Developing strong and lasting relationships with local people, and recognising and respecting connection to land are principles embedded in Rio Tinto’s culture and policies. These relationships are particularly important with communities close to where we operate, and often established through the agreement processes. Twenty years ago, then company chief executive Leon Davis outlined a vision to create mutual value by working in active partnership with Indigenous peoples, driving a shift in how our company operated. 9 Why agreements matter Introduction March 2016 Since then, we have approached land access and community engagement through negotiated agreements. These provide beneficiary payments, as well as deliver social and economic outcomes, and engage Indigenous people in our cultural heritage, employment, business development, and training and education activities. My own experience of the agreement process began with the Yandicoogina Land Use Agreement when I was part of our Iron Ore business in 1997. It was Rio Tinto’s first signed agreement, representing a new beginning for us and the people of the Innawonga, Bunjima and Nyiyaparli Traditional Owner groups. Today we have more than 40 agreements globally, and have refined and improved our practice with each one. Our most recent agreements build on the experience and learnings of a 20 year journey and show a maturing in approach over time. They continue to act as a mechanism to give structure and intent to long-term relationships, but are also clearer on our mutual commitments to achieve long-term, intergenerational benefits. Relationships are founded on trust and mutual respect. We endeavour to build these qualities in the development and implementation of our agreements. But Rio Tinto’s progress has not been a journey in isolation. We have worked in collaboration with local people and made progress in many areas including government understanding and governance capability. This has helped to achieve greater levels of recognition and effective collaboration. I’m proud of Rio Tinto’s contribution to the knowledge base on agreement processes. I also want to highlight that agreements are not ‘nice to haves’. Agreements show our respect and commitment to inclusive engagement with land-connected peoples. We work hand in hand to manage the shared risks, responsibilities and benefits, while also having security to plan our future operations in strong, prosperous regions. Relationships with local people are the cornerstone of our work at Rio Tinto and I believe this shines through in the case studies, process and practice outlines, and key learnings in this guide. It has been an incredible journey to date. I hope that by delving into the various elements outlined in this publication, you too can contribute to the delivery of better outcomes and stronger futures through agreements.