Natural resource development can catalyze economic growth and social development when the rule of law is enforced and transparency and accountability are promoted. However, when poorly managed it can lead to corruption and conflict.
Integrity – behaving ethically and respecting each other and the customs, cultures and laws wherever we operate – and responsibility – delivering on our commitments, demonstrating leadership, speaking up and challenging the status quo – are two of our core values.
Our Code of Conduct (the “Code”) states our commitment to high ethical standards, corporate responsibility and integrity. Our Board of Directors updates, reviews and ratifies the Code and re-evaluates it at least every three years.
For all employees, officers and Directors, partners, vendors and contractors, our Code defines applicable standards of behavior and details our expectations that they act ethically and adhere to the social, environmental and economic principles of sustainable development.
Six global policies state our intentions, aspirations and commitments across key aspects of our business.
- Health and Safety
- Operations and Resource Development
- Asset Value Protection
- Business Integrity
- Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement
These policies are supported by standards, which specify minimum acceptable requirements; guidelines, which provide a recommended approach; and procedures, which define how work should be done and who should do it. Our Code and policies are published on our website.
Our Business Integrity Policy requires all those engaged in activities on our behalf to work honestly and in the best interests of the Company, to avoid corruption and bribery of any kind, and to ensure compliance with various relevant legal requirements. Supporting this policy are a number of standards including our Conflicts of Interest Standard, Gifts and Entertainment Standard, and our Anti-Corruption Standard, which addresses ethical conduct requirements and Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) principles not otherwise covered in our Code or other policies or standards.
We engage with governments and other stakeholders on a variety of issues, including worker health and safety, environmental protection, trade, economic development, infrastructure, transparency, rule of law, and other areas of public policy that are important for our operations. This engagement is in strict accordance with all applicable laws, the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and Newmont’s Code of Conduct, Business Integrity Policy and our standards on ethical conduct, referred to above.
Our Political Contributions Standard details the rules and processes for making political contributions or otherwise engaging in the legislative or political process. This standard states our commitment to report our political contributions to our Board of Directors on a semi-annual basis and annually on our website. We do not make political contributions outside the United States.
In 2015, we restructured our global ethics program, supplementing our existing ethics advocates with dedicated compliance managers in those countries considered a higher risk for potential corruption, including Ghana, Indonesia, Peru and Suriname. These experts will work closely with groups that manage higher risk activities – such as supply chain, government and community relations, and security – to oversee training and outreach programs, investigate ethics and compliance complaints, and generally monitor for corruption.
We conducted in-person anti-corruption training in Ghana, Indonesia and Suriname during the year, as well as numerous in-person training sessions with various teams in or around our corporate offices or at other corporate events, including our Board directors, regional senior vice presidents, other operational leaders, and our finance, projects, human resources and security team members.
Our internal audit group conducted a fraud risk assessment for each of our four operating regions (100 percent), and identified the following two corruption risks as significant or greater in terms of impact, with a likelihood of likely or greater:
- Employee receives payments (kickbacks or bribes) from a vendor in order to make or influence a decision in the vendor’s favor; and
- Misappropriation of social responsibility funds used for community relations/compensation (e.g., foundations, land access, crop compensation, traditional authorities).
The Company has implemented controls designed to mitigate these risks.
For 2015, our annual ethics training program focused on interactions between managers and employees, a topic that makes up the largest volume of allegations received in our Ethics Solution Tool each year. Participation in the training remained steady compared to the previous year, with 99 percent of managers at operating sites completing the training compared to 97 percent in 2014.
A total of 273 new issues were raised through our anonymous ethics and compliance reporting system throughout 2015, and 38 cases were open at the beginning of the year. By year end, 246 of those matters were closed and 65 remained open. Of the cases closed in 2015, 144 (59 percent) were not substantiated. Of the 102 (41 percent) that were substantiated, 77 resulted in human resources or management actions that ranged from counseling to termination of the employees involved, and 25 resulted in a recommended change of business process. Cases are rated red, yellow and green, depending on the type of allegation and the roles of those implicated, and are closed on average in 55 days. The global ethics team provides reports on cases to the Executive Vice President and General Counsel and to the Audit Committee on a quarterly basis.
Newmont's U.S. political contributions totaled $110,500 in 2015, a significant decrease from 2014 due to the fact that 2015 was an off-cycle election year.
A total of 26 standards were approved in 2015. While most of them updated existing standards or consolidated multiple standards for clarity and consistency, some of the new standards – including those on human rights, indigenous peoples and security performance – aim to improve our ability to effectively manage some of our most material sustainability risks.
Review and approval of our global standards will be ongoing as each standard is re-evaluated at least every three years.
In 2016, the ethics team will begin operating with its new structure, which is an important part of its focus on working closely with the business to encourage conduct compliant with our Code and values; identifying and preventing potential misconduct before it occurs; and promoting an environment where people are comfortable speaking up if they have concerns or questions. Additionally, the ethics team will continue to work with the supply chain group to identify and manage risks posed by third-party vendors and service providers through supplier screening, onboarding, and appropriately identifying and managing risk through the lifecycle of our supplier relationships.