Australian news, and some related international items

The other side of BHP Billiton’s Annual Report

Threatening lives, the environment, and peoples’ future – An Alternative Annual Report on BHP Billiton 2009-2010 In this 25 page report, case studies question BHP’s record on human rights, transparency, and ecological justice.

“………..This report examines a number of BHP Billiton’s operations around the world. The collection of case studies highlights the disparity between BHP Billiton’s ‘Sustainability Framework’ and the reality of its operations.In the year 2009-2010 BHP Billiton has continued itsinvolvement in many controversial mines, is advancing riskyand unwanted projects…..

The BHP Billiton mines, exploration projects and assets that feature in this Alternative Annual Report are those where one or more of the following issues has been prevalent; human rights abuses, labour rights, relocation of communities, mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples, destruction of sacred sites, devastating impacts on food and water, climate change, use of paramilitaries, health concerns, irresponsible tailingsdisposal procedures and questionable corporate social responsibility practices………

BHP Billiton may agree in theory on upholding human rights but in 2009-2010 there was no reporting on human rights risk assessments or ‘material risk’ identification, showing a lack of commitment in this area. While BHP Billiton has a policy on human rights, as explained within its Sustainability Framework , and is a signatory to a number of voluntary agreements on human rights, it is apparent from the following case studies that policy does not equate to practice. Many of the countries that BHP Billiton operates in have poor records on corruption, poor human rights records and a high level of militarisation, and are willing to make serious compromises for desperately needed foreign investment. These are all factors that often create an environment that undermines the rights of communities when faced with a form of development they oppose….

……..Honesty and openess BHP Billiton’s involvement in Cambodia has caused it grave embarrassment because of the lack of clarity over payments to government bodies. It says it is committed to revealing all payments made to national governments. It has not yet done so. BHP Billiton needs not only to avoid any and all forms of corruption in its dealings with authorities, but to be seen to be avoiding them. It is accused of failing to make information available to people affected by its aluminium smelter in Mozambique, even though across the border in South Africa the law would force it to be more open. It has also failed to report on exploration activities despite the known social and environmental impacts of such activities and controversy over land use. BHP Billiton needs to be open and honest, not only in financial matters, but also about its exploration activities and in every case where communities affected by its operations want to know what it is doing…….

November 16, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics, uranium | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: