Sustainability review

SUSTAINABILITY WITH THE FUTURE IN MIND

The Company’s most material sustainability issues, and the methodology used to define materiality, is discussed on page 14. This section of the Integrated Annual Report provides an overview of key aspects of the Company’s safety, health, environment and community performance for 2012.

 

To ensure that the Company is sustainable and that it retains its societal licence to operate we must ensure that we conduct our business in accordance with the strict ethical and good governance standards detailed in our business principles; perform our activities in accordance with our safety, health, environment and community policies to ensure a safe and healthy work environment and to minimise adverse impacts on the natural environment for the benefit of our shareholders, our employees and the communities surrounding our operations; actively promote workplace equality and seek to eliminate all forms of unfair discrimination; support the fundamental human rights of employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate; promote efficiency and innovation in our use of resources so that our footprint is reduced; engage with communities and local government to facilitate and participate in socio-economic development to ensure sustainable communities and economies after our mines have stopped operating; provide advice on the responsible use of our products; and publicly report our performance in accordance with applicable Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.

EMPLOYEE SAFETY – OUR JOURNEY TOWARDS ZERO HARM

Overview of performance

At Amplats we remain committed to our objective of “zero harm”. Our first value continues to be “We put safety first”. We believe that by remaining focused on it and “living” it on a daily basis we can achieve our goal of seeing every employee return home unharmed every day.

We observed a steady decline in the number of fatalities over the past few years: from 25 in 2007, to 7 in 2012. Despite our attention and commitment to safety, 7 people lost their lives while working at Amplats in 2012. We are acutely aware of the immense impacts of these tragic fatalities at our operations, and extend our sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of the people who died.

One of the fatalities was caused by a fall of ground, three were the result of moving machinery, one owing to transport-related incidents, one occurred owing to heat exhaustion and another owing to a falling object.

Our system of independent investigations by specialist teams provides detailed reports on the underlying cause(s) of every fatal incident and is used to identify any circumstance likely to result in a disaster. Comprehensive action plans, structured around a hierarchy of controls, are developed to eliminate these underlying causes and pre-empt harmful situations. New technology is regularly investigated in order to find innovative solutions to any challenges identified. We remain optimistic that our efforts to stop fatalities and achieve zero harm will yield further results in 2013.

The lost-time injury-frequency rate (LTIFR) in 2012 declined to 1.15 from 1.27, a 9% reduction. There is a continued focus on reducing hand and slip-and-fall injuries as these make up a large percentage of lost-time injuries.

Strategy

The Company’s safety, health and environment (SHE) strategy has largely remained unchanged since 2008, although subjected to regular review and updates as new information becomes available and more lessons are learnt.

The strategy is based on four components:

  • Management systems
  • Engineering and technological solutions
  • People and safety behaviour
  • Wellness in the workplace

Management systems

Amplats’ safety-management system creates a systematic framework for managing hazards and their associated risks, and complies with the requirements of the international OHSAS 18001:2007 standard.

The primary goal of the management systems remains to manage our major risks. Several software tools have been developed over time to make best use of the vast amounts of data and information available. In line with our realisation that line managers are ultimately responsible for the successful implementation of the strategy, these software tools have been used to generate information that assists line managers direct their attention and resources towards the most significant risks. In 2012, there was alignment of the software tools used in safety so that the supply of information is both easier to deal with and more consistent.

Our drive to enhance risk-management skills in the organisation was maintained in 2012. We remain committed to building capacity in this area and recognise fully the sustainable benefits to be gained from such skills. Our systematic approach to our major risks such as FOG is starting to pay off as is evident in the reduction of FOG-related injuries and fatalities.

Engineering and technological solutions

The second component of our safety strategy is engineering and technological solutions, which is intended to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with mining equipment. Because Amplats needs to ensure that all its systems are aligned with fast-moving enhancements in technology, and despite trying economic circumstances and the burden placed on the organisation’s change management by the implementation of these technical solutions, large investments were made in innovation and technology during the year under review.

Locomotives

Leading-edge technology has been developed to eliminate collisions between locomotives operating underground. This is done by placing, at all potentially high-risk areas, beacons that slow the vehicles down automatically when they begin to come close to each other. Should the drivers not respond to slow-down warnings, the system brings the locomotives to a complete standstill before they can collide.

Silencing of equipment

In line with the 2013 industry milestones, the elimination of noise-induced hearing loss remains a priority for the Company. During 2012, further progress was made in silencing all equipment emitting noise levels greater than 110 dBA. This programme over the past few years has resulted in more than 11,000 pieces of equipment being fitted with appropriate silencing apparatus or being redesigned. There are only 26 pieces of equipment left emitting more than the 110 dBA.

People and safety behaviour

The results of the Group-wide value and culture survey which was completed towards the end of 2011 were shared in early 2012 with the senior leadership in the Company and unions. An encouraging message from the survey was that the majority of Amplats employees believe that the Company is truly putting safety first.

