De Beers Group of Companies

Environment

As the world's leading diamond mining company, De Beers is committed to the development of local policies and procedures to minimize the impact of mining on the natural landscape, and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the communities in which we operate. De Beers' commitment to best environmental management practices has been recognized in other areas where we operate. We recognize that conditions in Canada are unique and we will strive to attain a comparable level of achievement in our Canadian Environmental Management System (EMS). At the end of 2001, all of De Beers' Canadian exploration offices achieved ISO 14001 certification. This represents an important milestone in the company's environmental management program.

Please click here to read our environmental policy.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Detailed site-specific plans are developed in consultation early in project planning and are formulated in accordance with established environmental codes of practice. Plans address soil, vegetation and wildlife issues, air quality, and water and energy conservation. The objective of the EMS is to identify and mitigate impacts during planning and operation, and to leave a productive, self-sustaining and hazard-free post-mining environment.

RESOURCE MINING

Compared to other types of mining, diamond mining has less adverse impact on the environment. Recovering diamonds from the ore-bearing gravel or kimberlite requires a crushing, washing and screening process to which no chemicals are added. The application of environmental management practices helps protect the air, land and water during the active life of the mine. Modern rehabilitation techniques, aided by the knowledge of traditional land users, enable the restoration of the environmental health and productivity of the area.

INFRASTRUCTURE

In addition to the mine itself, access road and transmission lines are required to operate the site. In Canada's north, ice runways and seasonal roads present options to the construction of permanent facilities. Options such as these are reviewed as part of the feasibility study for a mine.

IMPACT MANAGEMENT

We recognize that all mining has an impact on the environment. Yet, with the careful planning to which De Beers Canada is committed, and through consultation with all of its stakeholders and community partners, the environmental disturbance caused by diamond exploration and activity can be minimized. De Beers Canada believes that potentially sensitive social and environmental issues must be identified early in the planning process.

Community Relations

De Beers Canada is committed to building long-term relationships with the communities in which it operates. The company recognizes and respects cultural and regional diversity. Through information sessions, consultation, communication and action, De Beers Canada works together with all its stakeholders and community partners.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

De Beers believes that consultation develops mutual trust and builds cooperative working relationships with individuals and groups. We believe that the public should have a voice in actions that affect their lives and communities.

Our public participation process seeks out and supports the involvement of our neighbours.

We provide information to allow our community partners to participate in meaningful ways.

We report back to the community on how their input shaped project decisions.

COMMITMENTS TO NEIGHBOURS

In addition to consulting with our neighbours, De Beers Canada is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all people. Excellent communication, fairness and mutual respect will be demonstrated in all of our employment and business practices.

De Beers Canada provides employment opportunities to the communities in which we operate.

We work with our neighbours, government, educators and contractors to build the skills required for available positions.

We ensure that positions created by our projects are filled by our neighbours whenever possible.

We build relationships with local suppliers, selecting those best qualified to satisfy the requirement for on-time delivery, quality materials, equipment and services.

We encourage the participation of local businesses, and support their efforts to meet required performance standards.

Social Investment

Good corporate citizenship is one of De Beers' core values and this includes the company's commitment to invest in initiatives that improve the communities in which we operate. The principles of social and economic development and environmental management underpin De Beers approach to business.

The most effective means of helping communities to help themselves is by giving them a hand up not a hand out. This isfundamental to De Beers' approach to social sustainability. The idea is to build capacity rather than dependency in the communities with which the company is involved.

De Beers social investment initiatives date back to the company's earliest days in South Africa. Efforts were formalized in the mid-1970s when De Beers and Anglo American launched the Chairman's Fund. Today with the same energy and enterprise De Beers directs CAN $4.4 million a year towards a diversity of socio-economic and educational initiatives.

De Beers is committed to adopting business strategies that meet the needs of the company and its stakeholders today, while protecting, sustaining and developing human, social, economic initiatives that may be needed in the future. We will continue to work with the local communities and industry associations, providing ongoing financial and physical support for the benefit of all involved.

This is nothing new for De Beers as there is a long company history of working with the communities where it operates.

"Our aim is to make profits but to do so in a way that makes a positive and lasting contribution to the communities in which we operate."
- Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, 1954

More recently in March 2005, the De Beers family of companies became members of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The UNGC is an international initiative that brings companies together with UN agencies to support universal environmental and social principles. Hundreds of companies from around the world are engaged in the Global Compact, working to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

If you would like your charitable organization to be considered by De Beers, click here to access our social investment policy statement, sponsorship forms and application guidelines.

For more information on specific De Beers social investment initiatives click here.

 

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