Corporate Social Responsibility At New Gold
We understand Social Responsibility as the way we contribute to sustainable development by acting ethically and with integrity, and by acting responsibly with respect to the impacts of our decisions and actions on communities and the environment.
Our Social Responsibility strategy includes commitments to excellence in the management of health, safety, environment, labour practices and community engagement and development through the mine life cycle, from early exploration, development and operation, to decommissioning and ultimately mine closure.
Many of our directors and employees support philanthropic and charitable organizations using their personal resources, and New Gold also makes significant contributions to all of our host communities in the form of donations and sponsorships to support education, health and wellness, economic diversification and job creation initiatives.
The New Gold Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Policy describes our high-level commitments in these areas and is reinforced by the New Gold Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, New Gold’s Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Policy and New Gold’s 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles.
Scorecard 1: Corporate Governance Performance
Maintain Level B Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting.
The 2012 Sustainability Report was published as GRI G3.1 Level B on May 1, 2013.
Advance reporting practices towards compliance with GRI G4 Core reporting standards by 2016.
Develop the New Gold Environmental Management Standards and the Community Engagement and Development Management Standards in alignment with ISO 14001, ISO 26000 and Towards Sustainable Mining, and initiate implementation of priority elements.
Achieve International Cyanide Management Code certification or substantial compliance for Cerro San Pedro and Peak Mines.
Progress toward World Gold Council Conflict-Free Gold Standard compliance for its first reporting year.
The New Gold Environmental Management Standards and the Community Engagement and Development Management Standards were developed in alignment with ISO 14001, ISO 26000 and Towards Sustainable Mining.
In 2013, we achieved 80% implementation of the Environmental Management Standards and 55% of the Community Engagement and Development Management Standards.
Cerro San Pedro and Peak Mines have been recommended by auditors as “substantially compliant” this year; full certification is expected in 2014.
We achieved World Gold Council Conflict-Free Gold Standard compliance for its first reporting year.
Assurance Statement is available on our website.
Fully implement the New Gold Environmental Management Standards and the Community Engagement and Development Management Standards.
Achieve full International Cyanide Management Code certification at Cerro San Pedro and Peak Mines.
Maintain World Gold Council Conflict-Free Gold Standard compliance.
Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Governance
The Board of Directors has the responsibility for the overall stewardship of the conduct of the business of New Gold and the activities of management. The Board’s fundamental objectives are to enhance and preserve long-term shareholder value, to ensure that the Company meets its obligations on an ongoing basis and to ensure that the Company operates in a reliable and safe manner.
In performing its duties, the Board also considers the legitimate interests other stakeholders may have in the Company. Details on the Board’s members and New Gold’s governance practices are described on the Corporate Governance section of our website and in the Company’s Management Information Circular available on the Canadian System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) at www.sedar.com
The Board is also responsible for ensuring there are appropriate measures for receiving external feedback, and ensuring the holding of an Annual Meeting of Shareholders, during which time is made available for shareholders to direct questions to the Executive Chairman, the President and Chief Executive Officer and other key members of the management team. Shareholders are also encouraged to contact the Corporate Secretary in writing regarding any feedback or concern they wish to communicate to the Board. In addition, the Investor Relations Department manages dialogue with current and prospective shareholders on a regular basis.
The Board’s Compensation Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in approving and monitoring guidelines and practices with respect to compensation, including reviewing corporate goals and objectives relevant to executive compensation. These objectives regularly include matters related to health, safety, environment and corporate social responsibility.
The overall purpose of the Board’s Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee is to review and monitor the health, safety, environmental and corporate social responsibility policies of the Company on behalf of the Board. The Committee may investigate any activity of the Company that relates to sustainable development, community development, environment, or health and safety. The Committee has access to officers and employees of the Company and to independent advisors, and to such information respecting the Company as it considers necessary in order to perform its duties and responsibilities.
At the corporate level, the Health and Safety and the Environment and Social Responsibility Departments have the responsibility for related initiatives, targets, and performance. Each site is supported by professionals in the relevant fields that ensure sites perform their tasks in a manner that respects the expectations of our communities of interest.
Summary of Commitments
Health and Safety
We are committed to promoting and protecting the well-being of our employees through safety-first work practices and a culture of safety excellence. We are committed to leading industry practices and systems in health and safety that focus on prevention of accidents and incidents as a priority.
We are committed to upholding fair employment practices and encouraging a diverse workforce, where people are treated with respect and are supported to realize their full potential.
Community Engagement and Development
We are committed to establishing relationships based on mutual benefit and active engagement with our host communities to contribute to healthy communities and development.
We are committed to preserving the long-term health and viability of the natural environments affected by our projects and operations.
Human Rights and Ethics
New Gold is committed to integrating human rights and anti-corruption best practices into our business operations and decision-making processes. In observation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and as signatory to the UN Global Compact we are committed to reflecting its ten principles relating to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in all of our business operations.
We consider the key human rights concerns to be in the areas of non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, Indigenous rights and security practices. New Gold’s Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Policy was adopted in 2012 and is available on our website.
Since our sites produce gold, we require security services for the protection of our employees and the public, and for the prevention of theft. A small number of security personnel, including from private security providers, are retained in some operations solely for this purpose. All protection programs are legally established and documented by federal agencies according to their licences, permits or authorizations. Regular communication takes place between the mine management responsible for security personnel and the local police authorities.
New Gold’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects the principles under which we conduct our business. All employees of New Gold and its subsidiaries must review the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and confirm compliance annually.
Our corporate Whistleblower Policy provides a confidential address, phone number, and email address which any person can use to communicate a concern or complaint, with the assurance that there will be no retribution or negative consequences.
Most of our sites are located in regions where Indigenous peoples have asserted Aboriginal rights or hold treaty rights and there have been no incidents of violations involving Indigenous rights reported.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
In 2013 there were no instances of significant fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations. We have never had any legal actions against the Company for anti-competitive behaviour.