Salient Human Rights Issues & Scope of Potential Human Rights Impacts
As discussed in more detail in our 2021 Annual Report on Sustainability, FCX recently updated its and sustainability strategy and materiality assessment and FCX refined its strategic focus across its three sustainability pillars, as follows:
- Robust Governance: Human Rights and Responsible Supply Chains;
- Empowered People & Resilient Communities: Health & Safety, Human Capital Management and Communities & Indigenous Peoples (which includes local economic development);
- Thriving Environments: Climate, Biodiversity & Land Use, Tailings Management and Water Stewardship
In addition to these strategic focus areas, FCX recognizes three critically important focus areas as cross-cutting themes that underpin all other areas of our work including: (1) Governance, Compliance and Ethics; (2) Risk Management; and (3) Resilience and Adaptation.
Across these sustainability strategic focus areas and cross-cutting themes, we work to assess and address where our business activities present potential risks to people and their rights. To support this effort, FCX developed a human rights dashboard to help frame our UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) implementation across to our operational activities. The dashboard is intended to reflect the scope of our potential human rights risks and impacts as well as the scope of our human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) and our continued efforts to integrate human rights considerations across relevant business functions at our operations.
Each dashboard topic is mapped to specific internationally recognized human rights which is intended to support a comprehensive, rights-driven approach. While the dashboard topics are generally applicable across our global operations, certain dashboard topics such as artisanal mining and Indigenous Peoples may not be relevant at every operating location.
FCX leverages our sustainability risk register process and our Human Rights due diligence program to assess which topics in our human rights dashboard are most salient at a site-level. We manage these strategic focus areas and salient human rights topics as part of our ongoing operational work. Our approach toward and performance regarding our core strategic focus areas and salient human rights topics are described throughout our 2021 Annual Report on Sustainability.
Day-to-Day Human Rights Management
Each of our operating sites has a Sustainability Leader that operates under the leadership of the site General Manager. Operations also have Community Grievance Officers who are responsible for community grievance management. At higher risk operations from a human rights perspective, we also have site-level Human Rights Compliance Officers who oversee compliance and training activities, and manage grievance mechanisms for the reporting, documentation and remedy (to the extent possible) of human rights related allegations that are reported in our areas of influence.
Our corporate-level Human Rights Working Group, launched in 2018, supports our site-level implementation of the UNGPs and integration of human rights considerations across our business. The team is sponsored by our Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer and is co-led by our Director of Responsible Production Frameworks & Sustainability and Manager of Business and Human Rights. The group is comprised of representatives from our Safety, Supply Chain, Human Resources, Sales, Security, Legal/Compliance, Environment, Community Development and Product Stewardship departments. The focus areas of the working group are reflected in our Human Rights Dashboard, which summarizes the human rights issues relevant to our operational activities.
Our cross-functional human rights working group meetings remained paused in 2021 to enable the team to focus on supporting our sites and adapting programs to the challenges COVID-19 presented. In 2022, we plan to reinitiate regular human rights working group meetings, which will be focused on driving our strategy globally. Some examples of topics addressed by the group include:
- Site-level HRIA planning and implementation support
- Our Responsible Souring of Minerals program implementation
- Our Responsible Sourcing of Goods and Services framework development
- Site-level UNGPs implementation guidance
- Human rights related legal developments Human rights defenders
- COVID-19 management and mitigation
We also continue to work with third-party human rights consulting firms, which provide advisory support on our UNGP implementation and assist in implementation of site-level HRIAs.
Human Rights Defenders
Violence against human rights defenders has become an issue of global concern. Our Human Rights Policy commits us to respect the rights of all individuals who may be impacted by our business activities, engage with affected stakeholders in the development of our human rights approach, and prohibit harassment. We do not condone any form of threats, intimidation or violence against those who peacefully promote and defend human rights and expect our business partners to do the same. We recognize the value of an active and open society supported by the rule of law and believe it is important that our stakeholders are able to express their opinions in a safe manner without fear of reprisal or persecution.
