Creating enduring value beyond mining

Emerging global trends

As part of our 2021 emerging risk analysis, we took a broader perspective and considered relevant risk reports and surveys published by Ernst & Young, the World Economic Forum, Global Risks and Deloitte & Touche, and integrated their findings with the work done last year on emerging risks by the ICCM in partnership with Brodie Consulting. As a global company, we continue to be shaped by the external dynamics in the regions where we operate. We closely observe these longer-term strategic and emerging risks, prioritising them as needed, including them in our strategic planning reviews and adjusting our mitigating actions accordingly to protect the sustainability of our business. While most of our top 10 Group strategic risks will remain relevant in the long term, we specifically monitor any developing and emerging trends that may affect our business in the long term and could require changes or adjustments to our strategy.

Emerging global trend
Strategic responses to strengthen our future market position
Emerging global trend

Embedding ESG priorities into the business and adapting to extreme climate change impacts


The adoption of ESG standards has become a basic requirement for most large companies and investment funds. Globally, ESG assets are on track to exceed US$50tn by 2025, representing more than a third of the total projected US$140tn in total global assets under management. Currently, in the eyes of the public, the biggest societal ESG drivers appear to be climate change and diversity. Looking at the mining industry, the opportunity for transformation lies with the adoption of green energy to replace carbon-based sources. More broadly, the emerging trends suggest that the fundamental principle underpinning successful ESG transition will be integrating ESG commitments throughout the business. Furthermore, more sustainable investments may result in the creation of social, environmental and economic value.

Strategic responses to strengthen our future market position
  • Setting science-based decarbonisation targets, along with an accompanying roadmap to achieve 30% net emission reductions by 2030 and net zero by 2050
  • Setting 2030 targets for our other key ESG priorities: diversity, water management, community value creation, safety and health, environment and TSFs
  • Quantifying the financial value of natural resources, as well as our impact on them
  • Developing a governance framework and standards for catastrophic risks to assist with the management of the short and long-term impacts of climate change
  • Conducting regular climate change vulnerability assessments at our operations and with our stakeholders, and developing appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies
Emerging global trend

Impacts of introducing new technology

Digital transformation – or the shift from largely isolated physical systems and technologies to integrated virtual, real-time, data-driven ones – offers huge opportunities for mining. It provides a way to leverage data for enhanced decision-making, quickly simulates changes to the value chain, and analyses the impact of new technologies and designs before implementation, among many other benefits. It will also open the doors to a new generation of younger, diverse talent with the vision and cultural expectations required for more agile mining and metals companies.

  • Investing in data innovation to enable real-time decision control and decision making
  • Integrating data across our value chain using real-time data platforms
  • Retraining and reskilling our workforce across the Group – including employees from our host communities
  • Implementing Gold Fields' innovation and technology (I&T) strategy to improve safety, productivity and decrease cost
  • Leveraging the opportunity to transition to a virtual working environment to attract employees in the technology field without the need for relocation
Emerging global trend

New barometer of ethics

The Covid-19 pandemic, which led to high levels of unemployment, substantially accelerated the erosion of trust around the world and highlighted how companies treat their employees. Furthermore, stakeholders increasingly perceive being a good employer with being a good business overall, with a company's treatment of its employees as a barometer of trust.

  • Committing to a comprehensive range of long-term targets for key ESG priorities, such as decarbonisation, diversity, inclusivity and stakeholder value creation
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders to improve the general social perception of mining, and effectively applying the principles of a green and circular economy
  • Integrating our social licence to operate and social performance into business decision-making, ensuring it becomes as important as protecting the health and safety of our employees
Emerging global trend

Capitalism reforms

There is an increased urgency for businesses to be more responsible than ever before. This requires a renewed focus on purpose and moving towards integrating shareholder value with solving the problems of people and the planet. Corporate action is required to transform our current landscape into one that is more inclusive and cohesive by focusing on fairer market outcomes, investments that advance shared goals, stakeholder value creation and harnessing the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

  • Developing and rolling out Gold Fields' first-ever purpose statement, a revised vision statement and updated values
  • Linking remuneration to ESG performance metrics to incentivise change
  • Setting comprehensive, long-term ESG targets and integrating ESG as one of Gold Fields' three new strategic pillars
  • More continuous stakeholder interactions, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Communicating openly and transparently with our key stakeholders and the general public to further strengthen our reputation
  • Enhancing the compelling narrative on the importance of ESG to attract the next purpose-driven generation
Emerging global trend

Radical transparency

The importance of risks relating to the regulatory landscape, including compliance, are expected to significantly increase over the next few years. Trust in all information sources is at a record low, and pressure from stakeholders is driving an enhanced focus on transparency and ethical supply chains. It is essential that companies embrace digital technologies to keep up with increasingly stringent regulations, as well as customers' expectations for transparency and disclosure.

  • Developing data platforms that provide real-time data accessible to outside stakeholders
  • Reinforcing confidence in Gold Fields by complying with all regulatory requirements
  • Subscribing to transparency-focused initiatives, including EITI, Publish What You Pay (for taxation) and Transparency International
  • Complying with best practice disclosure practices, such as the GRI and DJSI, but also industry-specific standards such as the GISTM and the CDP Water Project