A Company-wide Safety Day was held on 26 November 2012. The focus was on safe shut-down and start-up, visible felt leadership, confined spaces and transport. Operational senior management, Company executives and corporate teams discussed relevant topics with employees at their workplaces in the specific operations. The global theme for the day was “Real safety begins with me”.

The Zero Harm in Action project was launched and sets out to incorporate Zero Harm in the way we do business.

Wellness in the workplace

A key undertaking in 2012 was to make all employees aware of injuries and how to avoid them, including the prevention of harm before any work starts. Should any team or individual feel unable to deal with a potentially dangerous situation, they must move away from it and escalate the situation to the appropriate level. This was best demonstrated through the application of the A-B-S-P risk-response plan, in which teams are trained in situations when it is mandatory to ask for help from managers and/or technical advisers. Our employees need to know that we do not expect them to work in unsafe conditions; and that they have the right to withdraw their labour if they believe they are being placed at risk.

Safety focus in 2013

The SHE strategy will remain consistent to ensure maintained focus and a holistic approach. It is important, however, that every employee should understand his or her role in effectively implementing the strategy. To this end, its main aspects will be reviewed to ensure that it is both practical and easy to understand at all levels in the organisation. Recommendations from the review on mechanised mining will be acted on to ensure that we conform to best practice. “Zero Harm in Action” will continue to be a key focus area of safety in 2013, so as to encourage compliance and foster employees’ sense of ownership regarding safety issues.

EMPLOYEE HEALTH

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)

Noise exposure remains the Company’s most significant occupational health risk. In 2012, 46 new cases of NIHL were reported. The Company has an extensive programme to silence equipment that causes NIHL, with 9% of all equipment now emitting less than 110 dB having been silenced already.

HIV and AIDS

Approximately 20% of Amplats’ workforce is HIV positive. The Company has an extensive HIV and AIDS programme in place, which includes preventative, curative, and rehabilitative and palliative care. In 2012, 42,267 (82%) employees received voluntary counselling for HIV. There were 6,830 employees enrolled in the Company’s HIV/AIDS wellness programme, of whom 4,443 were receiving antiretroviral therapy.

Infectious tuberculosis – TB

Amplats screens employees for TB and provides comprehensive treatment to those infected. In 2012, 635 employees were newly diagnosed as infected with TB and treated. During the year, 61 employees died from TB. Of these deaths, 58 were related to HIV and AIDS.

The Company has advanced environmental-control measures in place in all areas where there is a high density of people, especially TB wards in the Company’s hospitals and clinics. This greatly reduces the risk of contracting TB among healthcare personnel and other workers.

ACCESS TO RESOURCES

Energy

In 2012, Amplats’ total energy consumption decreased by 3%, to 24.39 PJ, of which 18.3 PJ is attributable to electricity usage. In conjunction with Anglo American plc, the Company is engaging with both Eskom and the Ministry of Energy regarding its long-term requirements and the possibility of future energy restrictions. This dialogue with the Government will continue, to enable the Company to safeguard reliable, long-term and competitively priced energy sources.

Water

Amplats used 34.9 million m3 of new water for primary and non-primary use in 2012, 4% less than in 2011. The Company has a comprehensive water strategy in place. This relies on, among other things, a partnership approach with the other industry players in the areas in which we operate and with the Government. Through this collaborative approach the Company has successfully secured access to the required water resources. It remains committed to minimising water use and to reusing and recycling the water it does use.

Land

The Company currently has access to 91,827 hectares of land for its operations. Land stewardship programmes have been instituted to reduce Amplats’ impact on land and the Company has provided R723 million for land rehabilitation and restoration.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Amplats spent R276 million on community-development projects in 2012, details of which are included in the Sustainable Development Report. Progress has been made with Alchemy in 2012. The Lefa La Rona Trust has been established and received public benefit status from the South African Revenue Service in 2012. The four development trusts are in the process of being set up to benefit the host communities within an approximate radius of 15 km from the Amandelbult, Rustenburg, Twickenham and Mogalakwena mines and a non-profit company incorporated for the benefit of the labour-sending areas. The development trusts and the non-profit company will benefit from the following cash flows: annual dividend receipts; a guaranteed minimum dividend flow of R20 million per annum to provide an annual cash amount to the development trusts and the non-profit company, after taking into consideration the annual dividends received; rechannelled CSI spend of R30 million to the extent that the development trusts secure approval for development projects within the host communities; health and safety cash-flow benefits for the development trusts if key performance indicators relating to on-and-off-mine health and safety targets are achieved; proceeds from the potential increase in the Amplats share price after settling of the notional vendor funding, to the extent that the shares are disposed of by the development trusts and the non-profit company at the expiry of the term of the transaction.

The Company’s ultimate ambition in this transaction is to make a meaningful and sustainable contribution to the ability of those communities to thrive well beyond the life of its mining operations.

Selected sustainability indicators have been assured by PwC. These can be found in the Sustainable Development Report.

VALUE ADDED STATEMENT

for the year ended 31 December 2012

table1  
21169

For a schematic representation of the value-add to the South African economy see the inside flap of the front cover of this report.