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Partnering with communities

A business built on purpose, trust and transparency

We are passionate about supporting and building meaningful relationships in the communities where we operate.

We actively engage with stakeholders to understand their interests and aspirations and identify opportunities to work together to create shared value.

Our approach

We’re a business with a purpose and believe trust and transparency are essential to the way we operate. That means being in touch with the broader community – considering different perspectives and working together to create shared value.

We go through rigorous processes to understand the unique social, cultural and legal contexts we’re operating in. We have regular, open and honest conversations to better understand what our stakeholders need and expect. Working together like this assists us to achieve our shared goals.

It’s this strong foundation that informs the way we engage with communities and how we work with them. It’s what drives us to make a difference to people’s lives and unearth a better future for generations to come.

Our community-related data and management approach is subject to both internal and external assurance processes.

These processes assist us to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of our management approach and we use the findings to further improve existing systems.

No matter where we’re working we have a rigorous process to understand our communities. We regularly complete and review Social Baseline studies, Social Impact and Opportunity Assessments, Community Perception Surveys and Stakeholder Identification and Analysis to identify and understand who our stakeholders are.

We always aim to build strong, honest and meaningful relationships with local communities, so that we’re ready to listen and act on their needs, wants and concerns.

To us, stakeholders are people or groups who are potentially affected by our operations or who have an interest in, or influence on, what we do as a company. When we genuinely understand our stakeholders’ unique interests, needs and concerns, we can work together, creating partnerships to achieve common goals.

At each of our operations, we do this through our stakeholder identification and analysis process. This process includes ongoing consultation mechanisms for us to engage with our different stakeholder groups and allows us to keep abreast of changing societal expectations.

Our teams on the ground are often employed from local communities. This helps us to work with these local communities to achieve genuine, meaningful engagement.

Our Global Stakeholder Engagement Plan can be accessed here

We want to hear from anyone with an interest in our operations.

We listen to and report complaints and grievances which we receive, anonymous or otherwise, and we make it a priority to address them.

We take pride in our complaints and grievances process, aligning it with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and using the United Nations’ Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, specifically to:

  • Acknowledge, investigate and document all complaints; 

  • Allow for anonymous reporting of complaints; 

  • Complete appropriate remedial action; 

  • Communicate transparently with complainant; and 

  • Be readily accessible to all members of host communities. 

We externally report our recorded complaints and grievances annually as part of our sustainability performance data.

Indigenous, Traditional and Tribal Peoples

Indigenous, Traditional and Tribal Peoples

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Indigenous, Traditional and Tribal Peoples of the lands, waters and territories on which South32 is located and where we conduct our business around the world.

We respect and acknowledge the unique cultural and spiritual relationships that Indigenous, Traditional and Tribal Peoples have to the lands, waters and territories, and their rich contribution to society.

In the spirit of respect and reconciliation, we will continue to support initiatives that strengthen culture and ways of life so that their legacy continues and extends to future generations.