REPORTING ACCURATELY AND TRANSPARENTLY
It is critical to both AngloGold Ashanti and its stakeholders that we report accurately and transparently on sustainability performance. We have therefore developed an approach to the assurance of published information that relies on three complementary review processes – internal audit, external audit and an independent viewpoint from our sustainability review panel.
In 2011, AngloGold Ashanti strengthened internal audit procedures through the development and testing of a combined assurance review system, providing assurance to senior management and to the board on the management of all significant business risks, including key areas of sustainability risk. Combined assurance reviews were conducted by multidisciplinary teams at four pilot sites in 2011 and the process will be expanded to all operations in 2012.
Internal audit teams play a key role in monitoring the integrity of our system for the collation of sustainability data from global operations, supplementing internal checking processes which are built into this system. Work was undertaken in 2011 to strengthen data collation systems further through better definition of data indicators to ensure that data is consistently recorded across the group.
External assurance of our group-level Sustainability Report and supplementary data is provided by Ernst & Young. Data indicators are selected for assurance by external audit teams on the basis of their assessment of the issues and indicators that are most significant to the sustainability performance of the business, as well as the key risks identified by the group.
Data which has been externally assured is indicated in our supplementary information with the icons and the definition of these icons is specified in the external assurance statement.
In 2011, the scope of our external assurance also covered compliance with the key standards against which we report – the G3 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainable Development Framework of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).
Commentary from the sustainability review panel
A further level of review is provided by our sustainability review panel which had input into the content of our group-level report in 2011.
The panel is an international group of independent experts whose composition broadly reflects the geographic regions in which we operate. Many of the panel participants have extensive experience in mining. However panel members are not drawn exclusively from that sector. Their knowledge and understanding of broader societal concerns in the sustainability arena bring considerable value to the reporting process. This is supplemented by their knowledge of our business, which we are building with them through ongoing access to key information on our sustainability performance and strategy.
The panel has reviewed the group-level Sustainability Report and has provided its commentary in the review letter that follows. Although this commentary is based on a robust review and a clear understanding of the direction of the company’s strategy, it should be noted the panel has not undertaken an audit of the report or the company's activities, and so does not provide any indication of the accuracy of the report or the materiality or completeness of specific elements.