This is the last of five in a series on Newmont’s contribution to the SDGs.
The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 8 calls for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all – a strategy that aligns closely with Newmont’s purpose which is to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.
As part of our contribution to SDG 8, we set ambitious local employment and procurement targets and invest in capacity and skill building programs at many of our operations. While our business provides direct employment to host community members, we recognize that we have a role to play in minimizing dependency on the mine so that, when operations end, the region maintains a productive capacity for sustained economic growth. That is why we’ve established livelihood improvement programs to help empower those living in the regions near our operations.
One of these programs is the Ahafo Linkages Program (ALP). In February 2007, Newmont Ghana and the International Finance Corporation signed a cooperative agreement to build the capacity of local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as strengthen local capacity for non mining-related activities to help ensure the development of a diversified economy outside the mining sector.
Through help from the ALP, more than 500 local businesses have been awarded contracts with our Ahafo mine, and in 2016, the Ghana Chamber of Mines named Ahafo Mining Company of the Year in part because of our support of local content. Today, we are working to implement a similar linkage program at our Merian mine in Suriname, located in an area even more remote than Ahafo.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) highlights collaboration as fundamental to achieving long-term growth and economic diversification, stressing the need for companies to engage with “government, aid agencies and other companies to enhance broader economic development opportunities.” In 2016, we did just that, partnering with the Central Land Council (CLC) – the representative body for the aboriginal people in Australia’s Northern Territory – to develop a 10-year strategic plan to collectively build the capacity and capability of the Warlpiri people in support of sustainable businesses and social enterprises, among other objectives. Though still in its early days, the agreement is expected to deliver strong sustainability outcomes for long-term value creation into the future.
In mapping our existing sustainability policies, standards and programs to the SDGs, we have seen the extent to which our activities already contribute to the goals and where we can have the most impact going forward. Our next step is to develop ways to better measure and report on the outcomes of some of our activities related to our priority SDGs to demonstrate real impact.
Through proactive engagement and partnerships with governments, communities and other stakeholders, we seek to drive long-term value creation and create sustainable economic development opportunities that leave a positive legacy for generations to come.