Oyu Tolgoi is committed to strengthening sustainable, neighbourly relationships with our local communities based on mutual respect, active partnerships, and long-term agreements to gain and maintain our social license to operate.
Preventing and mitigating the potential risks and negative impacts of our operations to the environment and local communities is an important part of our social responsibility. We provide support to economic and social projects and programmes based on ideas brought to us by local people.
Social responsibility and community engagement is the duty of every Oyu Tolgoi employee and is central to our work each day. We operate on the basis of principles of respect for the rights of local residents, openness, and transparency. In April 2015, we agreed a formal Cooperation Agreement with the local community. The agreement is an important framework for all parties to act with the future in mind.
We have a management system in place to drive our corporate social responsibility and to embed it in our day-to-day operations. These policies and standards are based on Mongolian laws and regulations and Rio Tinto’s own industry leading corporate standards. These polices and standards embed the principle of sustainable development which prioritises the following: (i) realisation of environmental commitments and demonstrating leadership, (ii) contributing to social development, (iii) supporting and strengthening local businesses and economic development , and (iv) strong corporate governance and compliance with our code of corporate conduct and all legal regulations.
In 2008, the company undertook a baseline socio-economic study of the South Gobi aimag and a social impact assessment conducted by an independent research team. This identified key areas for action that needed addressing in the medium term. In 2012, we completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in partnership with our project lenders - international banks and financial institutions. The results of these studies helped us to develop and implement projects and programmes which focus on protecting the natural environment, community health, education, and local people’s livelihoods, aligned with the key priority areas for local development.