Notching Up Transparency: Antofagasta Launches Social Management Report
3rd December 2021
The document is the second in a series of specialised reports produced by Antofagasta that seek to customise information for different stakeholders.
Antofagasta plc has published its first-ever Social Management Report in its effort to better cater to the information needs of a public that varies from analysts and investors, to civil society and NGOs, to national governments and local communities.
The move is in response to a society that is increasingly requesting further details regarding Antofagasta’s operations, providing stakeholders with detailed and dedicated material on specific issues that they can quickly consult. In this light, the company is preparing reports covering climate change and tax contributions, as well as a progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which was published in September.
The same concept applies to the Social Management Report in which Antofagasta zooms-in on its involvement in the social and economic development of the areas where it operates. “Stakeholders are not only interested in our commitments and vision but also the coherence between our established commitments, actions deployed and how the impacts of these actions are measured,” says René Aguilar, VP of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.
The report shows how Antofagasta’s Social Management Model - which covers the management of engagement, social investments, impact measurement and socio-territorial alerts - provides the framework for the company to engage with stakeholders openly and collaboratively. It provides a bottom-up approach to define social investments, which usually take the form of public-private partnerships and are implemented in alliance with third party experts.
Specifically, the report takes an in-depth look at nine strategic areas of work:
- The Somos Choapa programme, which seeks to foster the sustainable development of the Choapa Province – home to Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres mine - and the wellbeing of its over 80,000 inhabitants.
- The Caimanes Community Development Fund established in 2016 with three communities in the Pupío Valley to resolve a dispute over Los Pelambres’ Mauro tailings storage facility (TSF).
- The Dialogues for Development initiative for the sustainable development and wellbeing of communities close to the Antucoya and Centinela operations in the Antofagasta Region.
- Zaldívar’s engagement with the indigenous Atacameño communities of Peine, Socaire, Camar and Talabre which is guided by international best practice conventions and standards.
- The promotion of local jobs and suppliers to stimulate the generation of economic, social and human capital in the regions where the company operates.
- The $12 million COVID Fund established by the company to support efforts to treat and contain the spread of the virus and to mitigate its economic impacts on the company’s areas of influence.
- The new digital connectivity programme, Enred, to enable local communities to participate in the opportunities and benefits offered by the information age.
- The Transport division’s role in supporting the economic activity of the Antofagasta Region through its rail and road cargo services that connect mining operations with ports on the Pacific coast.
- Human rights due diligence and the approval of a Human Rights Policy, responding to Antofagasta’s commitment to respect all internationally recognised human rights.
The social management model was designed by the company’s teams on the ground to provide the perspective of the surrounding communities and their circumstances. “It isn’t an academic, conceptual exercise. It is a practical model that identifies the most challenging issues and which gives the community teams a comprehensive vision and approach to manage social affairs,” explains Andrés Morán, Manager of Corporate Affairs.
The model’s multi-actor social management methodology is what distinguishes Antofagasta’s way of interacting with the vocations, interests, future vision and life plans of those in the stakeholder communities, according to Aguilar. He highlights the importance of establishing dialogue to enable transparent, open, trackable work in reaching agreements which generates a sense of relevance and belonging to all parties involved.
However, the VP of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability notes that the process itself is actually what is most important. “In discussing and getting people involved, you create trust and proximity, opening the possibility to discuss other issues that aren’t necessarily related to the project at hand but having more to do with what the communities feel is the company’s role. It’s a virtuous circle that begins with a platform to generate dialogue, which is important for all future projects,” he says.
That method speaks directly to Antofagasta’s social management strategy, which seeks to contribute to the wellbeing of communities in its area of influence, providing the conditions to ensure the continuity of operations and growth projects, within the framework of Antofagasta’s overall purpose of developing mining for a better future.