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Gold Fields November 09 www. bus- ex. com 29 gold Sustainable G old is one of those materials that manages to touch us all. At one end of the spectrum, it has played a fundamental role in the foundation of global banking and finance; at the other, it is the basis for many of the most beautiful and decorative forms of art. Behind this glossy and expensive precious metal lies the gold mining industry, run by organisations that are working together to improve their operational practices and establish their corporate responsibility credentials. In 2001, a number of the world's top tier gold mining companies got together to form the ICMM ( International Council for Mining and Metals). " This is a CEO- led organisation and its aim was to set up a platform to promote sustainable development in the industry and enable mining companies to share best practice," explains Philip Woodhouse, head of Sustainable Development at Gold Fields, one of the world's largest unhedged producers of gold, and an ICMM and Global Compact member. The company is based in Sandton, Johannesburg, with operational gold mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru. It has a long history of commitment to the environment and to the local communities in which it operates. " Sustainable development is not new to us," Woodhouse says. " We have been investing in things like environmental education, socio- economic development and communities since the 1980s. But we're now consolidating all of this into an overall sustainable development framework." This consists of an overarching sustainable development policy that provides the overall strategy for the business. Underpinning this are eight interlinked frameworks that articulate and define each aspect of the sustainable development policy and provide the management system through which it operates. These are continuously being drawn together, improved upon and refined as part of an ongoing process. For each of the eight policy frameworks, the company is developing a set of practice guide documents which are used throughout the business, spelling out the protocols for dealing with each subject, and exactly what the company expects of its employees. Gold Fields draws together peer groups- committees of experts and managers from across the company- to create these guides. The peer groups do extensive external research to discover the best practice that is available, and combine this with their own knowledge and experience to write the guide. " And the guide has to be realistic," Woodhouse warns. " You can't demand something that is unrealistic for the operations, or it just becomes a moot point. Neither can we be too prescriptive, because we operate in jurisdictions

from South Africa, to 4,000 metres above sea level in the Andes mountains of Peru, to the outback of Australia and the tropical climates in Ghana." When it comes to disseminating the guides and implementing the policies, " the approach we take is: here is the soccer field. Play on the soccer field and everyone will be happy. Stray off the soccer field and we'll have to take corrective action," Woodhouse says. From the corporate governance perspective, Gold Fields complies with two international standards: the King Report on Corporate Governance in South Africa 2002 and the Sarbanes Oxley act. It has a full set of protocols in place for both and is currently working on aligning with the third version of the King Report, which will be coming out shortly. The main thrust of the company's ethics and corporate governance policy, though, has been to set up a code of ethics. " This has been in place for quite a few years," Woodhouse explains. " It spells out the behaviour we expect from our employees and aims to ensure they act in a manner beyond reproach." The code provides user friendly guidance on how employees should deal with all issues to ensure ethical behaviour. Policing behaviour is not always easy, though. " To support that, we make use of an independent third party tip- off provider," Woodhouse explains. " So if anyone suspects someone is not adhering to our code of ethics, they can phone the hotline, which is anonymous. We investigate from there, and we have a whole protocol on how we investigate and close out on these issues." On the subject of human rights, Gold Fields has developed a range of general practice guides on issues as wide ranging as freedom of association and upholding the right for cultural difference. Many of the guides are also aimed at issues that are pertinent to specific locations. In Ghana, for example, illegal artisanal mining is prevalent, so a guide has been developed to provide ways of dealing with this. The company is now looking at further embedding human rights awareness throughout the organisation. " Recently, we have been putting together a training tool kit which can be used to train our employees in both the issues and their obligations. We began by doing some high level human rights training with acknowledged experts for senior management, and now we're rolling out a formal programme throughout our operations," Woodhouse explains. This will become part of the induction training for new employees, as well as for contractors coming on site. The Gold Fields risk management framework is also very well defined and is approached from several angles. 30 www. bus- ex. com November 09