Sustainable development

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Our principal challenges

Sustainable development touches every aspect of our business and encompasses a wide range of concerns. Here is a summary of our 10 principal challenges, with links to each section where you can find out more about how we are resolving them.


In 2013, eight employees and six contractors lost their lives in work-related activities at operations managed by Anglo American. In addition, two members of our workforce lost their lives, on public roads, while on work-related travel and one employee was fatally injured as a result of criminal activity on site. Any loss of life is unacceptable and our sincere condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased.
Our approach to safety


In sub-Saharan Africa – where about 40% of our operations are located – over 23 million people currently live with HIV. We responded to this epidemic as early as the 1980s, running HIV testing programmes with the South African Chamber of Mines. Now, we run the world’s largest private sector testing and treatment programme. We are also tackling TB, a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in South Africa, especially in the mining industry. TB and HIV often go hand-in-hand, so we try to test and treat for both diseases as early as possible.
Our approach to HIV/AIDS

Climate change

The way that companies respond to climate change now will define their long-term sustainability in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. Our role is to find ways to continue delivering value to our stakeholders while playing our part in mitigating climate change, and protecting our interests from its potential impacts.
Our approach to climate change

Occupational health

The long latent period associated with many occupational diseases means that we have to provide a working environment that will guard against any adverse impacts on employees by putting adequate measures in place to prevent harm.
Our approach to health and wellbeing


Many Anglo American operations are situated in water-stressed regions. Water-supply security is of strategic importance both to us and to the communities and countries in which we operate – as is the quality of the water that we release back into catchments.
Our approach to water

Mine closure

Ensuring sustainable mine closure is a goal that requires an integrated approach. It is only through mastering the complexity of issues around sustainable socio-economic development and world-class environmental stewardship that we will achieve this outcome.
Our approach to mine closure


There is no easy way to reduce the volume of mineral waste we produce. Our challenge is to ensure that we continue to find more efficient and cleaner ways of extracting ore, and that the disposal of waste is managed effectively where alternative uses are not yet available.
Our approach to waste management

Socio-economic development

The legitimacy of the mining industry, in developing countries in particular, rests on its ability to contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of host communities. The challenge is to find development solutions that make the necessary positive impact, and endure beyond mine closure.
Our approach to socio-economic development

Human rights

Our commitment to respecting human rights forms the foundation of our approach to community engagement and development. We’re committed to implementing the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework provided in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 
Our approach to human rights

Supply chain

We believe that Anglo American has a great opportunity to use its influence and expertise to promote responsible, ethical and sustainable business practice throughout its supply chain. In addition to integrating sustainability within our business over the full project life cycle, we also strive to promote responsible behaviour throughout our sphere of influence, most notably in our supply chain. Additionally, our local procurement initiatives are designed to optimise opportunities to integrate local businesses into our global supply chain.
Our approach to supply chain

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