Colombia: “Shadow sustainability” report by NGOs raises concerns over Glencore’s fiscal, environmental, labour & resettlement actions; includes company statement
NGOs Pensamiento y Accion Social, PAS (Colombia) and Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz Kolumbien, ASK! (Switzerland) presented the main findings of their “Shadow Report on the sustainability of Glencore’s operations in Colombia” in Bogotá. The NGOs said they maintained a dialogue with Glencore; the company sent its response, provided at the end of the report (and below). The panel at the launch event had the participation of researchers, trade union and local community leaders, as well as a woman staff of the National Mining Agency.
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Executive summary of Glencore’s response to PAS/ASK’s report on Glencore’s activities at the Prodeco group coal mine, Colombia [scroll down to page 237]
…We are proud of our long presence in Colombia, the contribution we have been able to make to its people and economy, our commitment to be a force for positive change and our role as an active participant in the transformative processes taking place in the country today…The sole aim of the PAS/ASK report is to highlight the Prodeco Group’s alleged failures in carrying out its obligations in Colombia in relation to fiscal, environmental, labour, community and resettlement issues. We are disappointed by the significant amount of information in the report which is inaccurate or incomplete, which has been incorrectly interpreted by the author or has been included out of context and as a result is likely to mislead a reader of the report. Glencore welcomes and appreciates the opportunity to engage with PAS/ASK. However, we were not consulted in the preparation of the PAS/ASK report nor have we been provided the opportunity to seek any amendment to its text. Instead we were provided a copy of what we assume will be the final report for review two weeks before its publication and invited to prepare a short response. In the limited timeframe available, we have not endeavoured to identify all inaccurate or misleading statements contained in the report. Glencore is fully committed to operating responsibly and in compliance with local regulation and international standards…
Author: Pensamiento y Acción Social, PAS & Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz Kolumbien, ASK
… This shadow report is intended as a contribution towards civil society’s duty to provide oversight and demand responsibility from large companies and transnational corporations in regards to the multiple impacts that they generate in the world through their corporate, environmental, labor, social, economic, as well as human rights performance. In the case of Glencore PLC in Colombia, Latin American and European organizations have been carrying out this monitoring. Since 2010 Glencore has issued sustainability reports on its operations in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and criteria…Also, since 2010 the non-governmental organizations Swiss-Colombian Working Group (ASK) and Pensamiento y Acción Social (PAS) began to monitor Glencore’s operations in Colombia through the compilation, documentation and analysis of information from thousands of documents…At the same time, we have accompanied the communities and organizations which live in the area influenced by the company’s mining projects. Specifically the community of El Hatillo, in the department of Cesar, which is in the midst of an involuntary resettlement process due to its proximity to the Calenturitas mine; and the Embera Katío indigenous reservations in the municipality of Frontino, in the department of Antioquia, where Glencore is exploring and developing activities to extract gold and other minerals.