Sustainable Development And Community

Building Strong Relationships

We work hard to engage with our stakeholders to understand their key concerns and expectations of our business and practices. Proactive engagement also enables us to identify opportunities and mitigate risks by understanding and responding to issues rather than reacting to them.

In order to engage effectively and understand the distinct requirements of our various stakeholders, the business has identified seven key groups as having significant interest in our operations- Employees, Shareholders, Lenders, Host Governments, Communities, Civil society, Industry.

Maintaining and managing relationships is crucial to ensuring that Vedanta Ltd. continues to drive value for all stakeholder groups, accordingly over the past year we have continued to develop and enhance our stakeholder engagement processes, with all business units working hard towards putting them in place along with supporting grievance mechanisms.

Our stakeholder engagement technical standard is aligned with international best practice and equips our subsidiaries to have a consistent approach to the way they engage and communicate with their stakeholders.

All of our operations run their own stakeholder identification and analysis process. As part of this, they identify potential stakeholder representatives who act as a channel for the dissemination and receipt of information. In addition, our sites identify individuals and groups who may be additionally affected by operations due to their disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable status.

Ways in which stakeholders may be affected and the extent of both actual and perceived impacts are identified and recorded against each group. Using the information gathered, our operations can then determine, with the stakeholders themselves, the level of communication and consultation that is appropriate. From this, Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEP) are developed and continuously updated as circumstances develop on-site. We use numerous channels of communication which include one-on-one and large format meetings and briefings, and online and print communications.

Our HZL, BALCO, Sterlite Copper, Lisheen Mines, Skorpion Zinc, and Black Mountain Mine (BMM) all produce in-house journals newsletters to engage with employees, our wider industry and communities and host governments.

Responding to stakeholder concerns

As part of our continual engagement with those interested in our business, we ar committed to responding effectively to stakeholder feedback. Effort is made by the business to ensure that multiple channels are used to maintain contact; for example, at Group level a dedicated email address –, is available and is dislpayed in the Contacts section of our websites.

This is complemented by an online feedback form in the Sustainable Development section of our website. All issues, feedback points and grievances raised are recorded, and contribute to our continual monitoring and understanding of stakeholder interests and inform our materiality review.

Communication meeting on Gamsberg Project-Black Mountain Mine

The BMM- Gamsberg project is one of the most strategic projects of the Group's Zinc International business and an integral plan to harness the potential of BMM assets and to sustain growth.

To ensure both transparency in the development of the project and that our stakeholders understand the project aims and the process of its development, updates to the Gamsberg Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) are communicated by postings on the Company website Interested stakeholders are directed to the project website, which has up-to-date information on the status of the ESIA. This site gets updated regularly, particularly when critical milestones are completed.

All documents including reports and details of community engagement can be found on the website. The draft ESIA report has also been placed in public places including the local library and municipality offices. Advertisements have also been placed in four regional newspapers to create awareness of the publication of the draft ESIA.

A third open-house public meeting was scheduled to be conducted in the first half of 2013 to disclose the findings of the ESIA (prior to its final submission) in addition to focus group meetings for relevant stakeholders including farmers, NGOs and the municipality. We intend to distribute a non-technical summary of the draft to all participants, in both English and Afrikaans.

Protecting and respecting human dignity is central to our everyday business operations. Moreover, as a global company working in a range of developing countries, we believe we have an important contribution to make through the example we set by our behaviours.

Our human rights policy is aligned to the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights and includes strict prohibition of child or forced labour - either directly or through contract labour. Additionally, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (Code) commits us to comply with all relevant national laws and regulations, underpinning our approach to protecting the fundamental rights of all our direct and indirect employees.

Human Rights Management

Human rights training is an integral part of our Sustainable Development Framework implementation, with periodic training in Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that includes the Human Rights aspects is provided to our employees and contract workforce. These range from our on-site security guards – who are required to work in compliance with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and International Council on Mining and Metals guidelines – to our transport workforce, where we have previously identified some risks of child labour.

We also undertake periodic reviews and risk assessments in our all our group companies to identify potential human rights, child and forced labour-related risks within our boundary, communities and supply chain.

Human rights-related risks may occur in our supply chain. Therefore, although all our significant suppliers have adequate systems to safeguard the human rights of their workforce, we continue to engage these businesses diligently.

To this end all our new suppliers and contractors are provided with an induction to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, sustainability policies, standards and systems. Further now all our new suppliers and contractors undergo sustainability screening on human rights and child labour, environment and labour aspects etc. Inspections and audits of all key suppliers and contractors are undertaken and any issues identified are recorded and communicated to the contractor.

A supplier relationship management e-learning module ensures transparency and provides a communication mechanism for all registered suppliers to voice their concerns.

Forced and Child labour

Our Code of Conduct expressly prohibits the use of forced and child labour. This is upheld in all our dealings with contractors and vendors, with guidance provided to sites on working with contractors and suppliers in order to eliminate any breach.

Indigenous Peoples/Vulnerable Tribal Groups

We are committed to respecting the rights of vulnerable and indigenous people. In support of this commitment we follow a technical standard and guidance note on Indigenous Peoples/Vulnerable Tribal Groups which meets international standards.

The core aim of the standard is to enable our project teams to engage, negotiate and partner with these vulnerable groups in a manner that avoids negative impacts and risks for all stakeholders, especially the indigenous peoples and vulnerable tribes. It also outlines our desire to create opportunities for positive economic and social development, within the context of the unique requirements of these groups.

Effective and appropriate community consultation is critical to maintaining a positive and lasting relationship in our communities. In our journey as a growing and expanding business, it is important that we work collaboratively with our host communities, in order that they are engaged throughout the lifecycle of our projects, from initial planning, throughout the operations and to site closure and beyond.

We have a structured, two-tier approach to community engagement: consultation and community investment programmes. All of our businesses have implemented local community engagement and impact assessment programmes. Through effective consultation we engage in dialogue with the communities surrounding our mines, facilities and proposed projects in order to ensure that they are effectively informed. We also work closely in collaboration to optimise our community investment programmes to ensure that these respond to the needs of the community and are an integral part of the broader engagement we undertake at the local level.

Community Consultation

Our New Projects, Planning and Site Closure Standards stipulate that all companies in the Group will have in place effective consultation programmes to obtain broad community support in relation to any new project.

All our operations are required to ensure stakeholders understand the risks, impacts and opportunities associated with proposed new projects and their operations. In addition, we have Grievance Mechanisms in place to provide a structured process to address any concerns. Our overarching aim is to ensure that there is an open dialogue process in place which can build and nurture relationships with communities near our ongoing operations

How we work to resolve issues:


The nature of the extractive industry means that land which has houses or other habitation dwellings or is otherwise being used by local community groups may need to be developed in order to access resources safely. We make every effort to keep involuntary resettlements to a minimum as a result of our operations.

Our group Technical Standard on Land Resettlement Management provides our businesses with the tools to manage these necessary resettlement programmes in a structured and appropriate way. Our whole process of resettlement aims to be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual consent and every effort is made to have in place the best package of valuation and compensation for land and other assets affected by a project.