Rio Tinto has released its second progress report on Communities and Social Performance (CSP) practices, which highlights direct feedback from Traditional Owners and the actions the company has taken to rebuild relationships with Indigenous peoples and external stakeholders.
As part of its efforts to increase transparency in its approach to cultural heritage protection, the company established the Communities and Social Performance report in September 2021, engaging employees, Traditional Owners and other stakeholders to improve its CSP practice and outcomes.
The report details progress made in areas such as Traditional Owner partnerships and agreement modernisation in Western Australia.
It also details the implementation of new CSP organisational structures, standards and practices across the company; improved governance; and increased social expertise within the business, with 500 CSP professionals working on 60 operations in 41 countries.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jakob Stausholm, said, “We thank those Traditional Owners who generously shared their constructive feedback and perspectives for this report.
“Listening to and responding to feedback is invaluable as we work to improve our practices. In the two years since the tragic destruction of the rock shelters at Juukan Gorge, we have been changing the way we work in every part of our business.
“While we have made progress, we know it will take time to rebuild relationships and regain the trust of Traditional Owners and the wider community.
“We remain focused on improving our engagement, and together with the Indigenous peoples of the lands on which we operate, we are committed to ensuring cultural heritage is respected, valued and conserved for future generations.”
This report provides an update on:
- Rio Tinto’s progress against its commitments and internal work plans, external obligations and recommendations, including rebuilding relationships with Traditional Owners
- The views of the Traditional Owners who work with Rio Tinto in the Pilbara on how successfully these commitments are being met
- The governance arrangements in place to oversee progress against these actions
- How Rio Tinto is working to advocate for enhanced sector-wide cultural heritage management
- Increasing Indigenous leadership, employment and cultural connection within Rio Tinto
The full report can be read here.