We have a major positive impact on the economic development of the regions where we operate. We are helping to improve lives through our investment in local communities, facilities and infrastructure. we also support local, regional and national economies through tax transparency, hiring local employees and using local suppliers.
Who is responsible
When we first invest in a new mining project, we evaluate the potential impact of our operations in the designated area. We understand the importance of the indirect impacts of our operations on local communities. Each year we commit considerable resources to assessing these impacts and ensuring that our activities promote social and economic wellbeing among local communities. We enter into agreements with local governments, institutions and public organisations to ensure all programmes can be delivered in a way that derives maximum benefit for local communities.
The success of our communities programme is built upon open dialogue and engagement. Since 2008 we have been developing feedback systems designed to elicit local people’s opinions and ideas and review their needs. Through annual public meetings, individual meetings, questionnaires and polls, we engage local stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of our efforts during the previous periods, and to identify our sustainability goals for the years ahead.
Every single one of our sites and facilities provides employment opportunities for local people. As well as paying regional taxes, we invest in local communities — funding education, health, culture and infrastructure. We also work to minimise any negative impact of our business on society, aiming to incorporate local community requests, for example at all stages of planning and development.
Our investment priorities are determined through open dialogue with local communities. As part of this process, we carry out in-depth analysis of local people’s needs and work with them to understand how social investment could best bring positive change to their lives. Together, we identify the most pressing local issues and define the scope of the support required.
We are committed to creating in-country employment opportunities and hiring from local communities at our major operational sites, we aim to create local value and improve people’s livelihoods and lives.
Employing locally has many benefits — it helps to strengthen ties between our business and communities where we operate. It lowers our costs and environmental impact, by not having to ‘fly in and fly out’ as many employees from other areas. It means employees — even before day one — are already dedicated to the well-being of the local community. It helps us to increase our positive impact on local economies. The majority of our employees are local nationals, depending on the location of the site.
We have a greater focus on respecting the rights of indigenous minorities of the North living in the areas where Polymetal operates. Our approach to engaging indigenous people is based on the recognised principles and norms of international law and national legislation.
We are guided by our corporate social policies and standards:
- Code of Conduct
- Human Rights Policy
- Political and Charitable Donations Policy
- Community Engagement Policy
- Environmental Policy
- Corporate Standard on Indigenous People Engagement
Risks related to the violation of the Indigenous People’s rights are assessed via our corporate procedure of the human rights risks assessment, which is conducted for both our Russian and Kazakhstan operations every two years.
Contributing to socio-economic development
For more than 20 years, we have developed excellent relationships with representatives of indigenous communities, associations and reindeer herding teams. Today this engagement spans five regions in Russia (Chukotka, Magadan, Khabarovsk, Sakha/Yakutia and Sverdlovsk) where we run programmes within our social partnership agreements. During the last five years we allocated approximately $1.5 million to implement more than 250 projects and events.
The key impact areas of these programmes are:
- Supporting traditional lifestyle:
- Helping reindeer herders in the Far East (we deliver fuel, construction materials, medicines, food and tools, and help to arrange nomad camps) — around 10 herding teams annually;
- Preserving the population of reindeers (chipping, providing veterinary mobile teams, installing protective fencing for grazing deer, maintaining infrastructure, etc.);
- Encouraging young people’s interest in reindeer herding through festivals, competitions, and other engagement activities.
- Preserving cultural heritage and crafts:
- Sponsoring celebrations and festivals of culture, traditions, and history of the Indigenous Minorities of the North — more than 15 events annually;
- Supporting local sports teams, ethnic centres and handicraft clubs, including their participation in regional and national contests where they are regularly awarded prizes;
- Preserving ethnic languages through scholarships and financial support for language schools (e.g. the Negidal language preservation project).
- Targeted aid and charitable donations.
Ensuring proactive dialogue
We realise that a continuous dialogue is needed to ensure that our neighbouring indigenous communities fully benefit from our investments. Our community engagement system include regular meetings and consultations with the Indigenous Minorities of the North, often in remote areas. When operating our corporate feedback mechanism, we pay particular attention to make sure that representatives of the Indigenous Minorities can submit their enquiries and receive a timely answer.
In addition to holding more than 30 meetings and public hearings annually with local communities and the Indigenous Minorities, we arrange visits to our operations. Our engagement focuses on collecting feedback and planning for further cooperation.
To assess social and economic impact of our projects, we carry out public-opinion polls and review meetings with stakeholders, which include participation of the representatives of the Indigenous Minorities. It helps us to timely respond to their needs, adjusting our social investments plans if required.
Today, no company can afford to ignore the risk of security. Polymetal takes a structured approach to providing safety and security from internal and external threats. The measures are aimed at eliminating threats and preventing possible material and financial risks, providing safe operating conditions for employees and assets.
The activities of the security services and other divisions involved in ensuring security are regulated by related guidelines in accordance with the Company’s Anti-Corruption Policies. Private and State security companies are involved in the tendering process to protect the Company’s assets. State institutions (subdivisions of Police) protect the most important facilities, which store explosives and highly toxic substances.
When selecting security organisations, we check their professional training and reputation. Our in-house security supervisors at operations monitor and evaluate how services are conducted by security companies. The security employees co-ordinate with local authorities and regional and municipal law enforcement agencies. Together, they develop action plans and exchange information to prevent threats. Security supervisors inform the heads of relevant departments and operations about any internal or external threats.