201-103 Management Approach – Economic
For more than 90 years, Boliden has been exploring, extracting and processing base metals and precious metals. Production is based on experience, innovation and modern technology, developed in collaboration with Nordic technology and engineering companies. Today, Boliden is an industry leader in terms of sustainable metal production, from deposits to recycling of used metals. The locations of Boliden’s operations are determined by the localization of mineral resources and the ability to explore and expand operations in connection therewith. Good community relations and mutual understanding are a prerequisite for Boliden’s success and in enabling the business to grow.
The economic topics identified as important to Boliden are economic performance, market presence, indirect economic impact, anti-corruption, and anti-competitive behavior. All of these topics are closely linked to Boliden’s overall performance. They are both the result, and a precondition, of trust from the local communities where Boliden operates. By considering these topics and performing well in respect of these, Boliden maintains its license to operate and the ability to develop its business.
Boliden’s Code of Conduct provides a non-exhaustive framework for what it considers responsible conduct. The employees should always strive to exercise good judgement, care, and due consideration in their work for Boliden. The Code of Conduct applies to all employees in all countries and subsidiaries throughout the Group and to the members of the Board of Directors of Boliden AB.
Economic performance is important, because Boliden contributes to the welfare in society through the generation and distribution of economic value e.g. by paying wages, taxes, interest rates, and dividends. These impacts occur throughout Boliden’s value chain and affect several stakeholder groups and all Boliden sites.
Boliden’s contribution to the community is multifaceted and includes investing in education and engaging with students, nurturing competence, and enabling conversion from one occupation to another to make people employable; sponsoring local organizations; making investments that benefit the company and the community, etc. These matters support job creation and strengthen rural communities’ contribution to national economic stability. Several of Boliden’s most important locations, and locations where major investments have been made, are in regions where growth injections are needed. Boliden is aware of its role and significance as what is often the biggest employer in the community and a generator of positive trickle-down effects, such as tax income to finance public services, and as a foundation for a private service sector. This status brings both privileges and responsibilities.
Salaries are an important part of the economic compensation to the community. In general the entry-level wages for employees are set higher than the minimum wage, and average salaries and wages are often higher than the national industrial average. For blue-collar employees, there is an entry-level wage stated within the local salary agreements used for new employees. For white-collar employees hired directly out of universities, Boliden applies entry-level wages, depending on the level of education needed for different jobs.
Social impact assessments are conducted in order to assess the consequences for the local community in connection with both expansions of and other significant changes to operations, and in conjunction with the closure of operations.
The Annual and Sustainability Reports contain further details of the ways in which Boliden manages, follows up on, and monitors its performance in relation to these aspects.
Protecting local communities’ interests and maintaining good relationships with employees, neighbors, authorities and business partners is an important part of being a responsible company. It also strengthens the ability to attract skilled labour and contributes to the development of the business.
Boliden has a considerable impact on local employment levels, trade, and industry by generating purchasing power and providing a critical base for social services. At the year-end, Boliden had 5,997 (5,819) full time employees, in eight countries. Although the industry is cyclically sensitive, Boliden has had stable employment over several business cycles, and the workforce has increased by about 1,700 people in the past 10 years, mainly due to the acquisitions of the Kylylahti and Kevitsa mines.
Boliden currently operates in countries where the infrastructure is well developed and the need for Boliden to contribute to society by directly investing in and developing infrastructure and social services is limited.
Just as Boliden’s companies are important to the development of society, society is important to Boliden. Maintaining an ongoing open dialogue with local inhabitants and other parties with interests in the operations is a given, as is collaborating with local operators and sponsoring various associations and events. Boliden encourages visits to our mines and smelting plants.
When expanding our operations or setting up in a new location, it is also important that Boliden maintains a dialogue with all concerned stakeholders, in order to ensure that Boliden’s negative social and environmental impact is minimized.
Indirect economic impact
A large proportion of Boliden’s staff lives close to the workplace, and the company has a major impact on local employment and local business through increased purchasing power and as the basis for important social services. Boliden’s operations affect and touch the lives of many people – sometimes entire communities. Value creation depends on the ability to show consideration for people, society, and the environment throughout the value chain. Boliden aims to make a positive contribution to the development of communities, regions, and countries.
Contribution to tax revenue
Boliden values the importance of a good tax reputation in each of the countries where we operate by reporting and paying taxes in due time and in compliance with applicable tax legislation. The Group has a commercial, not a tax driven, approach to its business and this is also reflected in Boliden’s Group Tax Policy and in the UK Tax Strategy that are published on our website. Boliden’s contribution to tax revenues in the areas where the Group operates includes for example corporate income tax, social security contributions as well as energy- and environmental taxes.
Bcause – Boliden’s Charitable Foundation
Metals contribute to the development and modernization of societies around the world. Boliden and its business operations have been part of this process for over 90 years and have for many years had a local level commitment to associations and non-profit organizations. In 2014, the Bcause charity fund was launched as part of our global-level contribution. Bcause is based on voluntary monthly contributions from Boliden’s employees; Boliden doubles the donated amount.
Sanction controls are performed on a regular basis for potential and existing business partners. Sanctions controls were a prioritized focus area during 2019 and Boliden’s sanctions control program was reviewed and improved. Policies, procedures and contract terms were updated and an extensive training program was carried out. Awareness training was given to the top 100 managers, held by both internal and external specialists. Several targeted training courses were given to specific risk groups and functions such as the legal, purchasing and sales departments and administrators.
Boliden’s Code of Conduct and Business Partner Code of Conduct set out appropriate measures to prevent corrupt behavior and improper influence. Furthermore, corruption, bribery, gifts, benefits and conflicts of interest are addressed in Boliden’s anti-corruption policy and guidelines. Gifts or other favors to business associates shall comply with locally accepted good business practice. Gifts and other favors may only be given or granted provided that they are modest, both with respect to value and frequency, and providing the time and place are appropriate. Compliance with anti-bribery and anti-corruption is one of the focus areas within Boliden’s newly established a function for ethics and compliance.
Compliance requirements are also incorporated into contractual agreements with business partners. Boliden’s anti-corruption policy has been approved by the Board of Directors and applies to all individuals acting in Boliden’s name or on Boliden’s behalf including employees, management, Members of the Board, consultants and agents of the Boliden Group. The anti-corruption policy also applies to companies and joint ventures in which Boliden has an interest, and to third parties who act for or on behalf of Boliden.
Boliden’s employees and Board members shall comply with applicable anti-trust and competition laws, Boliden’s Code of Conduct, and Boliden’s competition law policy. Sharing, discussing or disclosing information that may be sensitive from a competition viewpoint is prohibited.
Compliance with anti-competition and antitrust laws is one of the focus areas within Boliden’s newly established ethics and compliance function. Compliance with antitrust and competition laws and regulations is vital for Boliden and therefore compliance requirements are included in Boliden's Code of Conduct as well as its competition law policy.