Employees working within the water treatment facilities at Ranger Mine

Ethics and compliance

The way we do business is increasingly important to our stakeholders who want assurance that we not only conduct ourselves responsibly and ethically, but also that suppliers and customers across our value chain do so as well. We look for opportunities to improve transparency about our business practices and work to ensure our people understand and fulfil their obligations. We participate in assessment and accreditation programs to verify our performance and identify opportunities for improvement so our stakeholders can have confidence in the way we work.

We expect our people to uphold the highest standard of integrity and to act ethically.

Sometimes this requires courage, which is one of our values. This expectation extends to our partners, that they behave and operate in a way that aligns with our values and priorities.

Our code of conduct, The Way We Work, lays out clear expectations on how we should conduct our business, and ourselves, no matter where we work or where we are from. We want everyone to have the courage to speak up when something is not right, to show integrity and take decisive action when needed. This is not always easy, but being courageous means doing it anyway.

The Way We Work also makes it clear that we do not offer, pay or accept bribes, no matter where we operate, no matter what the situation, and no matter who is involved. 

Our code of conduct

The Way We Work
The Way We Work
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1.69 MB
The Way We Work [AF]
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4.6 MB
The Way We Work [ES]
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4.74 MB
The Way We Work [FR]
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1.67 MB
The Way We Work [IS]
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4.89 MB
The Way We Work [JP]
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5.28 MB
The Way We Work [KO]
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4.98 MB
The Way We Work [MG]
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4.63 MB
The Way We Work [MN]
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2.57 MB
The Way We Work [NL]
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4.76 MB
The Way We Work [PT]
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4.81 MB
The Way We Work [RU]
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4.58 MB
The Way We Work [SR]
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4.62 MB
The Way We Work [ZH]
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5.21 MB
The Way We Work [ZU]
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4.59 MB

Our business integrity compliance program, which is managed by our Ethics & Compliance function independently from our business operations, is designed to identify and actively support in managing our compliance risks and regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions where we conduct our business. We continuously evolve the program so that it mirrors the risk profile of key assets and business activities and enables timely and targeted intervention to prevent issues from occurring.

Our business integrity standard and Procedure require our employees, core contractors and any third parties acting for, or on behalf of, the company to not commit, authorise or be involved in bribery, corruption, fraud or other economic crimes. We also have clear rules regarding third-party benefits, managing conflicts of interest, facilitation payments, sponsorships, donations and community support, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, and engaging third parties. Our Ethics & Compliance team helps our people navigate any grey areas.

Partnering to strengthen business ethics in Mongolia

Supporting the country’s continued growth and development through tackling corruption is a significant priority in Mongolia. As the largest international investor in Mongolia, we are committed to supporting the country’s efforts to promote transparency, business ethics, and corporate governance.

In 2021, we partnered with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and Transparency International, to establish a dedicated Business Integrity Centre. The Centre offers professional training, resources, and advisory support to approximately 5,000 Mongolian companies to embed global standards in ethical business practice. By working in partnership, the Centre is helping to build the capacity of Mongolia’s businesses and enhance the country’s position as an attractive location for international investment.

In November 2021, the Centre organised the first compliance and business ethics conference in Mongolia. Approximately 130 business representatives from from Ulaanbaatar and all 21 provinces in Mongolia attended the conference including government organisations, business associations, and major private sector representatives.

The Centre has provided business ethics and compliance training to around 110 private-sector employees from 30 companies across various industries.

Fostering an ethical culture

We know that our reputation to act ethically and with integrity hangs on the actions and decisions we make each day across our business. We empower and equip our people to seek guidance when faced with an ethical or business integrity dilemma – both to prevent incidents from occurring, and to protect them and others from harm. We equip our employees through mandatory annual online training, combined with additional face to face training for employees performing higher risk roles. Through training we aim to enhance employees' awareness of possible issues, like bribery and corruption, and to help promote consistent instincts and decisions across the business.

myVoice – confidential reporting program

myVoice is our confidential whistleblower program.

myVoice is available to anyone who has concerns or information relating to misconduct or improper circumstances or behaviours connected to Rio Tinto.

