Barrick's Sustainability Aligned with UN Goals

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KnowESG_Barrick Gold
Image courtesy of Barrick Gold Corporation

In their 2022 Sustainability Report, Barrick Gold Corporation's CEO Mark Bristow states that their sustainability approach is comprehensive and linked to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The company aims to deliver practical and measurable results that align with global priorities.

Mark Bristow explains that by utilising the SDGs as the main structure for sustainability reporting, Barrick can integrate its sustainability management approach more effectively and avoid compartmentalised thinking and a purely compliance-oriented ESG approach.

The company's fifth Sustainability Report, following its merger with Randgold Resources in 2019, adheres to key reporting frameworks while prioritising the SDGs as the primary lens for measuring and comprehending its sustainability progress, which is often neglected despite being a significant global obligation.

Bristow explains that their sustainability approach enables them to tackle poverty, climate change, and biodiversity preservation comprehensively and simultaneously because these issues are closely interlinked.

For instance, in 2022, Barrick generated over $10.7 billion in economic value and produced 21,000 job opportunities, supporting SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. The company also hired 96% of its workforce and 78% of its senior site managers from the host country and procured $1.4 billion worth of goods and services from local suppliers near its mines. Furthermore, in 2022, the company spent over $6.1 billion on suppliers from the host country.

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Furthermore, Barrick invested more than $36 million in community development initiatives, such as education facilities in Nevada, business incubators in the Dominican Republic, and gender-based violence awareness programs in Tanzania, supporting SDGs 4, 5, and 9. The company aims to ensure that 50% of all new hires are women, and currently, 23% of employees at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic are women, leading to SDGs 5 and 10.

Pueblo Viejo has received the highest gender equality certification by the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Women and the United Nations Development Programme, marking it as the first mining company in the country to receive this certification.

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Regarding the environment, Barrick has established a feasible and demonstrable target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (SDG 13: Climate Action). In 2022, the company's total emissions were 6,705kt CO2e (Scope 1 and 2: market-based), which is 6% lower than the previous year and an 11% decrease compared to its 2018 baseline.

Bristow emphasises that sustainability is critical to their goal of becoming the world's most valued gold and copper mining company while promoting social and economic development in host communities and nations and responsibly managing their environmental impact.

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Source: Barrick

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