Sustainability focus areas identified through the
Sustainable Development Risk Register process are reviewed
annually by our Sustainable Development Leadership Team and
communicated to the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the
board. The focus areas have not changed significantly over recent
years and are described here and throughout the sustainable development section of our website.
|Sustainability Focus Areas
Illegal artisanal and small-scale miners have limited equipment and expertise with respect to operating in hazardous conditions. The presence of
these miners and their associated activities can create concerns of violence and personal safety, as well as concerns relating to child labor and poor
and unsafe working conditions.
We own, lease and operate large land holdings around the world, some of which are in and adjacent to areas of high biodiversity value.
We manage our operations in a manner to identify potential impacts and, where practicable, implement actions that conserve and enhance
biodiversity, including reclamation activities.
Our social and economic development programs are responsive to issues raised by communities, including vulnerable groups such as indigenous
peoples, and help us maintain good relations and avoid disruptions of operations. Nevertheless, social and political instability in the areas of our
operations may adversely impact our operations.
As a company with global operations, our business may be adversely affected by issues related to corruption. Our international operations must
comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws of the other jurisdictions in which we
operate. Any violation of these laws could result in significant criminal or civil fines and penalties, litigation, and loss of operating licenses or
permits, and may damage our reputation.
Carbon-based energy is a significant input in our operations, and our revenues include sales of oil, NGLs and natural gas, and other carbon-based
energy products. Increased regulation of greenhouse gas emissions may increase our costs and may also affect the demand for the oil and gas we
produce. We have modeled multiple carbon tax scenarios to understand possible impacts, or the range of possible increases to our operating costs.
Our operations may be adversely affected by impacts from security risks stemming from events or activities including political instability, labor
strikes, illegal artisanal mining and civil strife. The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights serve as guidelines for our security and
human rights programs, interactions with host government police and military personnel, and with private security contractors. We also are
integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into our business systems.
As of December 31, 2015, 48 percent of our global labor force was covered by collective labor agreements. We engage openly with our employees
and union leadership to successfully negotiate labor agreements recognizing that prolonged strikes or other work stoppages at our operations can
adversely affect our business and local and regional stakeholders.
Our product stewardship team engages both downstream customers and international governmental agencies on sustainability topics. The
team also addresses specific environmental and public health areas of interest that affect access to markets for our products within the value
|Safety and Health
The safety of our workforce at all of our operations is our highest priority. Although we met the lowest Total Recordable Incident Rate in the
company’s history, we sadly incurred three fatalities in 2015. Our Fatality Prevention program aims to eliminate fatalities by identifying and
implementing critical controls reinforced by technical training and communications throughout the workforce.
|Tailings and Waste
Managing the volume of waste rock, leach material and tailings produced in our mining operations presents significant environmental, safety
and engineering challenges and risks. We maintain large leach pads and tailings impoundments containing viscous material, which are effectively
large dams that must be engineered, constructed and monitored to assure structural stability and avoid leakages. Our tailings impoundments in
arid areas must have effective programs to suppress fugitive dust emissions, and we must effectively monitor and treat acid rock drainage at all of
Most of our North and South America mining operations are in areas where competition for water supplies is significant. We maintain programs
to promote efficient use of water and are advancing alternative water supply projects with stakeholders.
For information on our Sustainable Development Risk Register process, please click here.