Rio Tinto: Active ownership and engagement

07 Jul 2020 2 min read

NGS Super holds an investment in Rio Tinto and we were very concerned when we heard that the rock shelters in Juukan Gorge were destroyed by its mining activities.

At NGS Super, we take ESG and responsible investment seriously — we truly believe that integration and consideration of ESG issues can better investment outcomes. A key pillar of our responsible investment approach is active ownership and engagement: our key objectives are outlined in the NGS Super Active ownership and engagement policy.

We believe that being an active owner gives us the right, as an investor with a financial interest in a company, to hold the company accountable to do better. We have the influence to push for better outcomes.

The destruction of the rock shelters at the Juukan Gorge by Rio Tinto contravened our Human Rights active ownership and engagement objective as it failed to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. When we became aware of this issue, our internal investments team immediately engaged.

NGS Super, along with other investors, met directly with representatives of Rio Tinto to fully understand the issue and actions taken to date. In addition, we have engaged with our appointed investment managers to understand the action they have taken.

It is our expectation that all resource and mining companies operate within the bounds of both the law and community expectations; especially with respect to their social responsibility to respect the unique cultural heritage of the land on which they operate mining activities.

We understand that there is an ongoing company investigation looking into this incident, and we will await receipt of the results of this investigation. NGS Super will continue to collaboratively engage with Rio Tinto to ensure that accountability is taken for this issue and that any findings from the independent review are addressed appropriately.

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