Standards and Human Rights

At Cerrejón, we are committed to responsible engagement and the well-being of all our workers and neighboring communities. Therefore, we strive to adopt rigorous and demanding policies and processes that we update as they are put into effect. Our goal is to act under the principle of continuous improvement to strengthen our due diligence processes on human rights (HR). That is why third parties audit our practices.

In 2005, we subscribed to the Global Compact and published our first Human Rights Policy according to Colombian regulations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following international advances, in 2011, we reformulated our policy to align it with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP BHR).

Since 2008, we have followed standards such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the performance standards of the International Finance Corporation, the Global Compact, and, in 2011, we subscribed to the sustainability framework of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). In 2022, with the acquisition of Cerrejón by Glencore, we aligned ourselves to the execution of the Glencore Standards, which have been developed to comply with the commitments acquired.

Due Diligence on Human Rights

Following the standards adopted (particularly the UNGP), at Cerrejón, we believe that, for the generation of social, environmental, and economic value to be possible for our neighboring communities, employees, and the environment, it is crucial to have the proper identification, prevention, and mitigation of risks and impacts that the operation may cause, as well as compensation when required. To do so, we have designed a due diligence process that includes:

  • 1.- A high-level commitment or corporate policy

    A fundamental criterion of our business management is respect for human rights in our operations, which is reflected in a public and transparent policy, and reports on the processes and measures that we implement.

  • 2.- A process for the identification, prevention, and mitigation of risks and impacts on human rights

    In the application of international standards, Cerrejón recognizes the verified, potential, and perceived impacts of our operations on stakeholders with the aim of establishing timely measures to prevent, mitigate, and, if necessary, compensate them. At Cerrejón, we have carried out two studies of risks and impacts on human rights, in 2011 and 2016 to identify and improve our risk and impact management.

  • 3.- Communications with stakeholders

    Cerrejón reports on and talks about our due diligence actions with our stakeholders through different mechanisms such as engagement with authorities, communities, and NGOs. The actions carried out are reported annually in the Sustainability Report and in the analysis of risks and impacts on human rights and, every three years, talks are held with communities, employees, and other groups to receive feedback and suggestions for the better management of risks and impacts.

  • 4.- Integration into the corporate system

    In order to achieve better management, at Cerrejón we integrate the results of the risks and impact analysis into the company's different management processes so that they have adequate follow-up and monitoring systems.

  • 5.- Complaints Handling

    When an impact cannot be prevented, Cerrejón has participatory mechanisms for investigating cases that must be compensated. This process, created in 2010 with the establishment of the Complaints Office, seeks to implement the rights-based remedial pillar defined in the UNGPs.

  • 6.- Assurance and continual improvement in due diligence

    In our ongoing search to improve our management through the application of international social standards, Cerrejón has a social assurance model allowing the monitoring of compliance with our social engagement and verifying compliance with the requirements set out in social standards. This program identifies gaps and opportunities for improvement that are managed with the areas responsible for their application to ensure that our social performance is of the highest quality.

    Currently, progress has been made in verifying compliance with the following standards:

    • Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
    • Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation 1, 5, 7, and 8 applied to Cerrejón's resettlements
    • ICMM Sustainable Development Framework
    • United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, remediation pillar (Complaints Office)
    • Bettercoal Code of Conduct Initiative

    At Cerrejón, we believe that processes (like any management process) can be subject to continuous improvement. That is why we have mechanisms to review our practices internally or through third parties.

Ten years ago, the company and its shareholders, to improve the management of impacts caused by the operations and contribute to the improvement of living conditions in the territory and communities in our area of influence, convened an independent panel called the Third Party Review.

Result of the study of Risks and Impacts on Human Rights 2021

In 2021, Trust Consultores developed the third Study of Risks and Impacts on Human Rights of Cerrejón, to identify the real or potential effects on the Human Rights of the people and groups with which we interact, derived from our activities and those associated with the actions of our suppliers, contractors and other business allies.

Learn about our action plan to address the Outstanding Facts identified in our third Human Rights Risk and Impact Assessment.