Industry (suppliers, customers and our peers)
Our operations rely on a broad range of suppliers, and we enable the growth of existing businesses and the development of new supplier businesses along with the corresponding local economic and social benefits. This is particularly the case in India and Africa, where we have the majority of our operations.
For our customers, who are predominantly large industrial downstream producers, our resources are crucial to their success and growth; we work closely with them on product development and provide additional technical support to ensure they are achieving maximum value from our products.
Although we are primary producers and therefore have limited control over the full lifecycle of our products after they are delivered to our customers, we are committed to the values of product stewardship. This is manifested most directly in our commitment to the highest technological standards and processes and adherence to international commodity trading standards.
In addition to our suppliers and customers, we add value to our industry peers by participating in a range of projects to advance and grow our sector as well as arranging and attending a range of industry forums.
The greatest source of value we add to our host governments is through the taxes, royalties and various other payments we make to exchequers as well as the role we play in assisting governments to develop their resources and meet their countries' resource requirements.
Through investment in employment of local people, and secondary/indirect employment through supporting industries we also stimulate economic activity for our host countries and assist them to achieve local and regional development goals, often in close partnership. Our community investment programmes, particularly those that centre on infrastructure development in education, health and sanitation, are important to governments because of the contribution they make to the sustainable development of many local communities.
We partner with a wide range of civil society organisations to deliver community development programmes. We offer our civil society partners technical expertise across a range of disciplines as well as expert personnel, who are familiar with local conditions and requirements, enabling our civil society partners to more effectively meet their goals, particularly those related to the sustainable development of communities in developing regions. We discuss these partnerships in more detail in the Communities section of our Sustainable Development Report.
Shareholders and lenders
Access to finance enables us to expand and grow our business, facilitating the broader value we can offer across all our stakeholder groups – correspondingly we are committed to deliver progressive returns for our shareholders and lenders. This remains core to the business growth strategy, as we discuss in our Annual Report.
We recognise the importance of our shareholders and we regularly engage with them so they understand our approach and strategy. In regard to our lenders, the majority are aligned to the Equator Principles and IFC standards and our business relationship with them is more than purely financial. Lender interest in sustainability has developed over recent years, with specialist teams driving socially responsible investments. We engage with these technical experts on a regular basis through site visits, responding to requests for information in a timely way and providing regular presentations and meetings. Accordingly, we have a clear understanding of their expectations, which includes adherence to best-practice health, safety and environmental management and broader issues of human rights and community and stakeholder engagement.
Refer our Sustainable Development Report 2013-14 for detailed activities highlighting how we contribute or add value to our other stakeholders - Industry , Civil society, host government, shareholders and lenders.