element-6-monitoring-reporting

An important part of our program is persistent monitoring of our activities, particularly around our salient risks (discussed below).  In addition, while we strive to be transparent with our external stakeholders, we often must balance competing risks associated with disclosures, including legal risks, potential harm to stakeholders, and confidentiality needs.  The UN Guiding Principles themselves acknowledge that tension.

Putting it into practice

Our monitoring activities take different forms.  For instance, we engage in a variety of local programs related to water monitoring and environmental impacts.  Our audits and assessments also help assess the status of our programs and their impacts.  Local communities, employees and third parties also perform important monitoring of our activities, and can provide feedback through active engagement, our grievance mechanisms and hotline.  And of course, our Board of Directors, including our Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board, provides important monitoring of our activities.

We also try to be transparent in the reporting of our program and performance.  Consistent with the UNGPs, we publicize our human rights commitments to local communities and other stakeholders. This includes through consultations with our Community Relations personnel, who are best positioned to provide such information in a culturally appropriate way to potentially affected stakeholders in communities near our operations.  As part of the VPs, we also engage with and consult local communities about security arrangements and our expectations around human rights.  With those potentially affected, we strive to discuss candidly our systems and processes for mitigating negative human rights impacts that we may cause or contribute to. We are open in our approach when negative impacts are caused by our suppliers, contractors or other third parties.  And we try to report formally when there are severe human rights impacts or risks of such impacts.  We have also directly contacted and engaged with key external stakeholders about human rights incidents, progress in remediation efforts, and the relative effectiveness of our systems and processes. 

Much of our global external reporting occurs on our website, which we update to reflect new information or events, or through our annual Sustainability Report.  Additional reporting is done at conferences, roundtables and workshops.  Reporting also takes place through initiatives or groups in which we participate such as the annual reports to the VPs and to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). For the latter, an external letter of assurance related to our systems and processes is submitted each year and referenced in our Sustainability Report. Other avenues of transparency may occur with our increasing number of partnerships with civil society organizations.  A report by UNICEF on a pilot project regarding human rights due diligence at our Lagunas Norte mine in Peru is one example, available here. Furthermore, for the historical sexual assaults at the Porgera mine, which Barrick previously operated, we supported the publication of an expert independent assessment of the formal remedy program that was instituted. That report is available here. Other recent examples include:

  • Distributing booklets regarding human rights to local community members and government entities;
  • Conducting community surveys on the prevalence of violence to gain feedback on how to improve security arrangements;
  • Engaging public officials and community authorities on how to promote respect for law and order, reduce conflict, and enhance and strengthen justice service delivery; and
  • Providing education on the impacts of land purchase and sales. 

In addition to this public reporting, there are several important internal reporting channels.  As noted above, our human rights program is discussed on a monthly basis with all global leaders in our BPRs and reported weekly by our sites in their license-to-operate-report. In addition, the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board is briefed on a quarterly basis. The program is also frequently discussed through other avenues of communication, and elements are incorporated into compensation metrics.  When incidents occur or human rights–related allegations are made, an escalation procedure requires immediate reporting to the Office of the General Counsel.

Looking forward, among the six key elements of the human rights compliance program, we believe our monitoring and reporting is perhaps the area where the most work can be done.  We are considering, such as through our Human Rights Report, ways to improve our reporting on the elements of our program, where it can be improved and how it can grow.  We also know we can be more effective in how we quantify and report on the effectiveness and impacts of our programs.  To increase visibility into our operations in real time, we have established cameras available to the public at some of our sites; through technology and digitization, we are identifying other ways to increase that level of transparency.   

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Gold  $ 1,284.70 +0.85 +0.07% Volume: August 16, 2017
ABX NYSE  $ 16.91 +0.36 +2.17% Volume: 9,399,317 August 16, 2017
ABX TSX  $ 21.34 +0.23 +1.09% Volume: 2,373,284 August 16, 2017
Gold  $ 1,284.70 +0.85 +0.07% Volume: August 16, 2017

Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.

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