Living the New Gold Values:
Corporate Responsibility: Integrity, Commitment and Creativity
We believe best practices in corporate governance are vital to maintaining the positive reputation that New Gold has achieved, and drive the way we contribute to sustainable development. By acting ethically and with integrity, we are able to make responsible decisions that minimize impacts on the environment and benefit the local communities for years into the future.
New Gold’s Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Policy describes our commitments in these areas and is reinforced by our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Procedure, Human Rights Policy and 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles.
In 2015, we kept working on continual improvement and adoption of leading industry practices, in accordance with the commitment to our New Gold 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles. These Principles, implemented in 2013 throughout our operations and projects, comprise a set of guidelines to ensure clear direction for HSE & CSR activities. They support a management system framework consistent with:
- ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System)
- ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility Standard)
- OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System)
- The United Nations Global Compact
- The Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Initiative
- The International Cyanide Management Code
Every year, we set targets in the areas considered material priorities for New Gold and report on our performance with regard to the targets set in the previous year. This year, we are reporting on 2015 targets related to the topics identified as material in 2014. This decision reflects our commitment to focus our actions and continual improvement efforts on the most relevant areas of our business.
Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Governance
The Board of Directors has responsibility for the overall stewardship of the conduct of New Gold’s business. The Board’s fundamental objectives are to enhance and preserve long-term shareholder value and to ensure that the company meets its legal obligations on an ongoing basis and operates in a reliable and safe manner.
Details regarding members of the Board and New Gold’s governance practices are described in the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance sections of our website and in the company’s Management Information Circular available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
New Gold’s Compensation Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in approving and monitoring guidelines and practices with respect to compensation, including reviewing corporate goals and objectives relevant to executive compensation. These goals include matters related to health, safety, environment and corporate social responsibility, which directly impact the compensation paid at all levels of the organization.
The HSE & CSR Committee is a Committee of the Board that reviews and monitors the company policies and activities related to health, safety, environment and corporate social responsibility on behalf of the Board. The Committee may investigate any activity of the company that relates to sustainable development, community development, environment, or health and safety.
At the corporate level, the Health and Safety Department and the Environment and Social Responsibility Department have responsibility for related initiatives, targets and performance. Each site is supported by professionals in these disciplines to ensure sites operate in a manner that respects the expectations of our communities of interest.
Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Policy: Summary of Commitments
Health and Safety
We are committed to promoting and protecting the well-being of our employees and the communities surrounding our operations, through safety-first work practices and a culture of safety excellence. Systems are in place for health assessments and ongoing monitoring and surveillance programs to evaluate and mitigate risks. We are devoted to leading industry practices and systems in health and safety that focus on preventing accidents and incidents.
We are committed to upholding fair employment practices and encouraging a diverse workforce, where people are treated with respect and supported to realize their full potential.
Community Engagement and Development
We are committed to establishing relationships with our host communities, based on trust, mutual benefit and active engagement, to positively contribute to local communities and their economic and social development.
We are committed to preserving the long-term health and viability of the natural environments affected by our projects and operations.
Human Rights and Ethics
New Gold is committed to integrating human rights best practices into our business operations and decision-making processes. In observation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we are committed to reflecting the UNGC’s 10 principles relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption in our business operations.
We consider key human rights concerns to include non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, Aboriginal interests and security practices. We have systems in place to ensure employees and contractors are familiar with and abide by the requirements of New Gold’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Human Rights Policy.
New Gold’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects the principles by which we conduct our business. All employees of New Gold and its subsidiaries must review the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and confirm their personal compliance annually. In 2015, New Gold adopted an enhanced Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy (the ABAC Policy) designed to promote compliance with applicable anti-bribery laws and ethical business practices, support transparency and mitigate the risk of corruption in both New Gold’s and our business partners’ operations. Along with adopting the ABAC Policy, New Gold continued to bolster its ABAC compliance program by developing comprehensive procedures and controls applicable to our business around the world. All New Gold employees are trained on New Gold’s ABAC compliance program, and we require, among other things, that our business partners comply with the principles underlying our ABAC program.
Our Whistleblower Policy is designed to prevent, detect, investigate and remediate any unethical behaviour within the organization. The policy includes contact information for an independent third party to whom any employee can communicate in confidence a concern or complaint, with the assurance that there will be no negative consequences for the employee related to reporting and that the issue will be investigated.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
New Gold maintains standards and processes to make certain that relevant legal, regulatory and other health, safety, environment and social responsibility requirements are identified, understood and complied with. New Gold has never had any legal actions against the company for anti-competitive behaviour.
As a global mining company, New Gold is affected by evolving public policy wherever it operates. In particular, mining-related policy and tax policy can impact the viability and the profitability of our sites. Evolving Aboriginal and environmental laws can also have significant implications for the way we manage our business.
As a Canadian company, New Gold contributes to the development of sound Canadian public policy through participation in the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. We are also active members of the Mining Association of British Columbia and the Mining Association of Ontario. These associations regularly facilitate engagement with government and regulators with regard to policies that may affect the mining industry. In the United States and Mexico, we participate in public policy issues through local mining industry organizations.
We are a committed member of the World Gold Council and support its efforts to eliminate unethical gold production and increase transparency of gold mining companies. The Conflict-Free Gold Standard, released in late 2012, is an industry-led approach to combat the potential misuse of mined gold to fund violence and armed conflict.
New Gold produces gold in a way that does not cause, support or benefit unlawful conflict, or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international law.
While Cerro San Pedro is not located in a region of Mexico considered a conflict zone, the site is the only New Gold mine considered to be near a high-risk area as determined by the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer. As a result, and to take a conservative approach, we carried out a detailed comparison of our practices against the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. For the third consecutive year, we were provided with a statement of assurance from an external auditor that confirms we are compliant with the Standard.