HOW WE’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Corporate Charter for the Responsibility Supply Chain
This Charter provides the framework of governance for the corporate, social, economic, and environmental responsibilities for the Fund as well as the supply chain and all its service provides involving in the mining, acquisition, refining, transportation, storage, and insuring of gold held by the Fund on behalf of its investors.
The Fund Charter is based on several world-wide initiatives and standards including the OECD Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Mineral from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Good Delivery Rules and the Swiss Precious Metals Control Act.
The PGF Corporate Charter for the Responsible Supply Chain of Physical Gold is designed to ensure that all gold acquired and held by the Fund on behalf of its investors complies with internationally acceptable standards including:
- Socially responsible mining practices including the fair practices and treatment of mine workers involved in the mining and extraction of gold. This insures fair treatment, good health standards and work conditions, and proper payment of mine workers and their families,
- Regional responsible mining practices where local communities are not disadvantaged but rather benefited and fairly compensated by mining operations within their district,
- That all mining operations are fully licensed and legal under the prevailing laws and requirements of the countries of operation,
- That all mining operations comply with prevailing national and international environmental standards with environmental impact minimization and post-mining restoration strategies in place,
- No mined gold is sourced from war or conflict-affected regions,
- No mined gold is sourced from artisanal, illegal, and informal mining,
- All service provider companies involved in the safe transportation and storage of gold are accredited members of the LBMA and meet the minimum of internationally acceptable work practices in relation to the corporate, social, and environmental impact of their activities,
- All refined gold held by the Fund on behalf of its investors meet the standards and quality of the LBMA Good Delivery and Swiss Precious Metals Control Act,
- All refineries involved in the refining of gold held by the Fund on behalf of its investors are accredited members of the LBMA and meet the minimum of internationally acceptable work practices in relation to the corporate, social, and environmental impact of their activities.
Giving Back to Local Communities
PGF maintains the strictest approach toward its human rights and environmental standards and practises in its structuring and operations. The Fund acknowledges that in past times the gold mining and processing industry has inflicted large-scale damage on the natural environment and been responsible for multiple human rights abuses.
In line with this philosophy, the Fund’s Board of Directors and Management Team strongly maintain a policy of investing ‘back in’ by supporting projects that have positive social and environmental impacts in economically, socially or environmentally disadvantaged regions. One example of this is PGF’s support of Arvita Foundation based in the Republic of Panama in Central America.
Despite is tropical climate and formally rich biodiversity, Panama has been dramatically affected by large-scale deforestation over the last 100 – 200 years. Poor land management practices have led to soil degradation and erosion through large tracks of this small country which in turn has led to social and economic impoverishment of many small regional communities.
Arvita is a not-for-profit, socio-environmental foundation dedicated to reforestation and environmental education. It primarily operates in low-resource, rural communities in Panama. Arvita´s voluntary team is comprised mainly of university students, pro bono biologists, and forestry engineers.
June 24th of this year was Panama’s National Reforestation Day. With the support of PGF and other corporate supporters, Arvita organized and undertook the planting of 2,500 trees in one day. The beneficiary of this reforestation event was Fundación Nueva Vida. Nueva Vida (New Life) is a home for elderly people founded after the invasion of Panama in 1989 when many elderly were left homeless. Numerous inhabitants of the home suffer from Alzheimer’s and other age-related illnesses.
In the past, the surroundings of Nueva Vida were deforested for construction and other purposes. In an effort to restore habitat for local birds and wildlife and create a healthy and peaceful environment for the elderly inhabitants, the plan to reforest the land around the home was proposed, and the first phase was implemented by Arvita thanks to the help of 100 volunteers from local schools and the general public. Over the 3rd quarter of 2017, the second phase of the project will be completed with the planting of an additional 1500 trees.
In its operations, Arvita maintains two greenhouses close to Panama City to propagate trees and plant species native to Panama, many of which are threatened with extinction. PGF is proud to be in collaboration with organizations like Arvita to promote and bring into reality projects like Nueva Vida.