We recognise that our mining activities have the potential to adversely impact the human rights of our stakeholders – particularly our workforce and members of our host communities. Gold Fields is committed to upholding and respecting the human rights of these important stakeholder groups.
Our Human Rights Policy Statement, which is embedded in our Code of Conduct, applies to everyone working for Gold Fields, including directors, contractors and suppliers.The Code of Conduct can be found on our website at www.goldfields.com/code-of-conduct.php
The Human Rights Policy Statement commits Gold Fields to, among other things:
The Human Rights Policy Statement is informed by and supports various international standards. These include the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labour Organization, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), and the ICMM Mining Principles and Position Statements.
A Human Rights Steering Committee oversees the work by the various disciplines and regions, and provides feedback to the Board's SET Committee on a quarterly basis. The committee identified several salient human rights issues, which have the potential to have the most severe negative impacts because of the Company's activities or business relationships, and are the focus of work by our operational teams.
In 2021, we rolled out our new e-learning human rights training to equip all Gold Fields employees with a sound understanding of human rights and how they affect our Company and stakeholders. The training also empowered our people to uphold these rights. We completed a human rights due diligence assessment at all our sites and projects. This formalised the identification and assessment of our actual and potential human rights impacts and aligns with our existing risk management process.
Below are some of the key findings from the assessment:
Gold Fields recognises that Covid-19 may place human rights at risk. Accordingly, the Group actively supported – and continues to support – its people, communities and government during the pandemic. Details of our programmes and interventions can be found onand .
Our Human Rights Policy Statement commits Gold Fields to protecting the rights of our workforce and upholding freedom from child labour, freedom from forced or compulsory labour, freedom from discrimination while recognising the need to affirm previously disadvantaged groups, and freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Apart from community grievance processes, we have internal grievance mechanisms in place to ensure employees and contractors can raise human rights concerns. Grievances are handled by the Gold Fields HR function in consultation with legal teams. A confidential third-party whistleblowing hotline is in place for stakeholders.
Our host communities are one of Gold Fields' most important stakeholder groups. We seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with them through meaningful engagement based on mutual respect and trust. More than any other stakeholder, our operations have the potential to adversely impact the rights, traditions and cultures of local communities. As such, due diligence on human rights is critical.
We are committed to addressing community issues and concerns relating to our operations timeously and effectively, where possible. Therefore, we rely on an external grievance reporting system to maintain confidence and transparent communication with our stakeholders. Our grievance mechanism enables and encourages community members to put forward their complaints freely, while obligating our mines to address the grievances within an agreed period, before the grievance is escalated to independent mediation should our teams not be able to resolve issues raised.
During 2021, our operations dealt with 65 (2020: 139) grievances lodged by our communities, of which 25 related to jobs and procurement, along with 24 social and six environmental-related grievances. We resolved 91% of these grievances within the agreed timeframes. The outstanding grievances relate mainly to jobs and procurement.
Our suppliers are required to comply with the Group Code of Conduct, the Gold Fields Supplier Code of Conduct and our Human Rights Policy Statement as a standard provision in all third-party contractual agreements. An external third-party screening system evaluates new and existing suppliers and contractors on a monthly basis for an array of pre-defined risk categories, including human rights and related violations and/or transgressions.
Gold Fields is committed to responsible materials stewardship. In this context, we support global efforts to prevent the use of newly mined gold to finance conflict. We voluntarily adopted the Conflict-Free Gold Standard of the WGC after we withdrew our membership in 2014. We rejoined the WGC in January 2022. No infractions were incurred in 2021.Further information is available at www.goldfields.com/sustainability-reporting.php
Gold Fields' protection services teams work with private and public security providers to protect our workers and assets effectively and responsibly. Our operations are aligned with the VPSHR, a commitment we made in 2017 which has since become a requirement of the ICMM Performance Expectations and the WGC Responsible Gold Mining Principles.
All Gold Fields and private security contractors receive human rights training during the induction process and at least annually thereafter, including the VPSHR. Security is managed at regional level because each region has its specific context.