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Newmont is committed to responsible mineral development that results in positive, sustainable change in the communities and countries where we work. Mining is a long-term business with commitments and investments that can span decades. As the social, environmental and political risks become increasingly complex and significant, how we manage these risks directly impacts our reputation and ability to create value, not only for shareholders but also other stakeholders.

Our Sustainability Strategy

How sustainability fits into the mine lifecycle

Our sustainability strategy guides a proactive and systematic approach in order to, first and foremost, understand and manage social and environmental risks throughout the mine lifecycle.

This strategy is aligned to the three primary elements of our business strategy:

Securing the gold franchise

The value that Newmont derives from mineral resources and our ability to extract and process them are dependent on obtaining and maintaining legal and social licenses to operate. Our sustainability strategy delineates where accountabilities and responsibilities reside, and provides an organizational framework for ensuring that human and financial resources are allocated effectively.

The foundation of securing the gold franchise is strong performance on the ground. In addition to meeting legal obligations, this means developing and implementing technical and issue-specific strategies to manage environmental and social risks, and having minimum performance standards fully understood and implemented across all operations and projects. This requires consultation and an inclusive process for developing strategies and standards, competent people in specialist functions to help with implementation, and leaders who understand the importance of strong social and environmental results and can create the culture required to achieve them throughout their organizations.

Strengthening the portfolio

Building a portfolio of long-life, lower-cost gold and copper assets requires having capable and proactive people in the right roles, and systems and processes that are fit for purpose. Discipline and rigor are required in evaluating potential prospects and adequately assessing the inherent social and environmental challenges, risks and opportunities.

For example, greenfield opportunities in a new jurisdiction require a thorough understanding of the social and political landscape in order to plan for the risks that will need to be managed and the stakeholders who will need to be engaged. Assessing key factors – including employment and infrastructure; the accuracy of baseline social and environmental assessments and the feasibility of mitigation plans; and the status of essential permits for land, water, construction and operation – is essential to determining both project value and viability.

Acquiring mature assets also requires an in-depth understanding of the environmental and social legacies and the magnitude of financial and reputational liabilities that will need to be managed, as well as their economic impact. And when divesting non-core assets, buyer interest and asset valuations are likely to be greater if the social and environmental risks and legacy issues have been effectively managed.

Enabling the strategy

The third platform of our business strategy – enabling the strategy – requires effective management of both current and emerging sustainability and external relations threats and opportunities. This requires:

  • Clear direction and strategic intent
  • A framework for implementation and realistic plans
  • A capable and motivated team
  • Leaders who visibly and consistently demonstrate their understanding and commitment
  • A comprehensive communications plan

Our sustainability framework supports implementation of the strategy and links its elements together:

Over the past two years, we worked to upgrade our sustainability capabilities, systems and standards and have implemented or developed comprehensive global strategies to improve our performance in areas – such as water, climate change and human rights – that are important to our business and to our stakeholders.

Strategic Imperatives

Three strategic imperatives drive the programs necessary to deliver on our sustainability strategy:

  • Performance – Achieving industry leading performance in environmental protection, mitigation and rehabilitation, community engagement and long-term shared value creation is the foundation of the strategy. In 2014, we updated our social and environmental standards; formed communities of practice; and enhanced auditing and external reporting practices to drive improved performance.
  • Social acceptance and reputation – The support of host communities and regional, national and international stakeholders is crucial for our success. Over the past year, we strengthened diligence around complaints and grievances (C&G) and developed a human rights strategy, standard and training program.
  • Risk management – Effectively identifying and managing social, environmental and political threats and opportunities is necessary to optimize decisions and resource allocation and deliver on our plans and strategies. In 2014, we implemented a global water strategy and comprehensive country risk program. We also initiated development of an Indigenous Peoples Standard to provide guidance on the treatment of indigenous peoples and the requirements around free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Materiality assessment process

Our Priorities

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To better understand the issues that are most important – or material – to the business and our stakeholders, in 2013 Newmont commissioned external experts to conduct a materiality assessment. The assessment tested the relative importance of more than 50 sustainability issues, sourced from a number of leading indices and organizations.

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The assessment asked more than 30 internal and nearly 70 external stakeholders across four regions to weigh in on the relative importance of each of these issues.

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Globally, the top five issues for Newmont and our stakeholders align in three areas – economic performance, water withdrawal, and local community development. External stakeholders rank employment and indirect economic impacts as their other priorities, while internal stakeholders prioritize occupational health and safety, and stakeholder engagement and consultation.

These findings are aligned with the priorities we cover in our 2014 sustainability report:

  • Our People – attracting, retaining and developing our people; building a more diverse talent pipeline and inclusive workplace; embedding a culture of sustainable safety, with the ultimate goal of eliminating all workplace injuries and illnesses; and improving the health and wellness of our workforce
  • Economic and Social Performance – creating value for shareholders and other stakeholders; building and maintaining respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders; and serving as a catalyst for sustainable economic development everywhere we operate
  • Environmental Stewardship – minimizing and mitigating the impact of our operations on water, land, air quality, climate and biodiversity and exploring opportunities to work with stakeholders on systemic solutions to address complex environmental challenges

We also understand that business and stakeholder priorities shift over time, so a follow-up materiality assessment is planned for 2015.

Targets

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Setting well-defined targets is one element of our implementation framework. Targets support our commitment to transparency; improve our ability to manage risks; and provide real insight into what has worked – and what hasn't.

We engaged in a consultative process in 2014 to develop external targets for complaints and grievances, water management, and closure and reclamation. The targets address some of the more critical areas of our business and encourage near-term management as well as long-term planning.

Complaints and grievances (C&G) targets

Year Target definition Target for sites Target for Newmont
2015 Percent of Tier 1 C&G (defined as those that can be resolved between Newmont and complainants without the need for external mediation and/or legal proceedings) closed in a 30-day period 87 percent 100 percent achievement of site targets
2016 90 percent
2017 93 percent

Water targets

Year Target definition Target for sites Target for Newmont
2015 Implementation of the Water Accounting Framework (WAF) Complete a WAF 100 percent
of sites to have completed a WAF
2016 Percent implementation against the sites’ Water Strategy Action Plans Complete
100 percent
of actions and achieve
80 percent
of water targets established in the site Water Strategy Action Plan
100 percent
of sites complete their action plans for the year and achieve their water targets (80 percent in 2016 and 90 percent in 2017)
2017 Complete
100 percent
of actions and achieve
90 percent
of water targets established in the site Water Strategy Action Plan

Closure and reclamation targets

Year Target definition Target for sites Target for Newmont
2015 Development of a Concurrent Reclamation Plan that identifies total area to be reclaimed each year Concurrent Reclamation Plan developed and approved All sites complete a Concurrent Reclamation Plan
2016 Percent of concurrent final reclamation activities executed against the site plan 80 percent
of Concurrent Final Reclamation Plan achieved
80 percent
of planned reclamation activities achieved across Newmont
2017 90 percent
of Concurrent Final Reclamation Plan achieved
90 percent
of planned reclamation activities achieved across Newmont