Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Report 2022
Section 4: GDL Refiners 2021
Responsible Sourcing Performance 2021
IMPLEMENTATION OF RESPONSIBLE GOLD GUIDANCE VERSION 9
Responsible Gold Guidance version 9 (RGG 9) was issued in November 2021 and came into effect on 1 January 2022. This gave LBMA GDL Refiners one year from that date to implement the new reporting requirements specified in the latest version.
Audit reports filed in 2023 will be the first to be evaluated against RGG 9. As was the case when previous iterations of the RGG were first introduced, we expect to see an increase in non-conformances as Refiners adjust their management systems to the strengthened requirements.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, LBMA has already begun considering additional reporting requirements that could be included in RGG 10.
The Disclosure Guidance continues to provide a framework for protecting the integrity of the global supply chain for the wholesale precious metals markets. This Guidance has been developed to support LBMA GDL Refiners in the implementation of the Responsible Sourcing Programme (RSP) reporting and disclosure requirements.
LBMA has worked on aligning this guidance to the Responsible Gold Guidance version 9, which was issued in November 2021. The final version of the Disclosure Guidance will be published by the end of 2022.
The amended Guidance provides greater alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance Step 5 reporting requirements and, in some instances, goes beyond this to encourage more transparent and meaningful public communication by Refiners. Refiners are expected to implement it on a ‘comply or explain’ basis.
While the Guidance removes the requirement for Refiners to issue a mandatory Public Interest Report, a focus instead has been placed on improving the quality of the information and transparency of the compliance report that Refiners submit as part of their annual third-party assurance.
Going forward, Refiners will be expected to disclose greater details regarding such items as:
- The number of zero-tolerance and high-risk suppliers identified
- The nature of the zero tolerance and high risks encountered
- The steps taken to mitigate these risks, including any communication with regulators or LBMA, and the Enhanced Due Diligence procedures followed
- The number of on-site visits to high-risk counterparties or areas for risk assessment purposes and the percentage that were conducted by external assessors, while keeping due regard to business confidentiality and other competitive concerns
- The number of intermediate refineries with high-risk supply chains that supplied independent assurance reports and the plan for obtaining the remainder
- A description of any medium or high-risk nonconformances identified during the audit process and the steps taken to address them.
The Disclosure Guidance continues to provide a framework for protecting the integrity of the global supply chain for the wholesale precious metals markets.ALAN MARTIN, RESPONSIBLE SOURCING MANAGER, LBMA
It is understood that these cases may be sensitive and confidential, and disclosures are not expected to breach any legal requirements. Corrective Action Plans required to remedy non-conformances will continue to be provided confidentially to LBMA.
Refiners are also being encouraged to be more proactive and forthcoming in disclosing information that may not be required under RGG 9. For example, Refiners wanting to demonstrate their efforts on environmental, social and governance issues can report on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the mercury used in their supply chain.
Country of Origin (COO) data is only expected to be reported confidentially to LBMA as part of the RGG/RSG requirements. However, Refiners do not have to disclose any commercially sensitive information.
The written analysis of non-conformances is based on a Microsoft Excel document which tabulates overall non-conformances, disaggregated by risk level and against Step 1-5 of the OECD Guidance. Please use it as a reference resource.
COMMON THEMES OF MEDIUM AND LOW-RISK NON-CONFORMANCES
Below is a breakdown of the most common types of non-conformances raised against the five steps of the RGG and RSG.