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The Fragility of Transparency

However, it is not always easy to create similar hard-and-fast definitions of good ethical practice. A company must make a competitive return for its shareholders and treat its employees fairly.  A company also has wider responsibilities. It should minimise any harm to the environment and work in ways that do not damage the communities in which it operates. This is known as corporate social responsibility.

Codes of behaviour

The law is the key starting point for any business. Most leading businesses also have their own statement of Business Principles which set out their core values and standards. In Anglo American”s case, this is called “Good Citizenship”.

A business should also follow relevant codes of practice that cover its sector. Many companies have created voluntary codes of practice that regulate practices in their industrial sector. These are often drawn up in consultation with governments, employees, local communities and other stakeholders.  Anglo American has played an active part in initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.