Skip to main content
Sustainability > Our Approach > Transparency Hub

Prioritizing Sustainability Issues

A company of Barrick’s size is faced with numerous social, environmental and economic issues on which it could report.

Under the GRI1 Standard, organizations focus their sustainability reporting on topics that can be reasonably considered important for reflecting an organization’s economic, environmental, and social impacts, or influence the decisions of stakeholders.  This helps us report on issues that are most relevant to our stakeholders and our business. We identify these issues through the following four-step process.

1. Issue Identification

We first identify a range of potential issues in the context of our social, economic, and environmental impacts, based on input from internal and external sources. We use the universe of potential issues identified by the GRI as a starting point. We also include issues ,such as mine closure and joint-venture governance, that are not in included in the GRI framework but have been identified as relevant by stakeholders we engaged with in the past year.

External Sources

  • Industry and societal trends
  • Investor and ESG analyst requests
  • Peer companies
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community grievances

Internal Sources

  • Annual Information Form / Annual Report
  • Issues reported to Board
  • Site risks identified in Business Plan Reviews (BPRs)
  • Subject matter experts

2. Issue Boundaries

A topic may be material and relevant for sustainability reporting as a result of our own activity, including from our operations, closure properties and the  conduct of our people, as well as from activities to which we contribute or are indirectly linked. We therefore consider our full value-chain impacts, both internal and external, when reporting.


  • Contractors
  • Governments
  • Industry peers
  • NGOs
  • Suppliers
  • Unions


  • Closure properties
  • Exploration
  • Offices
  • Operations
  • Projects

3. Prioritization & Validation

Each topic is assessed on a matrix in terms of its impact, both in terms of stakeholder perceptions and the economic, environmental, social, or business impact of the topic. We rank the issues based on the frequency with which they are identified by internal and external sources. The ranking of each issue is also reviewed and approved by senior decision-makers at Barrick. This process allows us to prioritize the issues in terms of low, medium, and high importance.

4. Reporting

To support engagement and communication, we then group the relevant prioritized and validated GRI topics into issues for public reporting. In 2017, nine issues of high priority were identified through this four-step process. An additional ten issues were identified as having medium priority. We report on all of these issues in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option. We partially report on other issues identified as being of low reporting priority, in accordance with regulatory or other reporting requirements.

GRI Topics Reported on in 2017



Relevant GRI Topic

High Priority





Climate Change

Emissions (Greenhouse Gases), Energy

Community Relations

Local Communities, Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Government Affairs

Public Policy

Human Rights

Human Rights Assessments, Security Practices

Mine Closure


Workplace Safety

Occupational Health and Safety, Emergency Preparedness

Social & Economic Development

Economic Performance, Market Presence, Indirect Economic Impacts, Procurement Practices

Tailings, Heap Leach, and Waste Management

Effluents and Waste

Water Management


Medium Priority







Ethical Business Conduct

Anti-corruption, Anti-competitive behaviour;

Environmental Approach

Environmental Compliance


Labor-Management Relations


Non-discrimination, Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Non-Managed Operations


Supply Chain

Supplier Social Assessment, Supplier Environmental Assessment

Working Conditions

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, Child Labor, Forced or Compulsory Labor Employment

Talent Management

Training and Education

Air Emissions

Emissions (non-GHG)

Low Priority



Artisanal and Small-scale mining




GRI Topics Identified as High Priority
GRI Topics Identified as Medium Priority
Other GRI Topics

1 Formally known as the Global Reporting Initiative.