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Partnerships for Success Laurie Ball, Community Investment Advisor Rio Tinto WA
Catch the community spirit Rio Tinto in WA • • • Rio Tinto is a global company listed on the London and Melbourne stock exchanges. Our business is finding, mining & processing mineral resources. Our major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy, gold, industrial minerals & iron ore. Our WA operations span the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Gascoyne and Perth metropolitan area with specific interests in 14 towns and communities. Close to 30% of Rio Tinto global assets are in Western Australia- iron ore, diamonds, salt, talc and exploration – comprising three of Rio’s eight product groups. Rio Tinto has over 6300 employees in WA and a current contracting workforce of over 7800. New developments and expansion projects include the $860 million expansion of Cape Lambert port, the $1 billion underground expansion of Argyle Diamonds and the development of the Hope Downs Joint Venture Rio Tinto’s WA operations contributed nearly $435 m in royalties to the State in 2006.
Catch the community spirit
Catch the community spirit Rio Tinto’s Case for Community Investment • • • Rio Tinto has been working in WA for more than 40 years. Running the business responsibly is the best investment we can make. CSR strategy is integrated throughout our business; in our statement of business practice, values, guidelines, reporting and the way we conduct business. Our sustainability is linked to that of the communities in which we operate and we also focus on making a positive difference to the communities in which our employees live and work This investment takes many forms - from major state-wide partnerships with community groups and governments; to localised sponsorships and programmes in the towns and regions where we operate; through to providing in -kind and infrastructure support to neighbouring communities. Our partnership programs in WA (WA Future Fund and the Pilbara Community Partnership Fund) were set up to enhance the community relations activities of our Rio Tinto businesses to create stronger and more sustainable WA.
Catch the community spirit Partnership definitions “Partnership is a cross-sector collaboration in which organisations work together in a transparent, equitable and mutually beneficial way. The partners agree to commit resources, share the risks as well as the benefits to work together towards a sustainable development goal. ” (The Partnering Initiative, 2005) Or “Together as one, you are greater than you are as one. ” (Anon).
Catch the community spirit What are the benefits? • • Achieve more than you can on your own Access to resources Shared competencies and capacities New networks Gain greater understanding of other sectors’ values Staff engagement Long term stability and great reach Reputational gains
Catch the community spirit What are the challenges? • • • Involves intensive resources, including time, funding, technical and management skills Requires collaboration in planning and implementation of projects Potential for differing expectations Lack of organisational buy-in Power and leadership imbalances
Catch the community spirit Why does Rio Tinto like partnerships? • • • We want to support a stronger and more sustainable WA community We recognise that we cannot – and should not – achieve this alone. By working with community, environment, government and nongovernment organisations we can: – tackle problems as a collective – Pool skills and experiences – Achieve positive outcomes that deliver mutual benefits, which could not have been achieved alone. Opportunity to engage stakeholders outside our daily business Opportunities for employee involvement
Catch the community spirit How do we choose a partner? • • • Does the organisation and its project contribute to developing a stronger and more sustainable WA? Does it: involve our employees and communities, eliminate disadvantage, build skills and capacity, engage stakeholders outside our daily business? Is it: sustainable, State-wide, innovative or large in scale, outcome focused and measurable, suited to more than one funding partner and most importantly aligned to our business objectives and goals and address opportunities and issues facing our business in WA?
