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Responsible value chain

FY22 at a glance

US$907m (up 6%)

Local procurement across our global operations


Enterprise Supplier Development spend in South Africa


increase in direct spend with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses in Australia

Our approach

Responsible sourcing

Our approach to responsible sourcing relies on collaboration with our suppliers to minimise health, safety, environmental, human rights, and other social risks.

We set out our expectations of suppliers in our Code of Business Conduct (Code) and Sustainability and Business Conduct – Minimum Supplier Requirements. As per our Code, we aim to work only with suppliers who have strong values and standards of conduct and share our commitment to lawful business practices.

Any third parties who work at our locations or interact with others on our behalf must follow our Code, or their own code, provided that their standards of conduct are consistent with ours.

We assess risks associated with our suppliers, support our teams to align with our internal standards through stewardship activities and track the effectiveness of our joint efforts.

Suppliers of services are inducted through our contractor management process. This process was established to improve both the safety and performance of our contracting partners.

Product stewardship

Our approach to the stewardship of our commodities is based on accepted best practice for their handling, transportation and use. We are guided by ICMM Mining Principle 8 – Responsible Production, and advice from industry bodies and commodity associations relevant to our products. These include the International Manganese Institute, the International Lead Institute, the International Zinc Institute, the International Aluminium Institute, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, Australian Coal Industry Research Program and most recently the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries.

Through our management systems and internal audit processes, we assess, prevent or mitigate potential environmental, health and safety risks to our people and communities. This ensures that the resources we produce are properly managed when in our control and we work with other stakeholders in the supply chain to promote responsible use of our products after they have left our control.

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and labels are used to communicate current, complete and accurate information to all stakeholders in our supply chain. The SDSs outline the products’ health, safety and environmental aspects to allow their safe and responsible use. For products where chemical safety assessments are required by law, we also supply exposure scenario information to our customers, which covers risk management measures for the identified uses of our products.

Enterprise Supplier Development

Growing and developing small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) is fundamental to the transformation of the South African economy.

We collaborate and work with SMMEs on Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD). In line with South Africa’s transition towards fair economic distribution and the alleviation of poverty, we aim to do business with an ever-increasing percentage of Black owned suppliers. We support suppliers as they transform to Black ownership and encourage them to progress beyond the 51 per cent level of Black ownership defined by South African legislation.

Our approach focuses on identifying existing and potential suppliers based in local communities. To support socio-economic development in local communities, we comply with our operational Social and Labour Plans, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003, Mining Charter III and the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002.

We provide development programs, assisting small businesses to become procurement ready, increase sales, build competitiveness, and enter the value chain of large companies, including South32. This has expanded to include the areas of health and safety, COVID-19 protocols, anti-corruption, corporate governance, human resources, labour law, financial record keeping, anti-modern slavery and self-development. Support is also provided through essential equipment, such as laptops, printers, small tools, and accounting software packages.

Hillside Aluminium partners with Solana Energy to boost local renewable energy

A photo of buildings connected by a pipeline at Hillside Aluminium

Hillside Aluminium partners with Solana Energy to boost local renewable energy

In June 2022, Hillside Aluminium launched a partnership with Solana Energy to bring solar energy to one of South Africa's most important commercial hubs.

The multi-phased project involves the establishment of solar power infrastructure in the Richard's Bay and King Cetshwayo District (KCD) economic regions, which is expected to add between 2 to 2.5MW of renewable energy capacity to the local grid within 12 months.

This will help businesses that supply Hillside Aluminium to start seeing the benefits of renewable electricity. Through the project, a Solar Training Academy will be developed to upskill young electricians in the fields of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology.

P46 , 2022 Sustainable Development Report

Procurement from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers 

We are committed to providing genuine access and support to build capability and the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, to better enable them to work with South32.

We work closely with our key contractors to facilitate relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers and introduced performance metrics to measure supply chain impact.

Our local sourcing teams provide coaching about our procurement processes and how to work with South32.

Learn more about how we engage with local Indigenous, Traditional and Tribal Peoples in the places we operate.

Proudly supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

Proudly supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

In FY22 we significantly increased our procurement of goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses across our Australian locations. 

We exceeded our RAP commitment by 23 per cent, investing more than $25 million with Indigenous businesses across Australia, and entered into some exciting partnerships at our Australian locations.

Key documents