Social investment is one of the tools in our overall approach to contributing to the creation of social value. Social investment is our voluntary contribution towards projects or donations with the primary purpose of contributing to the resilience of the environment and the communities where we operate, which aligns with our broader business priorities.
Through research and collaboration, we work with our diverse range of stakeholders to better understand and identify social needs and how we might better utilise existing resources through which we can design our social investment to create meaningful outcomes for communities. We also seek to generate social value through our contribution to grassroots initiatives, such as community donations, and the BHP Matched Giving Program.,
We have a long-standing history of investing not less than 1 per cent of our pre-tax profit (calculated as 1 per cent of the average of the previous three years’ pre-tax profit) in social and environmental projects and donations, and our social investment is focused on creating opportunities to contribute to social value.
BHP Vital Resources Fund
The AU$50 million Vital Resources Fund is helping support regional Australian communities in our areas of operation who are facing the significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social Investment Strategy
Our Social Investment Strategy frames BHP’s approach to voluntary social investment across all levels of the organisation. The strategy is reviewed annually and guides the Group’s approach to social investment and how we maximise the value of our social investments to strengthen social value. We prioritise working in genuine partnership with others towards shared outcomes.
In particular, our strategy aims to:
- provide a unified and integrated framework to guide all social investment across our operated assets, business and Group functions
- align our social investment with current and emerging issues, trends and priorities of relevance to our business and stakeholders, and where we believe we can make a distinctive contribution and/or demonstrate leadership
- contribute to addressing global sustainable development challenges by aligning our strategy to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) of most relevance to our business and committing to work in partnership with others to achieve shared goals
- enable us to more effectively evaluate, aggregate and demonstrate the cumulative positive impact of our social investment to stakeholders
- strengthen social value through making a positive contribution to the environment and society
Our approach to social investment is underpinned by several core principles: coherent, enduring, value-oriented and informed by social value priorities. These principles are also intended to ensure social investments are designed and delivered in a manner that respects relevant local customs, traditions and priorities.
Social Investment Framework
We recognise our responsibility to make a positive contribution to sustainable development and environmental resilience. Our Social Investment Strategy is underpinned by our Social Investment Framework, which aims to make a meaningful contribution to addressing the sustainable development challenges of most relevance to our business and stakeholders.
The framework is aligned to the UN SDGs and focuses on three themes:
- Future of communities – to contribute to the understanding, development and sustainable use of resources to support communities to be more adaptive and resilient and enable them to address the challenges of the future and thrive
- Future of work – to enhance human capability and social inclusion through increasing access to relevant education and vocational training, skills development, and enhanced livelihood opportunities linked to the future of work
- Future of environment – to contribute to enduring environmental and social benefits through biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, water stewardship and climate change mitigation and adaptation
The Social Investment Framework is delivered using a local, regional, national and global approach, outlined in the figure below.
Monitoring and evaluation are fundamental to our global social investment approach and, to assist in the execution of our approach, we use a suite of metrics designed to enable us to aggregate data aligned to the key focus areas of the Social Investment Framework and consistently assess and quantify the outcomes and impact of our social investment across all levels of investment. Our voluntary social investment in FY2021 totalled US$174.84 million, consisting of:
- US$100.41 million in direct community development and environment projects and donations
- US$7.96 million equity share to non-operated joint venture social investment programs
- US$50 million donation to the BHP Foundation(1)
- US$2.08 million under the Matched Giving Program
- US$12.53million in administrative costs to facilitate direct social investment activities (2)
- US$1.86 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, communications and costs to facilitate the operation of the BHP Foundation.
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 features 100 eligible organisations around the world, with their official chapters (if applicable) in other locations also eligible. Throughout the year, over 3,000 of our employees participated in the program, supporting a total of 120 individual not-for-profit organisations through over 5,730 individual donations. These organisations received US$1.48 million in matching contributions via the program in FY2021 through a total of 6,572 individual donations.
Supporting local economic growth
BHP supports the growth of local businesses in the regions where we operate, through sourcing and promoting locally available products and services. Our operated assets develop local procurement plans that identify opportunities for local suppliers, including small businesses, to deliver capacity building and employment creation initiatives. These initiatives are designed to be sustainable beyond BHP’s presence in a region.
During FY2021, 13 per cent of our external expenditure was with local suppliers. An additional 83 per cent of our supply expenditure was within the regions where we operate. Of the US$16.9 billion paid to more than 9,000 suppliers across the globe, US$2.1 billion was paid to local suppliers in the communities where we operate, supporting their further development.
Our expenditure with local suppliers in FY2021 was mostly made in Chile (17 per cent), Australia (12 per cent), the United States (eight per cent) and Trinidad and Tobago (one per cent). These percentages are of our total external expenditure within that context.