Catch the community spirit What are you responsibilities in a partnership • • • Have empathy for corporate partner & its success Commercial nous to be able to spot possible partnerships; and work out what is realistic for your organisations Accurately cost the value of your contribution Have effective governance so you can be a credible partner Deliver what you promise Self awareness as to what you can offer a corporate partner Understand basis on why you would enter a corporate partnership – philanthropy or corporate social opportunity Know basis on which a company will decide whether a partnership is successful and criteria for making the decision Are you a responsible organisation in your own operations Corporate Social Opportunity David Grayson
Catch the community spirit The 12 stage partnership cycle 1. Scoping 12. Sustaining or terminating 2. Identifying 3. Building 11. Institutionalising 4. Planning 10. Revising 5. Managing 9. Reviewing 6. Resourcing 8. Measuring 7. Implementing The Partnering Toolbook, International Business Leaders Forum 2003
Catch the community spirit Case Study - Better Beginnings • • • Partnership between the Rio Tinto WA Future Fund and the State Library of Western Australia Delivers Better Beginnings - a universal early literacy program that works with families to support literacy development in babies and children up to the age three Builds on parents’ existing knowledge and supports their role as their child’s first teacher Developed in response to research which showed learning to read is the single most important factor in school success, with studies indicating that 75 per cent of brain development occurs between birth and age two Coordinated by the State Library and delivered through public libraries and community health programs Goal is to raise literacy levels of children throughout WA, leading to a greater pool of literate adults in years to come
Catch the community spirit The Business Case for Rio Tinto • • • The program helps build capacity to tackle economic and social concerns related to literacy levels and contributes to a skilled workforce with resulting economic benefits Ensures a more productive environment for Rio Tinto operations Achieves Future Fund vision of a sustainable WA Achieves the State Library’s goal of a literate community Universal application and State-wide delivery Program seeks to engage the entire community and promotes social inclusion Cross – sectoral collaboration; seeks to promote cooperation between government, the community and public libraries Program sustainability - long term objective is to become sustainable without ongoing support from Rio Tinto Following on from an evaluated pilot in eleven communities
Catch the community spirit Value of the relationship for each partner • • • Sustainable communities (ie. building community capacity) New networks (ie. access to local councils/libraries and to other Rio Tinto partnering organisations) Financial benefits – initial seed funding used to leverage additional funds Reputational benefits (ie. profile raising, awards, media coverage) Employee and organisational development
Catch the community spirit Establishing the partnership • • • Concept presented Proposal worked up collaboratively before presenting to the WA Future Fund Board – accepted by Board Workshop underwent to develop a formal legal agreement, covering: – Expectations – Roles and responsibilities – Implementation plan – Management – Governance and conflict resolution – Communication plan – Sustainability planning – Evaluation – Exit strategy
Catch the community spirit Roles and responsibilities • • State Library – Develops, produces and distributes kits – Trains practitioners on the ground – Networks to enhance program delivery – Liaise with agencies on key messaging – Working with University to evaluation program – Promotes partnership to key stakeholders WA Future Fund – Provides funding – Leverages through marketing, communication and media relations – Provides assistance in Rio’s area of operations – Assists with lobbying key stakeholders, including government
Catch the community spirit Evaluation • • • State Library Evaluation – Measures include tool kits delivered, number of babies and parents engaged, enquiries to libraries, library membership, participation in additional program activities ECU Evaluation – Measures program effectiveness WA Future Fund Board Evaluation – Measures value of the program against partnership and program objectives.
Catch the community spirit Partnership impact • State and public libraries – Positions library as a leader in the field of early literacy – Up-skills public library staff through training – Promotes the State Library and public libraries to 45, 000 families – Developing role of State Library as a publisher – Establishing partnerships with governments and non-government agencies • Rio Tinto and the Future Fund – Creates stronger and more positive environment to operate – Recognises company’s role in contributing to social, economic development – Opportunities for new partnership or relationships with State Government, local governments and community organisations
Catch the community spirit Partnership impact • Community impacts – Improved literacy among the State’s youngest generation, leading to increased success at school in later life – Improved potential for the future economic development and growth of the State (ie. skilled workforce) – Support network for parents and career in promoting literacy development and in general parenting skills – Improved social fabric of communities across the State, coming together and sharing experiences
Catch the community spirit Lessons for you to take away • • Know your own business – your strengths and weaknesses and your value to your community Look for opportunities to grow your business by aligning with organisations that can assist you to reach your goals and objectives Ensure that your organisation has the right fit with the business partner and be able to articulate why a partnership will be mutually beneficial and aligned with their organisational values and strategic plan Be honest and transparent Know your own capabilities and don’t over promise Set in place measures for continual evaluation and don’t be afraid to revise a plan in order to meet your objectives Communicate, communicate!