Our operations produce commodities that are used to make products that contribute to nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Through our operations, we also contribute to local employment and procurement opportunities, as well as other community led initiatives.
We are committed to transparent reporting regarding the tax that we pay. In FY18, we paid US$847.6 million in taxes, royalties and other payments, as reported in our FY18 Tax Transparency and Payments to Governments report available here
We recognise that developing a clear understanding of the local community contexts in which we invest is not only common sense, but sound business sense. When the community projects we invest in perform well, our host communities prosper and this helps to promote stable and safe operating environments. Our community investment framework enables the creation of value for our business and society through a long-term outlook on strategic project development. Our operations will develop and maintain this long-term investment objective and, through engagement with the local community and understanding of the local operating context, identify further opportunities for investment.
Our community initiatives and activities align with the US Sustainable Development Goals and further information on these can be found here
Our community-related data and management approach is subject to both internal and external assurance processes. These processes assist us to evaluate the efficiency of our management approach and we use the findings to further improve existing systems. The Chief Financial Officer has accountability for Community including governance, with the Sustainability Committee of our Board providing oversight.
Due to the scale and nature of our business, we have a significant presence in the communities where we operate. This can provide benefits such as local employment and business development, infrastructure and facilities, but also potential impacts, including dust and noise. It is essential that we understand the socio-economic context in which we operate and work with our local communities to understand and manage the influence of our operations on them.
In South Africa, our mining operations are required to have Social Labour Plans (SLPs) and these form an important component of our community investments. Our SLPs include comprehensive human resource development programs, community development plans, housing and living condition plans and employment equity plans. The aim of the SLPs is to improve the social and economic circumstances of our local communities. SLPs are a prerequisite to securing and maintaining a mining right and we report on our progress annually.
Community complaints and grievances
To address individual concerns, we have a complaints and grievance procedure at every operation. This allows community members and other interested stakeholders to raise issues directly with our operations, including anonymously if they prefer. We respond to all complaints and grievances and aim to resolve any issue as soon as possible. We report all our recorded complaints and grievances and provide a detailed breakdown of them in our annual sustainability reporting.
We developed internal guidelines to more fully align the local complaints processes with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, implementing the United Nations’ Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework, specifically:
■ Acknowledge, investigate and document all complaints
■ Complete appropriate remedial action
■ Communicate transparently with complainant
■ Be readily accessible to all members of host communities
Matched giving and employee volunteering
The Australia Employee Matched Giving program continues to expand and we have partnered with Good2Give, a non-profit organisation. Employees contributions are matched by South32.
Supporting healthy communities
We provide support and contributions to address health issues where they are prevalent in our wider community across our global operations. For example, we are committed to helping reduce the occurrence of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in our local communities, as well as providing support for the treatment of other diseases such as Machado-Joseph Disease.
Our operations collaborate with relevant government, non-government and community-based organisations to promote practices to help reduce disease. We also implement programs that aim to mitigate any potential health impacts, which include managing dust, noise and waste.
We support and are committed to the transparent disclosure of taxes, royalties and fees so that people can understand how our company contributes to the economies in which we operate. We go beyond compliance and voluntarily report via several frameworks as part of this commitment. We comply with all transparency requirements relating to our operations, which currently includes Chapter 10 of the European Union Accounting Directive as well as the Australian Voluntary Tax Transparency Code and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) requirements. We also support the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and provide financial contribution to the EITI through our membership of the ICMM. We include all payments to governments in our Tax Transparency report, which is published on our website. A full list of South32 subsidiaries, including their country of tax residency can be found in note 28 to the financial statements on page 146 of the 2018 Annual Report