Anglo Pacific seeks to maintain the highest standards in all areas of its business.
During 2014, the Board commissioned a review of all of Anglo Pacific’s current corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) practices and activities. Its purpose was to identify best practice. Where the review highlighted scope for improvement, the Company made practical and effective changes which it built on during 2015.
The review took into account international guidance. The standards considered included: the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; the Global Reporting Initiative Mining and Metal Sectors Supplement; the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Human Rights; and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. The Company also reviewed the CSR reporting and CSR commitments of the mines that it is invested in. Further, the Company evaluated the implications of the United Kingdom Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 for its own CSR reporting.
Following this extensive review, the Company extended and strengthened its due diligence process to reflect current best practices. The mechanism that the Company uses to monitor CSR issues has been given greater granularity. In particular, it directs the Company to consider the governance, policy provision, management, measurement and reporting of each material issue. During 2015, the Company has applied this to the consideration of potential investments, including it as a key royalty acquisition criterion, and uses it in the monitoring of existing investments.
At the same time the Company has further improved its office practices. The Company has implemented improvements, including but not confined to measures to conserve energy, which it will report against in the 2016 Annual Report and Accounts, and the reduction of office waste. During 2015, the Company successfully implemented a recycling policy and now recycles 25% of all office waste (2014: 0%). The Company plans to improve this further during 2016. In addition, to improve energy efficiency office lighting is now on motion and daylight sensors to minimise energy consumption.
The Company is confident that the changes made will enable it to achieve improvements in its CSR practice.
Anglo Pacific is committed to an environmental policy of collaborating fully with statutory authorities, local communities and other interested parties in order to limit any potential adverse impacts of its activities on the natural and human environments associated with its operations. The nature of the Group’s royalty investments is such that it does not operate any of the properties underlying its royalty portfolio and, consequently, it does not always have the ability to influence the manner in which the operations are carried out. Nevertheless, a responsible approach to a project’s environmental impact and its sustainability management is essential to the success of the project over its life.
As part of the Group’s investment decision process, careful consideration is given to the environmental aspects of any potential asset purchase during the due diligence phase. In particular, the Group typically engages with consultants who have the requisite expertise to ensure that it can consider and, if necessary, mitigate any risks in this regard to a properly maintainable level. In 2015, as part of its acquisition of a royalty on the Narrabri mine, Anglo Pacific engaged an independent consultant to review the environmental aspects of the mine and comment on those likely to affect the surrounding community, including subsidence, noise and air quality. No issues were identified as part of this process.
The Group expects employees to address environmental and sustainability responsibilities within the framework of normal operating procedures and to look to minimise waste as much as economically practicable. The Audit Committee is responsible for periodically reviewing the Group’s environmental practices and for monitoring their effectiveness.
Anglo Pacific acknowledges that, whilst its activities have little direct contact with communities, it can positively influence the social practices and policies of companies it conducts business with. Positive social and community relationships are essential to profitable and successful mining activities. The Group endeavours to ensure that companies it works with have appropriate procedures in place to facilitate this. More specifically, Anglo Pacific’s investment decision process for potential asset purchases involves due diligence relating to the full range of CSR issues, including the social and community aspects of the project. As part of its 2015 acquisition of a royalty on the Narrabri mine, Anglo Pacific extensively reviewed Whitehaven Coal’s policies on community development, Aboriginal engagement, safety and environmental responsibilities. No issues were identified as part of this process.
The debate on the role of business and human rights has gained increasing prominence in recent years. Anglo Pacific welcomes this focus as respect for human rights is implicit across the Group’s employment practices. Further, a commitment to human rights is an important part of any successful organisation. As part of the Group’s investment decision process, if necessary, consultants with the requisite expertise are engaged to assist in identifying and mitigating any such risks.
The Group’s employees are instrumental to its success, and it respects and values the individuality and diversity that every employee brings to the business. As at December 31, 2015, 54% of the Group’s employees were female (2014: 46%) as the Group had 11 employees, 6 of whom were female. In terms of the Company’s Board of Directors, there were 6 Directors, 5 of whom were male and 1 of whom was female. Prior to any appointment to the Board, the Nomination Committee gives due regard to diversity and gender with a view to appointing the best placed individual for the role. The Group recognises that it has more to do in encouraging and supporting diversity and hope to be able to identify and develop talent at all levels in the organisation as the Group continues to grow.
Anglo Pacific is committed to maintaining its reputation for fair dealing. The Company does not offer, give or receive bribes or inducements whether directly or through a third party.
The Company has policies and procedures in place to ensure that all Directors, officers, employees, consultants, advisors, business partners, and anyone else who may be acting on its behalf, are aware of their responsibilities in this area. The Company actively promotes a transparent approach to all of its business dealings and expect employees to adopt a zero tolerance attitude to corruption. Employees are encouraged to report any potential or apparent misconduct in accordance with the Company’s internal whistle-blowing policy and any employee that refuses to pay bribes, or raises any issues honestly, and in good faith, will be supported by the Group.
The Company chooses business partners and counterparties carefully, based on merit and reputation, and only works with persons of known integrity, who it believes will act consistently with its own standards. The Company does not make facilitation payments. Where business is conducted in countries with laws that are less restrictive than the Company’s policies and procedures, it will seek to follow its own policies and procedures, promoting its standard of integrity wherever possible.
The health and safety of the Group’s employees is of fundamental importance and is a responsibility it takes seriously. During 2015, the Group implemented a new health and safety policy and undertook an office risk assessment. The Group’s small size allows the day-to-day responsibility to remain at Board level, being monitored by the Chief Executive Officer. Furthermore, a commitment to health and safety is a fundamental component of any mining project, and, as part of the Group’s investment decision process, consultants with the requisite expertise are engaged to assist in identifying and mitigating any such risks.
The Group’s philosophy on charity has historically been that this is a decision best made by shareholders with their own resources. The Group has revised its policy and will now consider supporting select charities at the discretion of the Directors. No donations were made during 2015; however, the Group will continue to consider supporting select charities during 2016.
The UK Government requires that UK listed companies should report their global levels of greenhouse gas emissions in their Annual Report. Anglo Pacific is a relatively small organisation, with 11 employees, which means that any emission sources within its operational and financial control, such as business travel, purchase of electricity, heat or cooling by the Group, are not material in their impact. As the management and operation of the underlying mines generating the Group’s royalty income are outside of its control, it is unable to report on these emissions.
Following the Group’s move to a new office at the end of 2014, power consumption has been monitored in 2015 and the Group will look to improve this going forward.