THIS IS GOLD FIELDS Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholders are an integral part of Gold Fields’ business, representing a wide range of rights and interests that both influence and are impacted by our business and operations. Ensuring that our stakeholders’ interests are appropriately represented, considered and acted upon is critical to achieving our Purpose of creating enduring value beyond mining. This Purpose, together with our Vision of being the preferred gold mining company, delivering sustainable, superior value, requires us to develop strong relationships with our stakeholders, built on open, transparent, and meaningful engagement.
Gold Fields adopts a stakeholder-inclusive approach. For engagement to be meaningful, it must have mutual respect and trust at its core, and allow for participative and informed decision-making, balancing our stakeholders’ interests, needs and expectations with our own. This balance is also reflected in our approach to shared value, with a commitment to achieving outcomes that are mutually beneficial. Stakeholder engagement and relations are central to our commitment to ESG, which is one of Gold Fields’ three strategic pillars. We report stakeholder engagement and relationship strategies, policies and case studies in our annual Report to Stakeholders. The Gold Fields Board, particularly its Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee, has oversight of stakeholder engagement and relations.
Our ability to create enduring value relies to a great extent on the support and input of our stakeholders, which in turn is informed by understanding their needs and expectations. We believe that honest and mutually beneficial stakeholder relationships are essential for our operations to achieve sustainable returns that benefit all. As such, we want to be the gold mining company that investors choose to invest in, governments and communities prefer as partner in managing their mines, and that people want to work for.
Gold Fields Policies and Commitments
Our Stakeholder Relationship and Engagement Policy Statement was updated in 2023 and commits us to:
- develop strong relationships with our stakeholders, built on open, transparent, and meaningful engagement
- ensuring that our stakeholders’ interests are appropriately represented, considered and acted upon
- engagement with mutual respect and trust at its core
- participative and informed decision-making, balancing our stakeholders’ interests, needs and expectations with our own
To attain this, we commit to:
- embed the practice across our business of ongoing, meaningful and transparent engagement and communication with our stakeholders;
- mandate and enable Gold Fields’ stakeholder representatives;
- undertake respectful, inclusive and culturally appropriate engagement processes;
- create platforms for open and participative engagement;
- undertake comprehensive analysis of our stakeholders, and understand their rights and interests and the intersection with our business activities;
- work collaboratively with stakeholders to mitigate and manage risks and impacts as well as explore and seek to realise opportunities;
- provide appropriate and effective feedback and grievance mechanisms; and
- comply with all applicable regulatory requirements and obligations contained in relevant rules, codes and standards to which we subscribe;
- implement formal management, reporting, monitoring and measurement systems in respect of our engagement activities;
- provide transparent, relevant factual reporting of material information;
- adhere to leading corporate governance principles with reference to disclosure and reporting; and
- conduct continuous review and improvement processes.
Everyone working for Gold Fields plays an active role in achieving these commitments by:
- Ensuring engagements are informed by and aligned with Gold Fields’ purpose, vision and Values, strategies and policies;
- Identifying, engaging with, and listening to stakeholders who influence and are impacted by our business, and integrating these considerations into relevant strategic, operational and project plans;
- Integrating meaningful engagement into the full cycle of our business processes and exploring opportunities to improve them;
- implementing engagement and communication systems; and
- reporting key stakeholder issues, potential impacts, opportunities and risks to management, the Board and, where appropriate, external stakeholders.
The following internal policies and guidelines support our work in this area:
- Sustainable Development Policy
- Community Policy
- Diversity Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Disciplinary and Grievance Policy
- Supplier Code of Business Conduct
- Community and Stakeholder Engagement Handbook
- Stakeholder Charters – Society and Communities, Employees, and Investors
We are guided by the AccountAbility AA1000 Principles of materiality, responsiveness and inclusivity in our stakeholder engagement.
As a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we engage actively with our peers on stakeholder engagement in the organisation’s committees, working groups and practice groups. We are required to implement and publicly report and assure our performance against its Mining Principles and Performance Expectations, particularly:
Implement effective risk-management strategies and systems based on sound , and which account for stakeholder perceptions of risk.
- Assess environmental and social risks and opportunities of new projects and of significant changes to existing operations in consultation with interested and affected stakeholders, and publicly disclose assessment results.
- Develop, maintain and test emergency response plans. Where risks to external stakeholders are significant, this should be in collaboration with potentially affected stakeholders and consistent with established industry good practice.
- Pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change.
- Plan and design for closure in consultation with relevant authorities and stakeholders, implement measures to address closure-related environmental and social aspects, and make financial provision to enable agreed closure and post-closure commitments to be realised.
