Governance integrity

Governance integrity

The global nature of our operations and the inherent risks associated with our industry mean there are social, economic, political and cultural matters that we need to manage to maintain our licence to operate.

We are committed to doing business with maximum integrity, transparency and accountability and with business partners who share our values. We actively adopt approaches to prevent and resolve specific and systematic incidents and constantly seek ways to improve.

The key principles that guide our behaviour in The way we work are supported by standards that cover antitrust, business integrity, conflicts of interest, data privacy, fraud and third party due diligence. All of these are supported by workforce training, which we continue to review to keep fresh and relevant.

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Speak-OUT, the Group’s confidential and independently operated whistleblowing programme, enables employees, suppliers, contractors and community members to report anonymously, subject to local law, any significant concerns about the business or behaviour of individuals. This could include suspicion around safety violations, environmental procedures, human rights, financial reporting or business integrity issues in general.

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Speak-OUT cases for 2016

Our performance is important for our continuing existence. Good performance allows regulators to grant us the permission and the licences to do the mining or the processing that we want to do. It gives local communities the confidence that we will be a good long-term neighbour, providing them with opportunities and managing our assets well.

Joanne Farrell, Group executive, Health, Safety & Environment

Building a resilient business

Our approach to business resilience and recovery aims to prevent or control risk and the consequences associated with events that could threaten our people, the environment, our assets and our reputation. Our approach is consistent with the Rio Tinto management system standard.

Our Business Resilience and Recovery programme (BRRP) is aligned with good practice and well-established standards. It integrates emergency response, business continuity and information technology recovery.

 

Respecting human rights

We recognise that we may positively or negatively affect the human rights of a variety of stakeholders including community members, our employees and contractors.

We respect and support all internationally recognised human rights consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our most salient human rights issues are those relating to security, land access and resettlement, Indigenous people’s rights including cultural heritage, environment including access to water, labour rights including modern day slavery and in-migration-related impacts on local communities.

We have our own human rights policy and have made voluntary commitments to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). Our human rights approach is consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). We expect our policies and procedures to be applied consistently wherever we operate. Where our standards and procedures are stricter than local laws, we seek to apply our own standards.

Mine closure

Planning and provisioning for closure of mines and facilities is important for maintaining a positive legacy after our operations cease. Our approach to closure planning and management is guided by our Closure standard and governed by our Closure Steering Committee.

Matthew Bateson, head of Environment and Legacy Management, discusses Rio Tinto’s approach to mine closures


The closure of mines and plants that have reached the end of their life is part of the cycle of our industry. It is one of the challenges all responsible mining companies face, and expectations and requirements are becoming stricter as to how we do this.

Matthew Bateson, head of Environment and Legacy Management, Rio Tinto

Planning for closure starts during project development and extends through construction, operational and decommissioning phases. It includes long-term water management, post-closure land use and economic aspects. We work in collaboration with local communities and regulators to ensure post-closure outcomes are achievable and adverse risks are minimised cost effectively.

We progressively rehabilitate land as we operate our mines – to meet regulations, control dust and erosion and confirm successful land rehabilitation practices.

Supporting non-managed operations and joint arrangements

We hold interests in companies and joint arrangements we do not manage. The two largest are the Escondida copper mine in Chile and the Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia. We actively engage with our partners through formal governance structures and technical exchanges and promote adherence to the principles in The way we work. We encourage our partners to embed a strong safety, security and human rights culture in their workforces.

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2016 Sustainable
development report

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