Living the New Gold Values:
Integrity, Commitment and Creativity
One of our core values is integrity – it is about doing the “right thing”.
Operating mines in a socially responsible fashion is the right thing to do and the only way to do business successfully. We understand social responsibility as the way we contribute to sustainable development by acting ethically and with integrity, and by acting responsibly with respect to the impacts of our decisions and actions on communities and the environment.
The New Gold Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility (HSE & CSR) Policy describes our high-level commitments in these areas and is reinforced by the New Gold Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, New Gold’s Human Rights Policy and New Gold’s 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles. Our 15 HSE & CSR Guiding Principles provide a framework for the HSE & CSR Policy and provide clear direction for developing and applying the Company’s HSE & CSR Management Standards at all levels through the mine life cycle, from early exploration, development and operation, to decommissioning and, ultimately, mine closure.
Every year we set targets in the areas considered material priorities for New Gold. This year, we are reporting on all 2014 targets disclosed in the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report. Going forward, we are setting 2015 targets only in relation to the topics identified as material. This decision reflects our commitment to focus our actions and continual improvement efforts on the most relevant areas of our business.
New Gold makes significant contributions to all of our host communities, including those of our head offices, in the form of community investments in areas of priority particular to each site. Furthermore, many of our directors and employees support non-profit and charitable organizations using their personal resources.
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 business and activities. The Board’s fundamental objectives are to enhance and preserve long-term shareholder value and to ensure that the Company meets its obligations on an ongoing basis and operates in a reliable and safe manner.
In performing its functions, the Board also considers the legitimate interests that outside stakeholders may have in the Company, including host communities. 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 the Canadian System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) at www.sedar.com.
The Board is also responsible for ensuring there are appropriate measures for receiving shareholder feedback, including an Annual General and Special Meeting of Shareholders where shareholders can direct questions to the Executive Chairman, the President and Chief Executive Officer, and other key members of the executive team. Shareholders are also encouraged to contact the Corporate Secretary in writing regarding any feedback or concern they wish to communicate to the Board, as described in our Board Shareholder Communication and Engagement Policy. In addition, the Investor Relations Department manages dialogue with current and prospective shareholders on a regular basis.
The Board’s Compensation Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in approving and monitoring guidelines and practices with respect to compensation, and reviewing corporate goals and objectives relevant to executive compensation. These objectives include matters related to health, safety, environment and corporate social responsibility.
The Board’s Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee reviews and monitors the respective Company policies and activities on behalf of the Board. The Committee may investigate any activity 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 the responsibility for related initiatives, targets and performance. Each site is supported by professionals in these fields 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 through safety-first work practices and a culture of safety excellence. We are committed 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 mutual benefit and active engagement, to contribute to healthy communities and 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 signatory to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) we are committed to reflecting the UNGC’s 10 principles relating to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in our business operations.
We consider the key human rights concerns to include non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, indigenous rights and security practices. New Gold’s Human Rights Policy was first adopted in 2012 and revised in 2014; it is available on our website.
New Gold’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects the principles under 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 for submission of a good faith concern.
Our corporate Whistleblower Policy provides an address, phone number and email address that any employee can use to confidentially communicate a concern or complaint, with the assurance that there will be no negative consequences.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
In 2014 there were no instances of significant fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations. We have 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 where it operates. In particular, mining-related policy and tax policy can impact the viability and the profitability of our sites. Evolving Aboriginal and environmental law can also have significant implications to 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. These associations regularly facilitate engagement with government and regulators in regards to policies that may affect the mining industry. In the United States and Mexico, our participation in public policy issues is also achieved through our participation in local mining industry organizations.
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. 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 was released in late 2012 and is an industry-led approach to combat the potential misuse of mined gold to fund violence and armed conflict.
Cerro San Pedro is the only New Gold mine considered to be in a “high-risk” area (Mexico), as determined by the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer and, therefore, we carried out a detailed comparison of our practices against the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. For the second consecutive year, we were provided with a statement of assurance from an external auditor that confirms we are compliant with the Standard, which can be found on our website.