of a high-level audit of global energy and water security to be undertaken in 2010, including a review of expected costs, will be included in post-2010 strategy development.|
|Continue to address key opportunities and risks identified by the 2008/2009 climate change study||Life-of-mine climate change risks will be specified in more practical detail for each operation during 2010 and 2011, starting with those at greatest risk. Planning to address these risks has begun. On completion of the pilot CDM project which has been initiated, the value of further CDM projects will then be assessed.|
|Zero violations of the Voluntary Principles in 2010||In 2009 there were four allegations of potential violations which were investigated. All proved to be non-violations by the company. One incident was reported which proved to be a violation by a joint venture (JV) partner. Appropriate action was taken and the matter was resolved.|
|Develop a standard approach for all contracts for government- provided security||A full review of all contracts with private and public security providers globally is planned for 2010, with the aim of implementing a template for all government provided security contracts which incorporates best practice.|
|Incorporate community aspects into each operation’s ISO14001 management system by 2012||ISO14001 management systems are in place at each operation. Incorporation of community aspects into a formal management system increases the rigour with which these aspects of our business are managed.|
|Final approval or development of management standards and associated guidance material that govern how the company interacts with communities and the environment||Site personnel need to be aware of their performance expectations and the standards to which they will be held. Communities, governments and other stakeholders need to know what standard to expect of the company.|
|Work on findings of review conducted in 2009 to address any site-level deficiencies in closure plans and ensure alignment with company management standard by 2011||This work is undertaken to ensure orderly and successful mining and closure.|
|Continue to embed the government relations function into decision making processes, including through development of a management standard in this area, and through capacity development||Proactive and planned government engagement needs to be factored into business decisions through ongoing internal consultation. At a regional level, government relations are carried out by AngloGold Ashanti’s country managers.|
|Roll-out pilot government engagement strategy model in South Africa and in a minimum of two other jurisdictions in 2010||Lessons learnt from the experience of developing and piloting a government engagement strategy in South Africa are to be applied to other jurisdictions.|
|In South Africa, participate in the Mining Charter review||AngloGold Ashanti will seek to influence others in the industry and the authorities to ensure an outcome that enhances socio-economic transformation in the context of a globally-competitive industry.|
|2008 – Commitments||2009 – Delivery|
|Finalise the design of a human resources model called the System for People||The design of the System for People has been finalised and is detailed in a company-wide policy document. The system is being rolled out through line management, with each manager taking accountability for implementation within his or her respective area.|
|Entrench company values through employee participation in determining behaviours which support values||As a key component of the System for People, a pilot study for a company-wide survey of values was completed at the corporate office and preparations were made for roll out of the survey globally in January 2010.|
|Centralise human resource (HR) policy development to ensure alignment and focus on delivering and executing AngloGold Ashanti‘s strategy||The centralisation of policy development is being dealt with largely within the context of the System for People. In the current reporting period, the focus was on the development and implementation of the personal effectiveness system throughout the company, with special focus at management levels.|
|Delivering and executing a transformation model that ensures our licence to mine is maintained across the globe||The company has put in place mechanisms to deliver on its legal obligations with respect to its licences to mine at all its operations, including South Africa, where the company in compliance with the requirements of the Mining Charter, and in Continental Africa, where the company has in place plans to reduce the number of expatriates and replace them with suitably qualified local employees over a period of time.|
|Continue with the roll out of the System for People, including the global values survey||The System for People will continue to be rolled out across the company during 2010 and 2011. This will result in the organisation being more appropriately designed to execute its business strategy, and to have the necessary capability and working relationships required to get work done effectively and efficiently in an environment of mutual trust.|
|Review the wage negotiations strategy in Continental Africa and develop a model for conducting wage negotiations which can be applied throughout the company’s Continental African operations||Development work on an appropriate labour relations and collective bargaining system for the Continental African operations is ongoing with a particular focus on Guinea and Ghana. The immediate aim is to move towards a regularised bargaining process in Guinea, significantly reducing the potential for labour disruption and protracted wage settlements.|
|Standardise, to the extent possible, the conditions of employment of senior managers to facilitate mobility within the company||Steps to standardise the conditions of employment across the company to attract and retain employees in order to facilitate their movement across the operations are at an advanced stage. An independent consultant was contracted to assist in this regard with final recommendations to be tabled by the company during the first quarter of 2010.|