External Assurance

Apart from our internal sustainability assurance - Vedanta Sustainability Assurance Process (VSAP) , the group has been part of various other external agencies assurance review. 

 

The details and outcomes of the reviews can be found below-

 

Environment & Social Review of Vedanta Sustainability Assurance Process (VSAP)

Vedanta appointed KPMG to carry out an evaluation and effectiveness of the Vedanta Sustainability Assurance Programme (VSAP) process. The scope of work covered by KPMG includes the status review of Independent Environmental and Social Consultant (“IESC”) close-out audit recommendations of URS- Scott Wilson final report (October 2013) along with the review of VSAP audit reports of Vedanta group companies.

 

In July 2014, as a part of review the KPMG team visited and covered the on-site assessment at two locations Vedanta Aluminium - Lanjigarh Refinery, Odisha, India and Zinc International - Skorpion Zinc, Rosh Pinah, Namibia. Further the team also interviewed the senior management and corporate sustainability team at Delhi, India.

 

In August 2015, the second follow up assessment got completed wherein KPMG team reviewed the progress with corporate sustainbility team and also completed the on-site assessment at two operating locations of Vedanta Resources Plc- Hindustan Zinc Ltd (Chanderiya Lead- Zinc Smelter, Rajasthan, India and Lisheen Mine, Ireland.The detailed report including the findings and observations with regard to the effectiveness of the group sustainability assurance program in line with the Vedanta Sustainable Development Framework and the status review of IESC close-out audit recommendations were presented to the company and lenders.

 

Overall KPMG confirmed "the process through which Vedanta has implemented IESC recommendations through the VSF has aided in continual improvement. The scope of improvements was observed primarily related to integration of the site management system with the Vedanta sustainability framework including but not limited to adoption of group level polices and their deployment. Few of the observation were also noted in reference to the implementation of VSAP tool and technical and management standards developed by Vedanta at the sample locations of visit. The findings were discussed with the senior management during the closing meeting at the individual sites and corporate office of Vedanta."

 

The latest summary details and status by KPMG on all five IESC close-out audit recommendations is given below.

 

E&S review latest Final3

URS - Scott Wilson Review

In September 2010 Scott Wilson Ltd “Scott Wilson” (now URS) was appointed by Standard Chartered Bank as the Independent Environmental and Social Consultant (“IESC”) to review Vedanta’s approach to sustainable development. The original Independent Review Report (IRR) set out a number of recommendations with timeframes for implementation. The recommendations were classified into corporate management, company level and Lanjigarh Refinery specific recommendations.

In July 2013, the Final close out audit was carried out by URS- Scott Wilson team.  The purpose of the close-out audit was to verify the original IESC recommendations implementation and that Vedanta is conforming to the social and environmental conditions of its debt funding agreement with the Lenders. Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia,  Sesa Sterlite Ltd.- Copper’s Smelter in Tuticorin, India and Sesa Sterlite Ltd – Alumina Refinery in Lanjigarh, India were selected as a sample sites for the close-out audit. 

Copies of the Vedanta and Scott Wilson progress reports can be found below.

Scott Wilson review on Vedanta progress report
Fifth review (Final close out audit report) – October 2013:
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Vedanta review on Scott Wilson Recomendation
Fifth review report – June 2013:
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Scott Wilson review on Vedanta progress report
Fourth review report – March 2013:
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Vedanta review on Scott Wilson Recommendation
Fourth progress report – January 2013:
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Scott Wilson review on Vedanta progress report
Third review report – November 2012:
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Vedanta review on Scott Wilson Recommendation
Third progress report – July 2012:
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Scott Wilson review on Vedanta progress report
Second review report – March 2012:
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Vedanta review on Scott Wilson Recommendation
Second progress report – December 2011:
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Scott Wilson review on Vedanta progress report
First review report – July 2011:
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Vedanta review on Scott Wilson Recommendation
First progress report – June 2011:
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Vedanta Sustainability Review:
Scott Wilson’s report – November 2010:
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Conclusion

Based on the review of documentation and site visits in the final close-out audit, the URS- Scott Wilson team confirmed the below things as per the close out objectives:

  • Validation of the actions taken by Vedanta to close out each of the Recommendations as   reported in Vedanta's various Progress Reports and supporting evidence.

“Vedanta has auctioned the original review recommendations and confirms that the recommendations are closed at corporate, company and Lanjigarh site levels. The proposed expansion to Lanjigrah Aluminium Refinery has been suspended so it is not possible to assess performance against this recommendation. Subject to the ESIA being revised to IFC standards as provided for by TS8: Conducting ESIAs to international standards and the IESC findings detailed in Section 5.2, the IESC considers that Vedanta has progressed this recommendation as far as possible given the circumstances.”

  • Determination of the degree to which Vedanta's Sustainability Framework documentation addresses the full range of the IFC, ICMM and OECD standards.

“Overall, The IESC considers that the VSF satisfies many of the key requirements of the IFC performance standards. More recent VSF documents such as TS22 on Indigenous People/ Vulnerable Tribal Groups show greater maturity with objectives being included to govern project decision-making for risk and impact identification, assessment and management.

Some of the initial VSF documents require revision, as envisaged by Vedanta’s commitment to annual review of technical standards, in particular with regard to approach to resettlement, biodiversity management and cultural heritage.”

  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of Vedanta's implementation of its Sustainability Framework across the Group.

 “The implementation of the VSF at the selected sites included in the close-out audit indicates that Vedanta has been effective in implementing the VSF and meeting many of the IFC Performance Standard requirements. Policies, procedures and sound systems are in place to manage project risks and impacts. Given the limited time since the VSF has been launched and implemented, the progress made is as much as could reasonably be expected.......... In summary, the Vedanta Sustainability Framework has been translated into management structures, plans and policies by each company and implementation has started. In some cases it is too early to conclude that implementation is wholly effective, particularly in relation to social topics such as stakeholder engagement, resettlement and indigenous peoples. However, the general trend is encouraging and the increased commitment of staff is evident.”

  • Formulation of an audit conclusion, including any further recommendations, with specified responsibilities and timescales, which may be needed to correct identified deficiencies.

“The IESC is satisfied that Vedanta management systems are in place to effectively manage the inherent social and environmental risks of Vedanta operations and new projects. Strong leadership and a genuine commitment to sustainability framework implementation was evident at executive and senior management levels that has created a culture of continuous improvement and aspiration to find new ways to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts and find opportunities to create shared value with affected communities, suppliers and customers.............. Key recommendations to further strengthen Vedanta sustainability performance are summarised in the table below. It is recommended that these actions are addressed by Vedanta through a specific Remedial Action Plan, which would comply with the proposed timeframe for each of them, and that they are subjected to a further audit within 12 months from November 2013.”