UN Global Compact

   

Implats’ 2012 Communication on Progress on the UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a voluntary global initiative that addresses human rights, labour, environmental and corruption issues through a commitment to ten principles derived from authoritative sources of international law, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the core declarations of the International Labour Organisation, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Implats became a signatory to the UN Global Compact in July 2008.

The following table provides a brief overview of our implementation of the ten principles. More detailed information is available throughout our sustainable development report.

 
   
 
 
     

Global Compact Principle  

Brief COP Statement   

Reference in Implats’ Sustainability Report   

1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of international human rights within their sphere of influence.
  
The underlying principle of respecting human rights informs our business practices and procedures, and is embedded in our strategic objectives. Our commitment to human rights is described in the Company’s Code of Ethics and our values. Specific provision is made for human rights related issues in our formal agreements with employee union representatives. While our contractor agreements do not specifically contain human rights clauses, contractors are expected to abide by our Company policies, practices, standards and the law of the countries in which they are operating. During the reporting period our policies were amended to include the obligation for contractors to respect and abide the UN Global Compact principles. We have undertaken to improve our monitoring of contracted labour on human rights issues and are continuing to focus on this area. Through stakeholder engagement processes, material community issues pertaining to human rights are addressed in community forums. No claims of human rights abuse were made against the Company in the year under review.    A general overview of our approach to human rights is provided in our review on Promoting good governance (SDR page 45).   
2. Businesses should make sure their own corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses.  
 
We strive to uphold this principle through our focus on ensuring compliance with all applicable legislation and by encouraging rigorous implementation of the company code of ethics. In the context of the recent tragic circumstances relating to the management of public order following the strike action in the platinum industry, we recognise the increased importance of adopting proactive measures to identify and address areas where the potential for complicity in human rights abuses may arise. Managing this risk will require greater focus on developing and implementing human rights awareness-raising, communication, monitoring and assurance systems, particularly amongst those vested with managing security and public order issues.    A general overview of our approach to human rights is provided in our review on Promoting good governance (SDR page 45).   
3. Businesses should uphold freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.  
 
We recognise the right of employees to collective bargaining and freedom of association in accordance with all relevant local labour legislation, and we strive to provide an environment that fosters open, honest and effective relations between management, employees and elected union representatives. We monitor labour relations in our operations; monthly labour relations reports are submitted from our operations to the EXCO, and an independent third party conducts biannual surveys of labour relations. Following the unforeseen strike action this year, we have recognised the need to significantly revise our strategic approach to employee relations. Our sustainable development report includes a detailed review of our assessment of the causes of the strike action, the implications for our industrial and employee relations activities and a description of our proposed response measures.    Details on our labour relations activities are provided in our review of Fostering positive employee relations (SDR pages 58-59). An assessment of the underlying causes of the strike action at Impala’s operations is provided on pages 59.   
4. Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
  
All our labour is sourced from the open labour market, and all employees are provided with contracts in accordance with local labour legislation; they are free to resign at any time in accordance with legal processes.    Details on our labour relations activities are provided in Fostering positive employee relations (SDR pages 58 - 59).   
5. Businesses should uphold the effective abolition of child labour.
  
Implats does not make use of child labour in any of its operations. We monitor and ensure our compliance with the labour legislation in the two countries within which we operate. We have not detected any significant risks of child labour being used.    A general overview of our approach to human rights is provided in our review on Promoting good governance (SDR page 45).   
6. Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  
We strive to eliminate discrimination in all forms throughout our workforce, and are committed to promoting employment equity and diversity. In our Zimbabwean operation we have been working with the government to meet its expectations regarding indigenisation. Over the last five years we have made valuable progress in promoting diversity across most levels of management throughout the Group. Our biggest challenge, and one that is shared throughout the industry, is in ensuring greater diversity at the EXCOM level. We have made useful progress in employing women in core positions throughout the Group, and we are well positioned relative to our competitors at management level, with the exception of the skilled level. Our performance and prospects on employment equity and indigenisation are outlined in more detail in our sustainable development report.    A review of our employment equity performance and our initiatives on this issue is provided in Promoting employment equity and diversity (SDR pages 62-65). Refer also to GRI tables on www.Implats.co.za. Our response to calls for indigenisation in Zimbabwe is provided on page 75.   
7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.   
As a company involved in the exploration, extraction and processing of mineral resources, we inevitably have an impact on the natural environment. We believe, however, that through our responsible environmental management practices, and through the nature of our resulting investments in social and human capital, we have a net positive impact on society. This contribution is further enhanced by the role that PGM metals play in the move to a greener economy. The extent to which we have adopted a precautionary approach to managing environmental challenges is reviewed in our sustainability report.    Our approach to promoting environmental stewardship is described in Maintaining access to strategic natural resources and minimising our environmental impacts (SDR page 66 -74).   
8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
  
As outlined in more detail in our report, we have adopted numerous initiatives aimed at promoting environmental responsibility. These include policies and programmes relating to: optimising energy usage and promoting
security of supply; promoting sustainable water use and
reducing pollution; reducing our atmospheric emissions; responding to risks and opportunities
brought about by climate change; ensuring effective land management and promoting biodiversity; managing our waste streams; and striving to reduce environmental 
incidents.    Our approach to promoting environmental stewardship is described in Maintaining access to strategic natural resources and minimising our environmental impacts (SDR page 66-74).   
9. Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  
As outlined in our report, the Group is working with government and academic institutions on the development of fuel-cell technologies that will utilise PGMs in alternative energy sources, which can be used for local technology transfer and that can reduce the business’s reliance on energy derived from fossil fuels.    Our approach to promoting environmental stewardship is described in Maintaining access to strategic natural resources and minimising our environmental impacts (SDR page 66-74).   
10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
  
Implats has a zero tolerance stance on fraud and corruption. We require our employees, business partners, contractors and associates to conduct themselves in accordance with the Implats Code of Ethics and our fraud policy, both of which are fully compliant with the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004. Our fraud policy outlines conflicts of interest, the prevention of dissemination of Company information, the acceptance of donations and gifts, and the protection of the intellectual property and patent rights of the Company. The policy outlines the disciplinary action (including dismissal or prosecution) that will be taken in the event of any contravention. A “whistle- blowing” toll-free helpline is in place to facilitate the confidential reporting of alleged incidents that are reported to the Chairman of the Board.    A general overview of our approach to addressing corruption is provided in our review on Promoting good governance (SDR page 44).