Potting a seedling

Sustainable Procurement

Local, diverse and sustainable procurement

We work hard to leave a lasting, positive legacy everywhere we work. As part of this, we strive to buy local products and engage local services.

Our mining operations are a broad ecosystem, and we need a broad and diverse range of suppliers – from Indigenous businesses to local and small enterprises – to support them.

It’s vital our operations contribute to the local communities they are part of because a strong local economy helps create a strong local community.

We have a choice about what and where we purchase. Through procurement initiatives, we help create jobs for local residents and new opportunities for local businesses – including the opportunity to supply us with goods and services. 

In Australia, we increased our spend with Indigenous businesses across Australia, including Traditional Owner businesses, by close to 40% from 2020 to A$400 million in 2021. We also increased our spend with local Australian businesses, working close to our operations, by almost A$170 million last year up to A$771 million in 2021.

A closer look at Indigenous and local procurement in Australia

All figures shown in Australian dollars. *Numbers are not culminative. Traditional Owner businesses are affiliated with Indigenous groups that have Land Use Agreements in place around our Australian assets. ††This figure includes Traditional Owner businesses. §This figure includes some Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses close to our operations.

Contributing to a shared future

But it is much more than numbers – it’s about our impact on the people in the community in which we operate. We are focused on contributing to a shared future and positive legacy by developing lasting relationships with people and learning about and supporting their goals and aspirations.

We work to maximise the benefits our company and its work delivers to the communities that host us. By partnering with local suppliers, we can stimulate local economies and help local businesses grow and prosper.

Meet some of the local businesses behind our operations:

Hicks Civil and Mining

Based in Karratha, Western Australia, Hicks Civil and Mining has family at its heart.

“Our philosophy and vision for the business remains in the Pilbara – this is where the heart and soul of our family is, and where we started,” said Caitlin Hicks, Hicks Civil and Mining Director.

The business has grown from a small equipment hire business to servicing minor and major earthworks contracts. Founded by Ngarluma man Peter, the company strives to provide sustainable employment for local people and be a leading Aboriginal business in the region.

Supporting our suppliers

We are committed to maximising opportunities for businesses to be part of our supply chain. We want to make it easier for local suppliers to compete for contracts and, in turn, maximise local economic benefits. This includes helping strengthen the capability of local industry, so businesses can be more competitive in the procurement process.

We are part of those communities which are built on the back of local businesses. These businesses continue to innovate, adapt and grow to meet the changing needs of our operations. If we can support them to do that, then we’re doing it right and meeting our commitments.

Navah loves her job providing support to Indigenous and local suppliers in the Pilbara region.

About Rio Tinto Buy Local - WA

Rio Tinto Buy Local is about helping local businesses in Western Australia bid for work with us, as well as strengthen the capability of the local industry.