A cornerstone of Anglo American’s approach to delivering sustainable development is to build the capacities and life chances of the communities where the Company operates. Two major elements of this are the implementation of the SEAT process, which provides operations with a template for regular assessment of their positive and negative impacts, for improving their understanding of local people’s concerns, needs and priorities and for developing targeted interventions to improve the Group’s development impacts and the Company’s enterprise development programmes. In 2007, the Company stated that it was developing a new KPI to reflect the value and impact of sustainable development initiatives. As a result, a new indicator has been instituted, which describes both the number of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) supported at any one time by the Company’s enterprise development initiatives and how many jobs these businesses are supporting.
Enterprise development can involve both free-standing businesses and those which are successful in securing a place in the Group’s supply chain. This has been chosen as a proxy for the Company’s overall community development work because, in Anglo American’s experience, involvement in such businesses is an effective means of empowering people and building their capacities. Experience also suggests that such programmes can be particularly successful in addressing gender inequality issues.
Anglo American’s long involvement in enterprise development in South Africa was set on a more formal footing in 1989, with various initiatives aimed at widening black participation in the economy. This subsequently developed into the unit known as Anglo Zimele (meaning ‘to be independent’ in Xhosa). Zimele’s methodology involves a combination of equity stakes, loans, opportunities to compete for supply chain opportunities and mentoring and is highly rated by groups like the World Bank. It has three elements: supply-chain related businesses; a junior mining fund; and a new small business fund (launched at the end of 2007, it now has 11 small business hubs in South African mining communities). The number of jobs supported by Zimele-sponsored companies broadly doubled during 2008 to more than 10,000.
A micro-enterprise loan and SME management capacity building scheme launched in Chile in 2007 had, by the end of 2008, extended support to 2,710 businesses employing over 3,000 people. A new small business scheme was also launched in Brazil around the Barro Alto project in 2008 in partnership with CARE. Despite the current difficult economic circumstances, it is hoped that enterprise development schemes supported or implemented by Anglo American can be expanded to provide livelihoods to more than 18,000 people by the end of 2009.
Anglo American has been working with CARE International UK since 2003. The scope and ambition of the relationship increased in December 2007 when Cynthia Carroll signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CARE UK’s chief executive, Geoffrey Dennis. The objective of the MoU is to alleviate poverty and to promote improved development outcomes. In 2008, a programme of activities was launched to work towards these goals. This included CARE participation in Anglo American social management training sessions in Brazil, Chile and South Africa; study visits to see Anglo American’s workplace and community HIV/AIDS programmes; investment in enterprise development initiatives; and community development projects. The MoU has also catalysed a number of initiatives in-country, notably the development of a broad-based community development partnership around the Barro Alto project in Brazil. The Anglo American Group Foundation also initiated funding for CARE projects in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Brazil, as well as for a team member in CARE’s emergency shelter team.