These can include concerns about the business, or behaviours of individuals, including suspicion of violations of our standards, policies and standards, human rights, safety, environment, financial reporting, fraud or business integrity issues in general.

myVoice lets you choose to submit a report confidentially or anonymously. It is important to know that the content discussed and the right to anonymity may be subject to local laws.

myVoice Procedure
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461 KB
myVoice Procedure [FR]
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455 KB

Progress in 2023

  • Year in review
  • Year in numbers

Year in review

Compliance program developments

Business integrity is core to how we build trust with our stakeholders and the foundation of our ability to run our operations. Our Business Integrity Compliance Program (BICP) is continuously evolving to align with leading industry practice, the regulatory landscape and specific business integrity risks we face across the countries where we operate.

During 2023, we delivered several BICP improvements:

  • We set up a new online disclosures system for gifts and entertainment from and to third parties, conflicts of interest and sponsorship and donations. This increases transparency and allows us to automate approvals and workflow.
  • We are exposed to reputational, financial and non-financial risk through our third parties’ actions. We continued to enhance our Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) framework and hired relevant subject matter experts in areas such as sanctions and renewables. Our TPRM Committee meets regularly to set policy and risk appetite associated with categories of third-party risk. We have also started to implement a new TPRM system to increase automation and improve risk management by integrating it with other associated business processes.
  • We completed a fraud risk assessment across the organisation and reviewed our controls to prevent and detect fraud risk. This helps us better understand the root causes of fraud and improve our response.
  • We hired more people in country to support developing businesses in high-risk jurisdictions, such as Guinea and Argentina.
  • We invested in our Sanctions Compliance Program to enhance our monitoring of trade sanctions and increase awareness of trade sanctions compliance.

Annual training

Our reputation as a business that operates with high levels of integrity is dependent on the actions and decisions we make each day. We empower our people to seek guidance when faced with ethical or business dilemmas – both to prevent incidents from occurring, and to protect them and others from harm.

To help equip our workforce to navigate uncertain areas and spot ethical and compliance-related risks, we implemented a new online training course focused on ethical decision making through several interactive, real-life scenarios. 25,187 employees completing online compliance training in 2023.

In addition to online training, the Ethics and Compliance team delivers tailored risk-based face-to-face training on anti-bribery and corruption, data privacy, anti-trust and trade sanctions. A total of 6,359 employees received face-to-face training in 2023. We also provide business integrity training to our third parties on a risk basis.

Code of conduct

In early 2023, we launched our updated code of conduct, The Way We Work. Our code is designed to help all employees and contractors live our values of care, courage and curiosity, and is a a central tool in reshaping our culture. The values, commitments and behaviours set out in our Code of Conduct provide clarity which allows us to deliver responsibly. It is broader in scope than the previous version, reflecting changes in societal expectations. It also includes our newly developed ethical decision-making model to help our people reflect on the potential impacts decisions may have on the business and others.

myVoice, our confidential reporting program

We want to create a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace, with a strong ethical culture, that reflects our values, and we encourage and support our people to speak up if they have concerns about potential misconduct or harmful behaviour. A strong culture of speaking up, with protections against reprisal, enables us to identify and address potential issues early, respond appropriately, minimise risk and care for our people and the communities in which we operate.

The myVoice program enables confidential and anonymous reporting, including protected whistleblower disclosures. myVoice is operated by the Business Conduct Office (BCO), which reports to our Chief Legal, Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer, and provides regular program insights to the Board and the Group Ethics and Compliance Committee.

In 2023, the BCO continued to enhance the myVoice program by refining our triage and investigation processes, including a peoplecentric, trauma-informed approach.

Care Hub

In 2023, the BCO launched Care Hub, which provides additional and more accessible channels to raise concerns, access wellbeing support and explore resolution options. Care Hub provides options to resolve reports of harmful and disrespectful behaviour via alternative resolution and early intervention where appropriate rather than investigation. Our support partners facilitate specialised care, guidance and resolution options for our people for matters involving racism, sexual harassment and assault, bullying and harassment or discrimination. They also support leaders, Human Resources, respondents and witnesses to those behaviours. Care Hub is underpinned by regionally appropriate support services and resolution options informed by diverse voices throughout the organisation.

Since launching, Care Hub has supported over 276 people, and feedback has been positive. People feel safe and supported.

Standards

Data Privacy Standard
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236 KB
Business Integrity Standard
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406 KB

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