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Our board and leadership set the tone for the business. We empower each site to take charge of its unique operating context and manage issues to meet our business objectives.

Global Oversight, Local Delivery

Having strong corporate governance standards and practices that ensure management accountability and an active and engaged oversight from an informed, diverse and experienced Board is critical to delivering our sustainability strategy, and the creation of shared value which is sustainable over the long term.

At the same time, we resolutely believe that sustainability can only truly and meaningfully be delivered on the ground, informed by local operating context. Our approach to sustainability governance fuses these concepts so that:

  • Globally – Our Board and leadership set the tone for the business. They identify, create, set and implement the expectations, standards and the strategy for the organization, and then live them every day.
  • Locally – We empower each site to take charge of its unique operating context and manage issues to meet our business objectives.

What this means in practice is each site must identify and implement its own initiatives and set targets to drive performance and feed into our overall sustainability strategy.

Our Sustainability Strategy and Principles

Our sustainability strategy is our overall business plan. It is underpinned by a belief in and a resolute commitment to delivering and sharing long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders.

Our Sustainable Development Policy provides the foundation for our approach and sets out the steps we must take and the commitments we make to deliver our strategy. The policy is augmented by aspect-specific policies and our seven sustainability principles which provide memorable and practicable guidelines for all our employees and contractors. Our principles are:

  • We put safety first.
  • We conduct our business with integrity, transparency and fairness.
  • We empower local communities.
  • We build and maintain genuine partnerships.
  • We prioritize local hiring and buying.
  • We reduce our environmental impacts.
  • We plan for closure at all stages.

Responsibility and Accountability

Our Board and its committees oversee our sustainability activities as part of their stewardship of our overall business strategy and risk management. The Board is helped in this regard by three board level committees (ESG and Nominating Committee, Audit and Risk Committee and the Compensation Committee) and one management level committee (the Environmental and Social Oversight Committee).

  • ESG and Nominating Committee – Assists with oversight of our environmental, health and safety, social license to operate, community investment, and human rights programs, policies and performance.
  • Audit and Risk Committee – Assists with oversight of our management of enterprise risks and the implementation of policies and standards to monitor and mitigate risks. This includes compliance with our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and our Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy. The committee is also responsible for reviewing our approach to Climate Change and our public disclosures.
  • Compensation Committee – Works to ensure that executive compensation is linked to our sustainability performance.
  • ESOC Committee – Reviews sustainability performance and key performance indicators across operations. It also provides a forum for feedback and lessons learned to be shared, and links site-level ownership for sustainability with our executive and the Board.

Business Integrity & Ethics

Operating with honesty, integrity and transparency is the right thing to do, and critical to our on-going success and the ultimate sustainability of our business.

Unethical behaviour, such as corruption, could be extremely damaging for our business, resulting in fines, immeasurable damage to our reputation and loss of social licence to operate. Beyond this, corruption and human rights abuses are often inextricably linked.

The developing countries of the global south are particularly vulnerable to unethical behaviour and will feel its associated social, economic and political impacts first and worst. As global appetite and need for natural resources increases, investment and operation in emerging and frontier markets is rising. This means robust governance and high ethical standards become even more critical for delivering the world we want. Operating in an ethical manner and not engaging in a corrupt or an unethical manner is an unwavering commitment and has been entrenched in our DNA from day one.

As the world works to build resilience to the global challenges of climate change and conflict, transparent payments to government, and ensuring business is done in an ethical and transparent manner (particularly for extractive industries) are seen as critical instruments for delivering economic growth and recovery and to drive socio-economic upliftment.

From Bamako to Battle Mountain to Balochistan, we have a track record of successfully and ethically developing, running and closing mines in countries deemed by many to be too challenging to work in, and this is something we are extremely proud of.

Our Approach

Protecting ourselves from and taking a stance against corruption, bribery and fraud is one of our sustainability principles and foundational value for our business, and we expect and instill these values in everyone we work with.

Our core values, our responsibilities and the principles and behaviours that guide how we do business and how we expect those we do business with to behave, are set out in our Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy, and our Anti-Fraud Policy, as well as our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. This is further augmented for suppliers by our Supplier Code of Ethics.