Freeport’s sustainability strategy relies upon, and is consistently informed by, engagement with our stakeholders. Our approach is characterized by transparency, collaboration and meaningful dialogue with the primary goal of fostering mutual understanding, trust and cooperation with stakeholder groups. Below are some examples of key stakeholder groups and engagement methods:
Employee engagement. We seek to engage with our employees through:
- Various internal engagement efforts and communications
- Everyday interactions with line managers
- Interactions with labor representatives
- Leadership, training and development programs
- Virtual town hall meetings
- Formal internal grievance mechanisms
- Participation in human rights impact assessments
Community engagement. Proactive, ongoing engagements and constructive dialogue are foundational to our engagement approach. Our community engagement takes place in a number of different formats depending upon the cultural context. The focus is on consistent, proactive, transparent communications and dialogue that is inclusive of local leaders and citizens who represent a broad range of stakeholder groups in each community.
Issues raised by community stakeholders help inform each operation’s risk register and assist in developing engagement, impact mitigation, social investment strategies and community-led development plans. Hundreds of individuals and entities are engaged annually through various methods including:
- Community Development team members
- Community foundations
- Participatory group panels
- Town hall meetings or open house sessions
- Site-level community grievance mechanisms
Community engagement also occurs through regulatory consultation processes with local governments and community groups, including with Indigenous Peoples as well as with consideration for potentially vulnerable groups.
Additional external stakeholder engagement. We have a broad range of stakeholders with whom we engage, including the financial community, customers and suppliers, industry associations, regulators and policy makers, host governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Ongoing and proactive engagement and dialogue informs our sustainability approach, including human rights. Our Annual Reports on Sustainability are a key communication tool that supports our direct engagement efforts. Please refer to our 2021 Report to the Voluntary Principles Plenary for examples of how we engage on security and human rights with fellow Voluntary Principles members (government, NGO and corporate) at the initiative level.
We are open to direct engagement and feedback with stakeholders on our human rights approach. Stakeholders are invited to contact the Community Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communication, Training and Awareness
Employees. We are guided by our Principles of Business Conduct (PBC), which defines the expected behavior of all employees and the FCX Board of Directors. The PBC sets forth the global principles that our workforce must follow in all activities – including respect for human rights. We conduct comprehensive training on our PBC including annual certification by management-level employees and induction training for all new employees. This process requires employees to certify both their understanding of, and compliance with, the PBC and to report any known or suspected instances of non-compliance. Line managers and supervisors also are responsible for ensuring their direct reports understand these principles.
Human rights considerations are included in our annual PBC training. In addition to PBC training, we promote awareness of our Human Rights Policy and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) among employees at selected sites through a variety of mechanisms, including annual classroom and online training, the distribution of pamphlets and other media. Please refer to our 2021 Report to the VPs Plenary for more information on human rights and security training for employees at PT-FI, Cerro Verde and El Abra.
In 2022, we are working towards developing and deploying targeted human rights training for lower risk sites. as well as for our global supply chain employees to aid in identification of issues such as potential modern slavery in our supply chain.
Suppliers and Contractors. Our Human Rights Policy includes a commitment to collaborating with value chain stakeholders on our human rights due diligence practices and outcomes to collectively avoid and address adverse impacts. We mandate human rights standards through our supplier contracts. Suppliers receive and are expected to perform in accordance with our Business Partner Code of Conduct (formerly our Supplier Code of Conduct, updated March 2022). Our Business Partner Code of Conduct, which is based on our PBC, sets forth our expectations for business partners in areas such as safety, respect for human rights, anti-corruption, community and environment.
On-site contractors are subject to an onboarding process that consists of a review of policies, procedures, and security protocols, including validation of required certifications. This includes our Contractor Health and Safety Manual, which defines the minimum expectations and requirements for contractors working safely at our operations. As with our employees, site-specific health and safety training is conducted with contractors and tailored to task-specific hazards and critical controls. Our health and safety performance and associated reporting encompasses our direct employees as well as on-site contractors.
Some sites also provide targeted training on human rights and/or the Business Partner Code of Conduct in addition to the on-site contractor onboarding process. Refer to our 2021 Report to the VPs Plenary for examples of training conducted in 2021.
