“Change is the only constant” is a phrase we’ve all heard. It applies to many things in life – from our families and jobs to technology and trends. The phrase also holds true for expectations around sustainability. Over the past decade, we’ve seen increased focus on the part of governments, communities and the public on the environmental, health, and safety impacts of industrial activities.
These changing expectations are often incorporated into operational and verifiable performance standards and frameworks. That’s important, because many of these guidelines set a consistent performance standard that are sometimes more rigorous than local regulations and requirements.
At Eldorado, our decisions are guided by our foundational values and our mining expertise and experience. We are also guided by these industry guidelines and frameworks. We want to create real, lasting and tangible benefits for the people whose lives our operations touch, and following these guidelines is one tool we use to achieve that goal.
Here are a few of the current tools and frameworks that are relevant to Eldorado:
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all UN member states in 2015 to provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set targets for achieving progress in poverty reduction, education, health care and employment while protecting the environment.
Although the SDGs require action from governments to be achieved, business plays an important role in influencing social and economic conditions and contributing to the SDGs. At Eldorado, we focus primarily on six of the goals where our work is most likely to have an impact, and we report on our progress on specific targets for each goal in our annual Sustainability Report.
Responsible Gold Mining Principles
The Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) are a new framework launched in 2019 that sets out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. Established by the World Gold Council, the RGMPs consolidate existing standards under a single coherent framework to address the key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.
Conflict-Free Gold Standard
Just as the diamond industry did with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the gold industry is doing its part to stamp out conflict along the supply chain. Developed by the World Gold Council, the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (CFGS) provides assurance that gold was not extracted in a way that caused, supported or benefited unlawful armed conflict, or contributed to any human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. The CFGS is now a requirement of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles.
OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
Employee safety is our number one priority. We implement OHSAS 18001 at our sites to reduce the potential for accidents, ensure legal compliance and improve overall performance. We believe that our high levels of safety performance are a direct result of these systems.
GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards
By following the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Standards – the world’s most common sustainability reporting framework – we ensure our annual sustainability report is reliable, relevant and standardized. The Sustainability Reporting Standards enable us to disclose our most critical impacts – be they positive or negative – on the environment, society and the economy.
International Cyanide Management Code
Miners have been using cyanide to separate gold and silver particles from ore for over 120 years. We follow the International Cyanide Management Code to implement best practices at our sites that use cyanide in the gold recovery process, helping us protect our employees and the environment.
Towards Sustainable Mining
We mine gold in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way in accordance with the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) framework. In fact, we have developed our internal management system to be aligned to TSM. The TSM framework provides a set of protocols for engaging with communities, implementing world-leading environmental practices and protecting the safety and health of our employees and surrounding communities.
ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems
Protecting the environment is part of our operating philosophy and we follow ISO 14001 to ensure we are continuously measuring and monitoring the environments surrounding our mine sites. This allows us to improve our environmental performance by setting and achieving environmental goals.
CDP is a global environmental disclosure system. Each year, CDP supports thousands of organizations and levels of government in measuring and managing their risks and opportunities on climate change, water security and deforestation. We report under the categories of climate change, water and forests.
The Voluntary Principles Initiative is a multi-stakeholder initiative promoting principles to guide companies in providing security for their operations while respecting human rights. It is composed of governments, international non-governmental organizations and companies involved in extracting, harvesting and developing natural resources and energy. Together, members share best practices in addressing complex security and human rights issues in business operations around the world.
Take a look at our 2019 Sustainability Report for more information on our sustainability practices. We list all the global frameworks we follow on our website, where you can also access our most recent Conflict-Free Gold report.