Sustainable development

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Positive engagement with host communities can't rely on good intentions alone. To make sure a company's presence accords with your neighbours' own aspirations and best interests, you need an effective process to help create and implement your sustainable development policies. Anglo American's Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) does just that.

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  • Provide guidance and support for achieving full compliance with the Social Way – Anglo American’s framework of requirements for social performance management during project development, operation and closure.
  • Identify key social and economic impacts and issues that need to be managed and, thereby, improve risk management.
  • Assess existing social performance initiatives, such as community development projects, and identify where improvements are required.
  • Facilitate the capture and sharing of best practice across Anglo American.
  • Improve each operation’s understanding of the full range of local stakeholders, their views and interests; provide guidance in developing and updating annual Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEPs), and increase trust and goodwill among host communities.
  • Support sustainable socio-economic development in host communities and ensure that we respect human rights.

SEAT helps managers analyse their operation’s sphere of influence and impacts, and provides a framework for formulating management responses and reporting back to stakeholders.

The SEAT process is divided into seven steps, with each step supported by a number of tools.

  • Profile the Anglo American operation and the host community
  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Assess and prioritise impacts and issues
  • Improve social performance management – how we interact with our stakeholders
  • Deliver enhanced socio-economic benefits to host communities
  • Develop a social management plan
  • Prepare a SEAT report and feedback to stakeholders

Each of our operations runs a new SEAT assessment every three years.

SEAT plays a central role in our programmes to meet the requirements of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) sustainability principle 9 (i.e. to contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which the Company operates).

All senior and site-based personnel who are responsible for community relations are trained in the use of the SEAT process.

A number of external organisations have provided positive feedback on SEAT:

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

Leading American NGO Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) found SEAT to be "an international best practice". BSR chief executive Aron Cramer noted: "SEAT helps Anglo American's operations to achieve their social licence to operate consistent with the expectations of stakeholders and broader society. It is underpinned by Anglo American's decades of experience operating in and contributing to emerging economies throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin and South America.

"The toolkit represents one of the most significant corporate investments we know of to equip personnel to better understand, plan, implement and account for the social and economic performance at the local operations level."

Cambridge University's Judge Business School

Academics at Cambridge University's Judge Business School noted that SEAT "is revolutionising Anglo American's relationship with its operations' neighbouring communities..."

UK Charity Aid Foundation

The UK Charity Aid Foundation described SEAT as "both innovative, positioning stakeholder engagement at its central core, and replicable".

International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA)

In recognition of SEAT and our contribution to responsible practice in community engagement and development, we were awarded the IAIA's 2012 Corporate Initiative Award. Stephen Lintner, IAIA president, commented: “The IAIA Board of Directors selected SEAT as the recipient of this new award because we believe Anglo American has made a unique attempt to incorporate impact assessment into the way it manages its operations on a day-to-day basis. We also wanted to recognise the fact that Anglo American is sharing its knowledge and experience in impact assessment by making SEAT available to the public.”

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