We couple these policies and codes with a culture of responsible behaviour, and have a group-wide business integrity program lead by our Senior Vice President Business Assurance, Risk and Business Integrity to help everyone at Barrick understand and deliver against our standards. We have and track a target of 100% adherence to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our related policies each year. Further details regarding our business integrity and ethics policies and programs are available on our website.

Reporting concerns

Barrick employees, contractors, third parties and community members can report potential violations of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and related policies, confidentially and anonymously through several channels, including our global hotline which is operated by an independent provider. We expect all our stakeholders to raise any concerns through one of these channels. The hotline is available 24 hours a day in multiple languages. Hotline contact information is promoted through staff training and communications as well as our groupwide internal communications portal, and onsite posters. There was one human rights related complaint submitted via the Barrick hotline in 2023. This case was fully investigated but the allegation was not substantiated.

Managing Risk

We can’t create and deliver sustainable value throughout the business if we do not identify, manage and effectively deal with the risks our business faces.

Our risk management processes are designed to identify, evaluate, plan and manage or mitigate risks, including new and emerging risks that could impact the business. It also prioritizes and enables an agile response to new or changing risks. Consistent with our approach to sustainability governance we work to connect and balance site-level ownership with group level oversight and Board responsibility.

Risk Registers

Each quarter all site-level risk registers are submitted by region to the risk team for review. The risk team aggregates the results of each region’s risk registers and updates the group risk register on an annual basis. Review and aggregation is overseen by our Senior Vice-President, Business Assurance, Risk and Business Integrity, and the group register is reviewed by the executive committee prior to presentation for the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.

For every risk identified on the register the inherent risk to the business is identified, followed by a detailed description of controls and monitoring activities to be undertaken to mitigate the risk. Finally, a residual risk rating which considers the impact of mitigating actions and controls is provided.

A Dynamic Approach to Risk Management

We recognize that risk is dynamic, and to augment the annual group risk register review and update, each quarter our Senior Vice-President, Business Assurance, Risk and Business Integrity presents a group risk report to the Audit and Risk Committee. The report is informed by each region’s quarterly risk register review and update and sets out our critical risks as a group and by region, as well as a global view of our strategic priorities. Reinforcing the importance of sustainability as a key driver and differentiator for our business the risk report includes a ‘Sustainable Profitability’ section. This refers to our sustainability strategy and priorities and considers our performance against these for the quarter. As part of our on-going risk management processes, we also conduct sensitivity analyses and stress testing to assess the potential impacts of, and any changes to, our key business risks.

Managing Supply Chain Risk

Our supply chain has one of the best opportunities we have to support and deliver socio-economic upliftment. We require all our suppliers, regardless of location, to meet our standards. Our philosophy is grounded in a belief of engagement rather than enforcement, and in developing countries and communities where skills may be lacking, we sometimes need to work with suppliers over time to bring them up to standard. By doing this we both secure our own supply lines and critically also drive development and resilience for the individual and the wider community.

All our standard supply contracts include clauses that commit vendors to uphold our sustainability policies. We also undertake robust vendor due-diligence and on-boarding to drive and ensure compliance with our policies and standards. In line with our philosophy of transparency we will release a Modern Slavery Report in 2024.

Tailings Management Risk

The mining industry has faced increased scrutiny over the last five years with regards to how tailings are managed and the risks associated with poor tailings and tailings storage management. In line with our commitment to robust risk management and transparency we have detailed our efforts to enhance our management of and derisk to the extent practicable our facilities. Further details including our disclosure in line with the requirements of the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (GISTM) can be found here.

Responsible Mining

We take our responsibility to produce gold and copper in a responsible manner seriously.

We are a member of the World Gold Council and the International Council on Mining and Metals, and we have endorsed and have implemented the WGC’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) and the ICMM’s Mining Principles and Performance Expectations. We have also worked with these organisations, as well as the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) and the Copper Mark to drive harmonization and convergence of standards.

While the RGMPs are only applicable to gold operations, we also apply their standards to our copper operations at Lumwana in Zambia and Jabal Sayid in Saudi Arabia. This helps to drive standardization of our policies, standards and procedures, and also reflects our unwavering commitment to responsible production. This section of the report sets out our conformance with industry standards.