Employment and labor principles
Boliden considers the ability to attract, recruit, develop, and retain competent employees as a prerequisite for its success. It is important to achieve a balance between the company’s capabilities and commitments. This means having the right skills in the right place, at the right time. Employees are Boliden’s best ambassadors when it comes to attracting new employees to join the company. Another prerequisite for successfully attracting and retaining good employees is that Boliden offers a work environment that balances work and leisure time. Good health is not only positive for the individual but also for Boliden’s success.
Boliden’s talent pool, and the skills and knowledge possessed by its employees are vital if it is to achieve its strategic and operational objectives. By identifying important future competence challenges as new technologies and tools are implemented, employees and managers are afforded the opportunity to develop skills in line with Boliden’s strategic goals.
Work with competence development and recruitment is also based on the Group’s strategic goals of contributing to diversity and increased equality. Challenges include operating in a male-dominated industry, in regions with limited recruitment bases and tough competition for engineers with specialist training.
Health and Safety
Occupational health & safety is Boliden’s most important issue as it involves the well-being and, ultimately, the lives of Boliden’s employees and contractors. A strong safety culture is characterized by a value-driven leadership that trusts employees’ ability to act in relation to risk, health and safety.
As Boliden faces a number of retirements, competes for a limited supply of competent employees, and is located in rural areas – the ability to offer a work environment dominated by foresight, development, and employee care is crucial for the business. Supplier assessments of sound and safe labor practices is vital for Boliden’s ambition to be the sustainable first link in metal value chains.
Responding to Covid-19
In 2020, Boliden has worked proactively to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in its workplaces. As of November 2020, all production units have managed to maintain good production levels despite some disruptions and slightly higher sick leave.
Boliden’s response has been built on its already established systematic approach to continuously improve health and safety. Delegated local people with a clear mandate to act have been selected at site level and the overall work is coordinated at Group level through a continuous and regular exchange of good practice. Special guidelines have been developed for Boliden’s workplaces, business trips and for major maintenance stoppages – as well as on how to avoid contributing to spreading Covid-19 in society in general. Boliden took an extraordinary step by allowing employees with professional health/medical training are allowed to contribute directly by temporarily working in hospitals and medical clinics while retaining their salaries.
Training and education
Keeping all employees updated with regard to technological, functional, and leadership skills is essential to Boliden’s performance. Every employee should be able to influence their own development and Boliden should provide resources and opportunities to make sure that employees have the right skills to perform their assignments safely and efficiently at all times. Boliden has a number of internal programs for career and skill development.
Diversity and equal opportunity
Boliden believes that diversity leads to dynamism, creativity, and ultimately greater profitability and that it is a resource for achieving its company goals. Boliden’s commitment to diversity is clearly stated in its Code of Conduct and in the Diversity Policy, which have been approved by the CEO.
Boliden and its employees shall:
• Refrain from all forms of discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or any other factor.
• Always focus on the person’s competence, and disregard gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or other circumstances.
• Strive to ensure that Boliden is perceived as an equal opportunity employer in every respect described above.
• Support employees in their ambition to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
• Forcefully act against and counter any incidences of discrimination or harassment.
Boliden does not accept any form of harassment, discrimination or other behavior that may be regarded by colleagues or close relatives as abusive or degrading. It is the responsibility of all Boliden employees to comply with the guidelines set out in Boliden’s anti-victimization policy.
Rights of indigenous peoples
Operations in northern Sweden and northern Finland are located in reindeer-herding areas. Boliden promotes open dialogues and long-term cooperation with Sami communities in order to mitigate the negative impacts of its mining activities on local people and the environment.
At the end of 2020, SVEMIN (the Swedish Association of Mines, Mineral and Metal Producers) published a Position Statement on how the entire mining industry should respect reindeer herding. Boliden was heavily involved in the development of the document. The hope is that the statement will influence the entire industry and is being shared among SVEMIN members as well as Sami organizations.
Resettlement and closure planning
Boliden’s operations involve land use for mining, industrial areas, and ponds for use as tailings and clarification ponds. Thus conservation and reclamation of mining areas which reach the end of their production lifespans form part of Boliden’s operations and responsibilities. The goal is to use the best available technology, complemented by the ongoing monitoring of work that has been carried out.
Boliden’s business is based on the strategy of responsible mining and minimizing impact on other interests, the environment, society, reindeer herding etc. The strategy for society is proactive and includes continuous dialogues, as well as voluntary commitments and business agreements with stakeholders. Boliden strives to reach agreements through good cooperation – based on the respect and understanding of other interests and stakeholders.
The topics focused on are local communities, anti-corruption, anti-competitive behavior, compliance, and resettlement.
Effective grievance mechanisms play an important role in labor practices. All Boliden employees can file grievances via managers, HR functions or union representatives. Anonymous grievances can also be filed via Boliden’s whistleblower function.
Boliden’s business partner risk management program
Boliden’s business Partner Code of Conduct addresses fundamental human rights, the effective abolition of child labor, upholding the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, non-discriminatory practices, protecting and respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining, working hours, living wages and health and safety. These are also the topics that Boliden looks at when evaluating a presumptive business partner from a social perspective and determining whether to accept a business partner or not. If the business partner does not meet the criteria that Boliden sets for its business partners, a development plan would primarily be considered. If the business partner has the potential to reach Boliden’s standards within a reasonable timeframe, a business agreement may be entered with close follow-up on the development plan. However, if Boliden believes it to be very difficult or impossible for the business partner to improve sufficiently, a business agreement may not be entered into.
Boliden’s policy states that no concentrates or secondary raw materials may be acquired from areas with armed conflict. Boliden’s business partner management program promotes transparency throughout the supply chain, especially for raw materials where country-of-origin documentation shall be provided for all raw materials so that Boliden can verify that the material does not originate from conflict regions. Boliden’s process for the Evaluation of Business Partners helps to verify that its secondary and primary raw materials suppliers do not source conflict minerals.
Boliden is a member of networks for sharing good practice experience, such as the Swedish Network for Business & Human Rights. Working together with business partners is a reciprocal process where all parties learn from each other and improve over time.