Who we are, what we do
Putting our values into practice
Sustainability for AngloGold Ashanti is about showing how we live our values for mutual benefit, today and for the future, across the dimensions of safety, economic development, communities and broader society and the environment.
Ethics as the embodiment of our values
As discussed, our values are our core beliefs. In contrast, our ethics, codified in AngloGold Ashanti's Code of Business Principles and Ethics, provide the guidelines and rules that allow employees to align their conduct and business practices with the values. In other words, our ethics tell the story of our values: "this is what our values mean to us." The most obvious example of these guidelines and rules are our policies. These include policies on Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Delegation of Authority Policy, or any of the other policies, procedures and guidelines that guide our day-to-day conduct.
However, it is not enough to simply publish policies. To breathe life into these documents, it is important to build the capacity of employees to understand the policies so they can live our values. Capacity building takes many forms, including training (whether face-to-face, online, or via the use of DVDs) and communications in all forms, whether global, regional, operational, or discipline-specific, all the way to the mine face through the use of newsletters, emails, posters, even SMS messages. With capacity building comes reporting – employees must have the ability to report contraventions of the policies, whether through "open door" discussions with management or the use of anonymous "whistleblowing" reporting. As described in the following section, we have also put in place strong and reliable disciplinary measures in place to hold individuals to account, regardless of the seniority of the employee accused of violating the relevant policy. These efforts embed our ethics in every business decision that our employees make.
In the 2014 year, AngloGold Ashanti conducted an Employee Engagement Survey that asked a number of questions to our employees around the globe. And while employees believed in the importance of our values, some concern was raised as to whether we were living our values every day – meaning, were employees consistently complying with and applying the Code of Business Principles and Ethics, and were employees who were not acting ethically held to account.
Following our core value of accountability, AngloGold Ashanti is squarely addressing this perceived gap between our values and our ethics. For example, Human Resources is developing training materials on effective managerial behaviour to modify behaviours that employees are perceiving as counter to our values. Group Legal, Ethics and Compliance is revising the Code to make it both easier to understand and to more directly align key ethical policies to our values. Group Internal Audit, where whistleblowing accountability resides, is working to communicate whistleblowing outcomes to employees so they know that AngloGold Ashanti takes their concerns seriously (and thoroughly investigates each whistleblowing incident). But note that these are just a few examples – there are myriad other activities taking place at the Group, Regional, Country and operational level to narrow this perceived gap. Another example of AngloGold Ashanti "living our values" is discussed below.