Community members and third parties. Our engagement with community members and other third parties on our Human Rights policy and program varies by operation. For examples of how we engage with community members and others on security and human rights at our PT-FI operation in Indonesia and our Cerro Verde operation in Peru, refer to our 2021 Report to the VPs Plenary. Refer to the Due Diligence section of our website for information on our site-level HRIA methodology and associated community engagement approach. Our Social Performance Policy, Human Rights Policy, Environmental Policy, Tailings Management Policy and other Sustainability policies are available to community members and other external stakeholders (local and international) in multiple languages in the Corporate Governance section of our website.
Risk Register Process
As we seek to further embed respect for human rights across our organizational activities, sites use our risk register process to identify the human rights risks and address potential and actual impacts on rights-holders across risk categories as outlined in our Human Rights Dashboard. This process is informed by ongoing internal and external stakeholder engagement, internal and external grievance mechanisms and the findings from our ongoing HRIA program.
Similar to our risk register process for our operating sites, our Project Development Sustainability Review integrates sustainability into project planning by helping teams identify risks and opportunities associated with expansions or development projects including those related to human rights and security.
Assessing our Human Rights Program
To facilitate implementation of our policy commitments and objectives related to human rights, we use a combination of audit and assessment programs along with an annual program for site-level third-party assurance of our annual reports on sustainability and our implementation of both International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and Copper Mark requirements. Our site-level HRIAs help us apply a human rights lens to our established management systems and test their effectiveness in identifying, mitigating and remediating human rights risks and impacts.
Grievance Mechanisms & Remedy
As highlighted in our PBC, we seek to promote an open-door culture whereby employees are encouraged to openly discuss any questions or concerns about the way we conduct business. Each of our employees has a responsibility to immediately report suspected violations of the PBC, our policies and procedures, and/or the law to the appropriate personnel, including supervisors, local or corporate Human Resources representatives, local or corporate Legal department, local or corporate Compliance Officer, or others as appropriate. All of our employees have access to our global, publicly available reporting channels associated with our PBC should they wish to report a concern. These reporting channels also are available to members of our supply chain (including contractors) through our Business Partner Code of Conduct. We also maintain a long-established, site-level community grievance mechanism at each of our operating facilities per our Social Performance Policy, as well as dedicated human rights grievance mechanisms at higher risk operations. All of these grievance mechanisms are available in local languages and include the option for anonymous reporting. They help us address concerns early and remediate impacts directly.
We do not tolerate retaliation against anyone who raises a question or concern about our business practice in good faith. We are committed to:
- Protecting the confidentiality of anyone who reports potential violations should they request it
- Cooperating with human rights-related investigations
- Supporting appropriate remediation for proven violations
Per our Human Rights Policy, use of our internal and external grievance mechanisms does not preclude access to judicial or other non-judicial grievance mechanisms. In the event of accusations made via a state-based, non-judicial grievance mechanisms (e.g., proceedings through the OECD National Contact Points), we would participate in related proceedings constructively, cooperatively and in good faith.
In 2021, we finalized updates to our Community Grievance Management standard operating procedure, incorporating the effectiveness criteria outlined in the UNGPs. The ICMM’s updated good practice guidance on Handling and Resolving Local-level Concerns and Grievances, together with input from employees, community members and their representatives, informed these updates. This initiative is in line with our policy commitment to engaging with affected stakeholders and their representatives in the development of our human rights approach. To learn more, please refer to the Community Grievance Mechanism section of our website.
Our grievance mechanisms support our commitment to remedy. While we seek to avoid causing and contributing to adverse impacts on individuals and communities, we acknowledge they may occur. We are committed to providing for and cooperating in remediation of adverse impacts related to our business as well as collaborating with value chain stakeholders to address impacts linked to our business relationships. Remedy can take a range of forms, including cessation of impact, apology, restoration of what was lost, cash or in-kind compensation, and/or rehabilitation through the provision of medical, psychological, legal or social services. Remedy also involves the identification of lessons learned and taking steps to prevent reoccurrence.
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