About This Report

This is our tenth corporate responsibility report and was prepared using the Global Reporting Initiative framework. New Gold’s Corporate Responsibility Report provides a comprehensive review of our achievements and challenges related to health and safety, environmental management, community engagement and development, and corporate governance during the 2017 calendar year. This report can be fully or partially downloaded and printed here.

This report is written for a broad range of communities of interest, including New Gold employees and their families, contractors, local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, suppliers, environmental organizations, governments, the financial and investment communities, and current and potential investors in New Gold’s shares and notes.

This year, we are transitioning from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines (option Core) to the GRI Standards, which were released in 2016. The GRI is an independent organization that sets voluntary guidelines for sustainability reporting and we adhere to the GRI reporting framework to demonstrate our commitment to transparency, clarity and comparability in reporting. Refer to our GRI Content Index for a list of disclosures and performance indicators addressed in this report. The Index can also be used to quickly locate specific information within the report. New Gold relies on an internal assurance process to verify that data presented is accurate and consistent, and compiled in accordance with the standards set out in the GRI guidance.

Comparing GRI G4 to the GRI Standards: Key Changes

The GRI periodically updates its sustainability reporting framework in an effort to continuously improve the framework and evolve to meet report user needs. Most of the changes introduced with the GRI Standards were related to the structure and format of the framework – making the framework more user friendly for reporters but with little impact to the content found in sustainability reports.

The primary changes introduced with the GRI Standards that have been reflected in New Gold’s 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report include the clarified meaning of ‘impact’ when considering material topics, the updated guidance for defining the reporting boundary for each material topic, and the expanded reporting guidelines for disclosures on management approach.

This report provides data related to New Gold’s operating mines and development projects, unless otherwise noted. Our Rainy River mine achieved commercial production at the end of 2017. As a result, a full year of data is not available for this operation in 2017. Because of this, some calculations exclude Rainy River data and these areas have been flagged throughout the report.

All dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Financial results are audited annually and reported on a quarterly basis, in accordance with legal requirements for publicly traded companies. Please refer to New Gold’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Annual Financial Review, which are available on our website.

Materiality – What Topics to Report

A materiality assessment is a process to determine what information should be made available in this sustainability report. In completing a materiality assessment, New Gold identifies the topics and information that are most relevant to the company’s a) impacts and b) stakeholder interests.

Further, the GRI identifies a wide range of topics that may be relevant to reporting organizations’ positive and/or negative impacts on sustainable development. Organizations reporting using the GRI are asked to consider which topics are most relevant to the direct and indirect social, environmental, and economic impacts of their business. Organizations are then asked to consider these impacts and topics in relation to how they may influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, government parties, local communities, and internal decision makers in the organization. Using a set of principles prescribed by the GRI, the above process is called a materiality assessment and is completed annually to identify New Gold’s material topics.

In 2017, we once again reassessed the selection of material topics for New Gold. The New Gold materiality review process included:

  1. Materiality assessments conducted independently at each site;
  2. Consolidation through a company-wide assessment performed at the corporate level; and
  3. Validation and prioritization by the New Gold executive team and approval by the President and CEO.
Material topics process
New gold material Topics

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Biodiversity
G4 aspect
Biodiversity
Community development
G4 aspects
Training and Education
Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Procurement Practices
Economic Performance
Cyanide management
G4 aspects
Materials
Effluents and Waste
Energy and greenhouse gas emissions management
G4 aspect
Energy
Engagement and communications with communities of interest
G4 aspect
Local Communities
Impact on water quality
G4 aspect
Compliance
Mine closure and reclamation
G4 aspects
Local Communities
Closure Planning
Occupational health and safety
G4 aspects
Occupational Health
and Safety
Training and Education
Tailings management
G4 aspect
Effluents and Waste
Water consumption
G4 aspect
Water

At each site, the materiality assessment is based on an analysis of issues, concerns and interests identified through community engagement activities, as well as a review of local trends and media. Assessments are done in consideration of the individual site’s unique context and management focuses regarding environment, health and safety, employment practices, community engagement and community development.

The company-wide review conducted at the corporate level focuses on reviewing results from site-level materiality assessments, in addition to a media review and engagement with industry and other relevant organizations, such as the GRI, World Gold Council, International Council for Mining and Metals, Resolve, ISS, Sustainalytics and Corporate Knights. Our materiality assessment also considered national and international landmark events and/or developments such as the Government of Canada’s ongoing reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the Paris Accord (2016).

This report focuses on material topics identified across the company. Targets for these topics are inserted in the performance scorecards in this report. The list of material topics for 2017 includes:

Keeping people safe:
  • Occupational Health and Safety
Protecting the environment:
  • Water consumption
  • Water quality
  • Tailings management
  • Compliance with environmental regulations
  • Cyanide management
  • Biodiversity
Addressing climate change:
  • Energy and GHG emissions
Ensuring a sustainable legacy for local communities:
  • Economic development
  • Local procurement and employment
  • Community health and wellbeing
  • Engaging with key communities of interest:
    • Indigenous engagement
    • Community engagement
Demonstrating diversity and inclusion:
  • Gender diversity

A table detailing associated GRI index and boundaries of our material topics is available in the Appendix.