Business resilience and recovery

Business resilience and recovery

Cyclones, process safety and geotechnical incidents, and the deadly Ebola virus: these are some of the crisis situations that Rio Tinto teams have had to respond to in recent years.

The global nature of our company – and our locations that range from capital cities to some of the most remote parts of the world – mean we need to be prepared for a variety of incidents.

While some can be anticipated, others – such as an earthquake or a terrorist attack – cannot. But, however they arise, we must be trained and ready to respond quickly and efficiently to situations that threaten our top priorities: our people, the environment and the communities in which we operate, our assets and our reputation.

Business resilience Business resilience

Expecting the unexpected

We may not be able to control the event, but the quality of our response can influence the outcome.

Our Business Resilience and Recovery Programme (BRRP) aims to ensure that we have the right skills in place to cope with major or catastrophic events. The BRRP covers how we prepare, how we respond, and how we analyse and improve, in order to minimise disruption and maintain the continuity of our business.

All our sites must have their own BRRP plan, adapted for local use, and a business resilience team tasked with preparing for and responding to incidents. These teams must rehearse the plan annually, to learn how to work together should a real incident occur. By responding to realistic, simulated incidents, team members gain invaluable hands-on experience – and the confidence to apply it.

Ultimately, the aim of our BRRP is to enable us to make better decisions to protect our business priorities.

An updated plan

In 2017, we updated our Business Resilience procedure, making it more focused and simpler to apply. We achieved this by:

  • streamlining the programme so that everything in it helps to protect our top priorities
  • identifying risks with the greatest potential to hurt us, and focusing on those
  • ensuring our business resilience teams have the right capabilities, training and experience

A tried-and-tested model

Our business resilience teams are trained to follow a planned, logical process to help them make good decisions when under pressure:

  1. Information: identify what you know – and how to discover the things you don't
  2. Issues: reach a shared understanding of the issues you face and our stakeholders' needs
  3. Ideas: discuss what to do, considering all options – however far-fetched they may seem
  4. Action: design a plan, identifying who will do what – and by when

This process for sound decision-making is nothing new – successful leaders as far back as Alexander the Great have been applying it to good effect.

Putting it into practice

Having launched our updated procedure, our focus is now on making sure that all of our sites achieve a common standard of excellence.

We know what good looks like and there are many great examples across the Group. We don't need to reinvent the wheel; this is an opportunity to replicate the good.