- Pursue continual improvement in social performance and contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of host countries and communities.
- Implement inclusive approaches with local communities to identify their development priorities and support activities that contribute to their lasting social and economic wellbeing, in partnership with government, civil society and development agencies, as appropriate.
- Conduct stakeholder engagement based upon an analysis of the local context and provide local with stakeholders access to effective mechanisms for seeking resolution of grievances related to the company and its activities.
- Proactively engage key stakeholders on sustainable development challenges and opportunities in an open and transparent manner, effectively report and independently verify progress and performance.
- Identify and engage with key corporate-level external stakeholders on sustainable development issues in an open and transparent manner.
We apply ICMM’s guidance on:
- Mining Partnership for Development Toolkit (2011)
- Community Development Toolkit (2012)
- Indigenous Peoples Position Statement (2013)
- Good Practice Guide: Indigenous Peoples and Mining (2015)
- Stakeholder Research Toolkit (2015)
- Understanding Company-Community Relations (2015)
- Handling and Resolving Local-level Concerns and Grievances (2019)
- Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (2020)
- Building Forward Better (2020)
- Partnering for our Common Future (2021)
- Tools for Social Performance (2022)
- Human Rights Due Diligence Toolkit (2023)
- Position Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (2023)
As a member of the World Gold Council (WGC), we are required to implement and publicly report and assure our performance against its Responsible Gold Mining Principles, particularly:
- Understanding our impacts: we will engage with our stakeholders and implement management systems so as to ensure that we assess, understand and manage our impacts, realise opportunities and provide remedy where needed
- Stakeholder Engagement: We will listen to and engage with stakeholders in order to understand better their interests and concerns and integrate this knowledge into how we do business.
- Resolving Grievances: We will establish fair, accessible, effective and timely mechanisms through which complaints and grievances related to our activities can be raised and resolved and remedies implemented. Those raising such grievances in good faith will not face discrimination or retaliation as a result of raising their concerns.
We interact with peers on stakeholder engagement in a range of WGC and ICMM working groups, specifically the Community Support Practice Group and Indigenous Peoples Working Group.
National industry associations in our countries of operation also address stakeholder engagement and relations, particularly with governments, and we participate actively in these forms.
Our strong stakeholder relationships and the value we distribute support more than our social licence
to operate – they are at the core of our Group purpose of creating enduring value beyond mining.
In 2022 we established a Group-wide stakeholder engagement forum to oversee the implementation of the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. We apply the following principles of stakeholder engagement:
- Dialogue: Dialogue enables two-way engagement and allows stakeholders to raise key concerns. While we have made good progress in building dialogue, we understand more work needs to be done to foster meaningful relationships and trust – which is the key to finding solutions that deliver value to all.
- Balancing Interests: To reach mutually beneficial solutions to stakeholders’ challenges, we need to balance their interests, needs and expectations with Gold Fields’ best interests. Striking this balance in encapsulated in the Shared Value approach, where both stakeholders and the business benefit.
- Relations to Build Trust: Our Stakeholder Engagement Policy Statement focuses on building trust, which above all requires strong, transparent and honest relationships. Relationship-building requires ongoing dialogue and a willingness to communicate and to understand, to make balanced decisions and achieve shared goals.
- Matrixed Engagement: Stakeholders have an interest in more than just one area of our business. As a result, we take a holistic stakeholder engagement management approach, whereby multiple Gold Fields functions address stakeholders’ varied needs and expectations.
- Proactive, Continuous and Meaningful Engagement: We engage with stakeholders throughout the life-of-mine cycle – from exploration, design and development to operations and closure. Through this transparent, proactive engagement approach we seek to gain the trust and support of stakeholder groups.
- Monitor and Evaluate: We monitor our stakeholder interactions through our External Interactions and Commitment Register portal, which records our workforce’s interactions with stakeholders to ensure accountability. We have also run several focused surveys to gauge the strength of our stakeholder relationships and help us address challenges.
At an operational level, all our projects and mines identify, prioritise and directly engage stakeholders that have the potential to affect their operational, sustainability or financial performance. Direct engagement includes organised dialogues, roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings, internal surveys and regular engagement with local communities, community-based NGOs and local government representatives. All our operations have stakeholder engagement plans, as well as established grievance mechanisms that enable us to address and resolve grievances that arise from our activities.
At a strategic level, our corporate and regional management teams implement ongoing direct and indirect engagement, including the use of external benchmarks and standards that are designed to frame and address societal expectations.
