About This Report
New Gold’s 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report provides a review of our performance and a comprehensive summary of our achievements and challenges related to health and safety, environmental management, community engagement, community development and governance during the 2016 calendar year. This report can be fully or partially downloaded and printed here.
This report is written for a broad range of communities of interest, including New Gold employees and their families, contractors, local Indigenous communities, host community members, suppliers, environmental organizations, governments, the financial and investment communities, and current and potential investors in New Gold’s shares, bonds and warrants.
This report covers all sites under our direct management. Tables and figures represent a compilation of information from all New Gold mines and projects unless otherwise noted.
Financial results are audited annually and reported on a quarterly basis, in accordance with legal requirements for publicly traded companies. Please refer to New Gold’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Annual Financial Review, which are available on our website. When appropriate, certain financial performance information is included in this report to reflect direct and indirect impacts of our activities in the communities where we operate. All dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
Meeting a Global Standard for Reporting
This is our ninth sustainability report and third report developed according to the recently enhanced Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. The GRI is an independent institution that sets voluntary guidelines for sustainability reporting. We believe that adhering to these guidelines demonstrates our commitment to transparency, clarity and comparability in reporting. This report was prepared in accordance with the GRI G4 Guidelines – option Core. The GRI Content Index provides the list of general standard disclosures and performance indicators that we are reporting on this year and gives directions on where the data or information can be located in this report.
In 2016, GRI released the GRI Standards. The GRI Standards contain all of the main content and disclosures from the G4 Guidelines – no new topics have been added. The GRI Standards will be in effect after July 2018 and we expect to fully adopt it for the 2017 report which will be published in early 2018.
New Gold relies on an internal assurance review process to verify that the data reported by the mine sites for GRI indicators is accurate, consistent and in accordance with the standards set out in the GRI G4 Guidelines.
Identifying Material Topics (GRI G4-18)
The GRI identifies a wide range of topics that may be relevant to ensuring and measuring sustainability. According to the GRI, each organization is responsible for identifying the set of topics it considers “material” for its own operations and the level of compliance it seeks to achieve in the reporting period. Guidance is provided by the GRI’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines – Implementation Manual. We have also used the AccountAbility’s Five-Part Materiality Test as reference for this assessment.
In 2016, we once again reassessed the selection of material topics for New Gold. For the purposes of this report, material topics are those which reflect the effect the organization has on the economy, environment and society; or which substantively influence the assessments and decisions of communities of interest.
The New Gold materiality review process includes: materiality assessments conducted independently at each site, consolidation through a company-wide assessment performed at the corporate level, validation by the New Gold executive team and approval by the President and CEO.
At each site, the materiality assessment is based on an analysis of issues, concerns and interests identified through their community engagement activities, a review of local trends and media, as well as the individual site’s own focus on governance, environment, health and safety, employment practices, community engagement and community development.
The company-wide review included the consideration of a media review and engagement with industry associations as well as other relevant organizations, such as GRI, World Gold Council, International Council for Mining and Metals, Sustainalytics and Corporate Knights. We also included the consideration of topics that were brought to us through focused engagement with three independent third-party advisors in the areas of social performance, Indigenous peoples and environmental/tailings management and mine closure – as well as the Vice President for Sustainable Development of the Mining Association of Canada. This external, independent perspective and input has been very valuable for our materiality assessment and well as for strategic planning and goal setting.
As a company, we are increasingly aware of and sensitive to geopolitical events, global trends and the importance of our business in the broader context of global sustainable development, and our materiality assessment also considered national and international landmark events and/or developments such as the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation efforts in Canada, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the Paris Accord (2016).
This report focuses on material topics identified across the company. Targets for these topics are inserted in the performance scorecards in this report. The list of material topics for 2016 includes (GRI G4-19):
ROLL OVER ICONS TO LEARN MORE
Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Effluents and Waste
Training and Education
Our material topics list is updated regularly through engagement with our communities of interest. This assists us in designing and implementing initiatives aimed at continuous improvement in the identified areas. A table detailing the indicators and boundaries of the material topics using the GRI G4 Framework is available in the Appendix.