Message from James Crossland,
Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
At Kinross, mining responsibly means conducting our operations safely, protecting the environment, engaging our stakeholders, and generating sustainable benefits for the communities where we work.
Whether at our established operations or new development projects, our Corporate Responsibility (CR) strategy provides a comprehensive framework to help us deliver on these commitments in a manner consistent with our Ten Guiding Principles for Corporate Responsibility.
Our CR strategy is designed to integrate corporate responsibility into business planning at each stage of a mine’s life cycle; to provide a systematic and structured approach to managing and measuring CR performance across multiple sites, life-of-mine stages, countries and cultures; and, through our Site Responsibility Plans (SRPs), to help us establish site-specific strategies for maintaining mutually beneficial long-term relationships with community stakeholders.
Since our last CR report, we have made considerable progress advancing corporate responsibility across our global operations by:
- Incorporating CR planning into Kinross’ business planning cycle;
- Integrating our Tasiast and Chirano operations into our Corporate Responsibility Management System (CRMS);
- Expanding our CRMS to include social management system policies and processes, providing the same rigour to areas of our social performance that we have in environment, health and safety;
- Updating our environmental management standards for air emissions, water management, storm water, chemical and petroleum management, tailings management, waste management, and biodiversity;
- Advancing the implementation of our SRPs by adding a Company-wide stakeholder engagement standard that will help us to build increasingly meaningful and productive relationships with our stakeholders;
- Expanding biennial environment, health and safety site audits to include social performance compliance against standards and guidelines;
- Developing Supplier Conduct Guidelines that articulate minimum standards of conduct for our suppliers regarding the environment, labour, human rights and anti-corruption; and
- Continuing our focus on worker safety, our number one priority, including the creation of the new role of Vice-President, Health and Safety, and membership in the International Mining Safety Roundtable, a group of senior professionals from the world’s leading mining companies who collaborate to strengthen safety practices and policies within the industry.
For Kinross, our success in corporate responsibility – as in other areas – is measured by our performance on the ground. Highlights from 2010 and 2011 include:
- Achieved Company-wide improvement in Medical Treatment Case Frequency Rate (MIFR) and Restricted Work Activity Frequency Rate (RWAFR) in 2010. In 2011, Lost-time Injuries (LTI) and Restricted Work Activity Cases (RWAC) increased over the prior year;
- Achieved two million hours worked without an LTI at Kupol in 2011, a full year without a recordable injury in 2011 at our growth projects at Dvoinoye in Russia and Lobo-Marte in Chile, and, at Fruta del Norte in Ecuador, a full year without an LTI or RWAC;
- Improved our Carbon Disclosure Project score to 73, placing us in the top 10% of Canadian reporting companies and earning us leadership recognition for our transparency and comprehensive disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions;
- Received Cyanide Code Certification at La Coipa in 2011, meeting our 2011 goal of having all sites, except those in West Africa, certified. Also in 2011, achieved recertification at Fort Knox and Round Mountain. Recertification of Paracatu was received in 2012;
- Achieved a full regulatory release from our Wind Mountain reclamation site in Nevada;
- Completed annual employee training in support of our Human Rights Adherence and Verification Program;
- Invested in employee training and development, including agreements with regional educational institutions;
- Supported a wide range of community development and capacity-building programs and partnerships, as outlined in this report; and
- Received numerous awards for our site performance, including the John T. Ryan Safety Award for excellence in safety performance and the GE Ecomagination Leadership Award for reduced water use, both at La Coipa; the National Safety and First Aid Competition Award for a second time at Chirano; the 2011 U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award at Mineral Hill for land reclamation excellence; and, at Fruta del Norte, recognition as one of Ecuador’s Great Places to Work.
At the heart of this success are our employees, and their dedication to Kinross’ four values: putting people first; outstanding corporate citizenship; high performance culture; and rigorous financial discipline. Since 2009, through our Living Our Values Awards (LOVA), we have begun recognizing those employees whose actions and behaviours, based on the nominations of their peers, best represent these four values. The result has been overwhelming: from 200 nominations in 2009, to over 1,700 nominations for the 2011 awards. The LOVA program has highlighted the truly remarkable people who work for Kinross, and their initiative and enthusiasm. Indeed, in our 2011 biennial employee survey, 81% of respondents said they were proud to be part of Kinross.
There were also areas over the past two years where we did not meet our own or our stakeholders’ expectations. For example, at Kettle River-Buckhorn in Washington, U.S. we self-reported inconsistencies in our compliance sampling, and paid a fine as a result. In another case, due to a surveying error, we began construction of a road that encroached on indigenous land in Chile. These cases have led to a renewed focus on regulatory compliance, and strict operational controls over land disturbance and planning. In other instances, it has taken longer than we had hoped to resolve certain issues – often due to their complexities, or to circumstances beyond our control. For example, it has taken over two years to begin seeing progress with formalization of artisanal mining on our concessions in Ecuador. In another case, the process to find a mutually acceptable approach for addressing Quilombola land claims in Brazil has taken longer than we would have liked. However, we expect that these challenges will be resolved collaboratively through our steadfast commitment to patient and respectful engagement, in a way that supports and aligns with existing cultural, governmental, and community institutions.
In our business, the social and political challenges of developing new mining projects today are often greater than the engineering challenges. There are critical capabilities, people and processes that a mining company needs to succeed in an increasingly complex geopolitical world – including a comprehensive corporate responsibility strategy, clear and transparent management and measurement tools, strong stakeholder partnerships, and, not least, an engaged and committed workforce.
At Kinross, we’ve worked very hard to get elements such as these in place. We believe our efforts have paid off, and we are working continually to identify areas where we can improve. We urge you to read our 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report, and to share your feedback on our performance.