Stakeholder concerns and expectations and our resp
- A workplace culture that is physically and
- A diverse, inclusive and enabling culture
with opportunities for innovation
- Learning and development opportunities
- A refined operating model
- A revised employee value proposition
- A company that is ethical and sustainable
- Cultivated a stringent safety and health culture
- Optimised business processes and operational efficiencies
- Facilitated greater work-life balance
- Promoted increased employee diversity and inclusion
- Established a clear profile of the status of harassment,
discrimination and bullying
- Provided clarity on the relative roles of our corporate and regional
- Defined and communicated the desired company cultural
attributes and leadership behaviours
- Provided greater clarity on job requirements and career growth
- In-country and host community procurement
of goods and services
- Investment in enterprise and supplier
- Sustainable materials and supply chain
- Payment times for host community small and
medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers
- Communication and engagement on issues
relating to respectful workplaces and gender
- Opportunities for businesses owned by
women, Aboriginal people and historically
- Ensured 97% of total procurement spend was from in‑country
- Included all business partners in our health and safety
- Improved payment times for SME host community suppliers
- Launched an enterprise and supplier development (ESD) and
procurement support programme at our South Deep mine, and
established and capitalised two ESD funds
- Worked with suppliers and contractors at our Australian mines and
Perth office to:
― Enhance communication and engagement on issues relating to
gender safety and support physical and psychological safety
― Ensure all complaints of sexual harassment, assault or bullying
are investigated fairly
― Review all ablution facilities to ensure these meet an acceptable
and consistent standard
― Promote host community and aboriginal business participation
in the value chain
- Employment and procurement opportunities
- Skills and enterprise development
- Mitigation of adverse environmental impacts
- Environmental resilience
- Social investments
- Assisting with social and economic hardship
- Benefit-sharing agreements
- Protection of culture and heritage
- Delivered 27% of total value created by Gold Fields to host
- Created business opportunities through host community
- Unlocked opportunities for community employment at our mines
- Invested in integrated community development, including health
and wellbeing, environment and infrastructure
- Expanded the skills base of our host communities
- Provided support to enhance capacity in host community
- Negotiated agreements with host communities and Indigenous
- Approved a pipeline of legacy programmes for roll-out from 2023
- Implemented stakeholder engagement plans
- Compliance with all relevant legislation and
- Respect for human rights
- Payment of taxes, royalties and other levies
- In-country employment and procurement
- Socio-economic investments in host
communities, particularly infrastructure related
- Avoidance of corruption
- Contribution to the delivery of the UN SDGs
- Over 87% of employees are nationals of the countries of operation
- Paid royalties and taxes to host governments that, if utilised
appropriately, can enable them to develop critical infrastructure
- Invested in SED projects that contribute to the UN SDGs and grow
and sustain non-mining jobs
Our Stakeholders and Partners
The following are regarded as Gold Fields’ material stakeholders, across the Group:
- Our Employees;
- Organised labour;
- Our Business partners, contractors and suppliers;
- State-owned enterprises;
- Our Host communities;
- Indigenous Peoples and their representatives;
- Non-governmental / community-based organisations;
- Traditional authorities;
- Governments (national, regional and local) and regulators;
- Industry associations and mining peers;
- Financial market participants (shareholders, investors, capital providers and analysts); and
Measurement, Evaluation, Assurance and Assessment
Outcomes from our operational and strategic stakeholder engagements are logged in our Group External Interaction & Commitment Register and communicated through our Enterprise Risk Management process – and so form a vital part of the Group’s risk management programme and mitigation measures.
Gold Fields makes extensive use of surveys to understand what our stakeholders think, feel and believe about Gold Fields, including:
- Baseline stakeholder perception survey
- Employee climate survey
- Government relations independent assessment
- Mine-community relationship assessments
We use the insights from these assessments to inform our stakeholder engagement plans.
Reporting and Disclosure
Gold Fields stakeholder engagements are monitored, evaluated and transparently reported. This includes, but is not limited, to the following frameworks and standards:
- GRI and DJSI
- ICMM Performance Expectations Report
- The Integrated Annual Report suite, including the Report to Stakeholders; and
- Local, regional and international selected stakeholder platforms.
The company’s approach and commitment to stakeholder engagement and relations is publicly disclosed on the Gold Fields website.
Shift, the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as part of its Valuing Respect Project, a collaborative initiative to redefine evaluation of business respect for huma rights – has published a case study on Using Relationship Data to Improve Business Practices: Measuring company-community relationships. This is focused on the work by our South Deep mine in recognition of steps the company has taken to improve its practices based on the insight from community shared in the assessment https://shiftproject.org/recourse/case-study-goldfields/.