Social investment is one of the tools in our overall approach to contributing to the creation of social value. We believe we are successful when we work in partnership with communities to achieve long-term social, environmental and economic outcomes.
Whether we are providing support to local farmers in Chile or partnering with AFL Women’s across Australia, ‘social investment’ is our voluntary contribution towards initiatives that have the primary purpose of contributing to beneficial outcomes outside of BHP’s footprint.
Our social investment performance in the last five years saw BHP fund US$754 million in projects and donations with a continued focus on human capability, economic development, social inclusion and environmental restoration.
After completing our previous five-year public sustainability targets in FY2022, BHP developed new 2030 goals to lift our ambitions as we look to the end of the decade. These goals represent a shift in our social investment strategy towards partnership, listening and co-creation, and recognise that addressing challenges such as community and environment resilience requires close community and stakeholder collaboration.
The 2030 goals will help guide BHP to expand engagement with partners, build capability and co-design social investments to deliver positive outcomes and shared prosperity for people and our planet.
Our approach and position
Our approach to delivering social investment projects, donations, grants and partnerships is aligned to the social value framework pillars and described in our Social Investment Strategy. The strategy frames BHP’s approach to voluntary social investment across all levels of the organisation and is underpinned by four guiding principles – that social investments are: Integrated and coherent, Enduring, Risk-based and social value-oriented, and Solution-focused and outcome driven.
The strategy aims to contribute to addressing global sustainable development challenges by aligning to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), being guided by the relevant UN Global Conventions and committing to work in partnership with others to achieve shared goals.
We partner with a diverse range of community groups, national and global institutes, government bodies and non-profit organisations to understand shared sustainable development challenges under each of our social value pillars and associated focus areas. Focus areas (below) are the themes each social value pillar will concentrate on to deliver on the 2030 goals outside of our operating footprints.
We use the information gathered in collaboration with our partners and pair it with research to plan and prioritise our social investment spend. The four guiding principles outlined above assist our teams to ensure investment opportunities are co-designed and implemented in an equitable manner that respects relevant local customs and contributes to meaningful, lasting change.
The progress of our social investments is monitored against target outcomes identified for each of the social value pillars. Outcomes (Figure 2) are the specific results each pillar aims to achieve when utilising social investment funds.
Outcomes and performance are publicly reported through the BHP Annual Report 2023 and associated disclosures.
EngagementAs a global company, we operate in diverse jurisdictions and interact with multiple community groups, government bodies and research institutions. Through regular engagement with our stakeholders and research into environmental, workforce, community and supply chain concerns, we seek to understand and respond to the expectations, priorities and risks faced in each of these areas.
At the local and regional scale, our Community and Indigenous Engagement team members are closely connected with our partners in the communities where we operate and engage to understand their priorities and challenges. At the national and global scale, our External Affairs, Environmental and Technical functions connect with community and industry bodies, think-tanks and research organisations and seek to understand challenges that often transcend national boundaries, such as climate change, human rights violations and public health crises. We recognise the significance of two-way dialogue in highlighting concerns and perspectives and considering stakeholder perspectives is a core element of our approach. To read more about our engagement refer to our Local communities webpage.
DisclosureMonitoring and evaluation are fundamental to our global social investment approach. To assist in the execution of our approach, we use a suite of metrics designed to aggregate data aligned to the key social investment focus areas aligned to each social value pillar and consistently assess and quantify the outcomes and impact of our social investment across all levels of investment.
Our total social investment is internally verified annually, then assured by EY and publicly disclosed in our Annual Report, Economic Contribution Report, and Modern Slavery Statement.
Our voluntary social investment in FY2023 totalled US$149.6 million. This investment consisted of:
- US$79.6 million in direct community development and environment projects and donations
- US$14.7 million equity share to non-operated joint venture social investment programs
- US$34.5 million donation to the BHP Foundation1
- US$1.2 million under the Matched Giving Program
- US$13.7 million in administrative costs to facilitate direct social investment activities2
- US$5.9 million supported the operations of the BHP Foundation
1 The BHP Foundation is a charitable organisation established and funded by BHP, which works in partnership with internationally recognised institutions, think tanks and non-government organisations to address some of the most critical sustainable development challenges facing society that are directly relevant to the resources sector.
2 The direct costs associated with implementing social investment activities, including labour, travel, research and development and communications.
Matched Giving ProgramWe are proud to support the organisations that are important to our employees. Through our Matched Giving Program, BHP matches personal donations made by our employees to eligible not-for-profit organisations at a ratio of 2:1. BHP donates two dollars for every dollar donated by our employees.
Our Matched Giving Program currently features 100 eligible organisations around the world, with their official chapters (if applicable) in other locations also eligible.
Our social investments are subject to risk-based mandatory minimum performance requirements, as well as review for alignment to Group and Asset-specific social value and social investment plans. The appropriate checks and balances that we have in place, help to ensure funds are being used where they will be most beneficial, financial transactions are conducted ethically, and the risk of financial misconduct or fraud is controlled.
To learn more about how we manage risk, refer to the BHP Annual Report 2023, Operating and Financial Review 8 – How we manage risk.