The process of selecting material issues is guided by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), SASB, GRI Standards and the Accountability AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard.
Given the challenges the organisation faced in 2020, the Company took the opportunity to rethink the way in which the materiality assessment survey was conducted and broadened the scope to re-examine the topics considered to materially impact our ability to create and share value. Our approach for 2020 included a three-step assessment process, review of the outcomes, validation by the AngloGold Ashanti senior leadership and final approval by the board’s Social, Ethics and Sustainability (SES) Committee.
The revised materiality assessment followed a three-step process:
- A desktop study involving a review of AngloGold Ashanti’s internal documentation and the group’s enterprise risk register, as well as documentation from NGOs and lobby groups, oversight and interest bodies and media reports (including of community issues). This research component of the materiality assessment was conducted with the intention of providing a comprehensive picture of issues raised across the different stakeholder groups and utilised relevant analysis tools and metrics including the PESTLE analysis, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Economic, Environmental Social and Governance (EESGs) and SASB.
- Obtaining stakeholder feedback followed. An internal online survey issued to the SES Committee, the group’s Executive Committee, Regional Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents, General Managers, discipline leads and sustainability specialists across the business to evaluate issues raised at group and operational levels. The survey consisted of questions designed to distinguish between risk and materiality and to identify issues impacting AngloGold Ashanti’s ability to create value. In addition, the survey included identification of emerging issues that may have material impact on
One-on-one interviews were held with external stakeholders on their views on the Company’s current reporting and what issues are considered to be material. The stakeholder group interviews conducted by an independent third party, included investors, governments, media, NGOs/community and industry bodies.
- Using insight from each of these steps, a set of potential material issues was plotted on a materiality matrix and mapped according to their impact on the ability of the Company to create value for stakeholders. The resultant materiality matrix map was further reviewed during a workshop with the multi-disciplinary corporate leads to establish whether the material issues identified from the process represented a balanced and comprehensive view of the critical areas of concern for the business and its stakeholders and, to determine whether any additional issues, which should have been included, had been omitted. The material issues were then agreed upon and ranked using an online voting system to ensure individual voices had equal influence in the process. The top issues were identified and a decision was taken to rephrase some of the issues for reporting purposes. The proposed material issues from the workshop were validated by the senior leadership of AngloGold Ashanti and approved by the board’s SES Committee.
Our materiality matrix 102-47
2020 MATERIAL ISSUES
- Climate change and energy use
- Tailings management
- Human Rights
- Artisanal and small-scale mining
- Integrated closure (including environmental, economic and social considerations)
- Business sustainability and growth
- Navigating through regulatory and political risks
We recognise that many of these issues are interrelated and have far wider impact across all categories. However, for the purposes of this report, we have grouped them as above.