Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
We believe that success is more than just delivering strong financial performance. We understand that society, shareholders and indeed employees expect more. People want companies to demonstrate a social purpose and are increasingly holding companies to account for the decisions and actions they take.
At Newcrest, our purpose is clear – Creating a brighter future for people through safe and responsible mining. Sustainability is not a buzzword in our company. It is fundamental to the way we do business and is an imperative for our continued success.
Being a safe and sustainable business is a core pillar of our strategic business plan, and this year we strengthened our sustainability approach when we established our Integrated Sustainability Framework. Focused on four key areas – improving people’s lives, respecting the environment, being a trusted company, and building a business for the future – the Framework sets the foundation for our continued focus and deliberate action to help shape a positive future for people, communities and society, locally and globally. While all of our sustainability goals are important and critical to the success of Newcrest, I would like to highlight a few key areas that we have been actioning.
A helping hand in times of need
Life changed for many people when the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe in early 2020. In response, we established a dedicated A$20 million support fund to assist communities’ preparations and response to the pandemic. Working with communities in Newcrest’s key areas of operations, from April 2020 to June 2022, we supported 67 initiatives through the fund, to a total value of A$11.4 million.
It was a great privilege to be able to lend a helping hand to people in their time of need. Building on the success of this pandemic-specific fund, we established the Newcrest Sustainability Fund in 2022, with a A$10 million commitment in FY23 which may include multi-year projects. The budget will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Building our roadmap to net zero
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. As one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, we know we have a role in reducing carbon emissions. Last year we announced our new goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which relates to our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, though we continue to work across our value chain to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
This year, we mobilised a team dedicated to developing a technological roadmap that will put us on course towards decarbonisation, including our supply chain, as a critical part of building a business for the future.
Our decarbonisation journey so far has included some exciting pilots and studies into electric vehicles, Hybrid Load Haul Dump (LHD) trials, and the ongoing implementation of a battery electric truck fleet at the newly acquired Brucejack mine. The innovation potential is immense and makes me optimistic about how society responds to this great challenge.
Everyone has the right to be and feel safe
On 22 October 2022, one of our colleagues working at Brucejack never made it home from work. For their family, friends and close colleagues, life will never be the same. Nor will it be the same for all of us at Newcrest. The loss of a colleague is far reaching and long lasting. When a life is lost the profound sadness never goes away. Nothing is more important than people’s safety and our colleague’s death is a stark reminder of that.
The most important measure of our success is that we foster a workplace where everyone goes home safe and healthy every day, and where everyone actively contributes to this outcome. Safety is our core value, and we must ensure that people’s safety is always front and centre in everything we do. We owe this to every person working with us and, indeed, to their families.
Safety at Newcrest is more than just aiming to eliminate incidents and injuries. It is also about aiming to eliminate and prevent harmful behaviours.
This year, the culture of the mining and resources industry came under intense scrutiny following the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@ Work report and the Western Australia Parliamentary Inquiry report into sexual assault and harassment against women in the mining industry.
The stories bravely shared in these reports by people subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment while at work were shocking. The research is clear. There is a lot more we must do across our industry to protect people’s safety. Sadly, there are people in Newcrest who have also been subjected to sexual assault and sexual harassment.
In FY22, there were 50 sexual assault or sexual harassment cases reported through various channels across Newcrest globally. All cases have been or are under investigation. So far 24 have been substantiated leading in all cases to either the issuing of warnings or removal of individuals from our workforce. We acknowledge that not all incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment may have been reported. There is only one acceptable number of incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and that is zero.
Taking action for positive change
Newcrest must be a place where each person working with us feels safe, respected and valued. In FY22, we progressed key actions that aim to prevent sexual assault and harassment in our workplace and ensure people working with us are supported and have the necessary skills and knowledge to help address these serious issues.
Over the next year, we will continue to take positive and deliberate action to prevent behaviours that do not align with our core values. We will do this with focus and urgency, and above all with care for those who have been impacted.
Newcrest is a great company, with great people. Our continued growth must be built on a culture that supports and enables people to thrive and be their best. By doing this, we will create a better Newcrest for everyone.