At The B Team, when we developed our Responsible Tax Principles, we set out to provide companies with a framework for action. We recognized that each company’s tax journey is unique and that there will never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to responsible tax. With that in mind, we built the Principles in a way that would allow any company to raise the bar on its own practices, in ways that are most responsive to their unique stakeholder needs.
Since endorsing the Principles, Anglo American’s tax journey shows this ambition in action.
Anglo American endorsed The B Team Responsible Tax Principles in 2018—recognizing the alignment between the vision set out in the Principles and its own sustainability goals. Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan is central to realizing its purpose to "re-imagine mining to improve people’s lives." And while tax clearly has a part to play in all three of the Plan’s pillars, the first—becoming a trusted corporate leader—shares much in common with the values driving The B Team’s Responsible Tax Principles.
Anglo American has been recognized as an industry leader in corporate transparency. For several years it published ‘country fact sheets’ to provide insight into its operations and value creation around the world. In 2015 it built on this, publishing its first Tax and Economic Contribution Report (TEC Report), which gave a more comprehensive overview of the group’s economic contributions in all its major operating jurisdictions, as well as explaining its value chain.
"Citizens increasingly want to understand the value and the costs that business and businesses are bringing to their societies, and investors want to be able to undertake sophisticated analysis of risks, alongside reassurance that their capital is supporting sustainable and responsible businesses," Stephen Pearce, Group CFO at Anglo American, said, "Tax and economic contributions are vital components of sustainability, and transparency is essential for stakeholders to share the confidence we have in our Sustainable Mining Plan."
The scope of the TEC Report has evolved ever since. In 2017 it was expanded to provide greater detail on more countries and, in 2020, the company started publishing its annual OECD Country-by-Country Report. The Group has committed to going further still, reporting its tax information in line with a new tax standard from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI 207). The GRI standard aims to ensure that stakeholders can access more consistent and comparable information about corporate tax contributions.
Citizens increasingly want to understand the value and the costs that business and businesses are bringing to their societies, and investors want to be able to undertake sophisticated analysis of risks, alongside reassurance that their capital is supporting sustainable and responsible businesses."
While Anglo American views transparency as a necessary driver of sustainability, the group recognizes that being a trusted corporate leader requires more than being a leader in tax transparency. A broader commitment to responsible business and agreement with The B Team’s vision that "the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit" is what attracted the group to The B Team Responsible Tax Principles. Since endorsing the Principles, Anglo American has been an active contributor to The B Team’s Responsible Tax Working Group, and the Principles have helped the company’s tax team play a more active leadership role in driving the company’s transparency agenda.
One example of how the Principles have informed Anglo American’s responsible tax journey is in the evolution of its group tax strategy, which in 2020 was enhanced and approved by the Board. In developing the new strategy, the company matched each of its three strategic pillars (compliance, responsibility, and transparency) against The B Team Principles as part of the development process, and the result is a strategy that aligns ever more closely with the Principles.
We are more engaged than ever with our Sustainability, Government Relations and Investor Relations colleagues to embed tax responsibility widely within the organization, but also with external stakeholders from governments, international organizations, peers and civil society."
"The B Team Responsible Tax Principles have been valuable in helping redefine business accountability and in helping us demonstrate our values publicly. We are more engaged than ever with our Sustainability, Government Relations and Investor Relations colleagues to embed tax responsibility widely within the organization, but also with external stakeholders from governments, international organizations, peers and civil society—working openly and transparently with them in line with our tax strategy," Zahira Quattrocchi, Group Head of Tax at Anglo American said, "The B Team Responsible Tax Working Group is an excellent forum for like-minded groups to work together to amplify the good that business can contribute to the world."
Anglo American recognizes the Principles as a key external standard against which to measure responsible tax management and behavior. Its actions since endorsing the Principles—whether it is providing greater levels of corporate transparency, enhancing its tax strategy or making efforts to embed responsible tax within wider efforts to be a responsible business—reflect how the Principles were originally envisaged.