SUSTAINABILITY WORKING GROUP

Develop resources and foster collaboration on operationalizing sustainability, which refers to the process of making sustainability practical, implemented, measurable, technically applied, and integrated throughout operations.

INDUSTRY NEED

The topic of sustainability is a particular challenge within mining due to the cyclical nature of the industry, high equipment costs, lack of clear implementation case studies, perceptions of risk, and reluctance to fund innovation and short payback periods. As regulators and governments also become more aware of environmental and sustainability issues, minimizing our impact will become an important factor in our social license to operate and protecting our future. Strong sustainability practices also have the potential to reduce long-term costs and will help build a positive image for the industry as a whole.

Many companies have committed to significant sustainability goals (e.g., “net-zero by 2050”) and many initiatives exist already that cover policy, advocacy, corporate social responsibility, and corporate strategy. However, steps also need to be taken now in daily operations to meet long-term goals, and the industry has identified a need to collaboratively address the ways in which sustainability can be operationalized now and in the near future.

ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP

This Working Group aims to develop resources and foster collaboration on operationalizing sustainability, which refers to the process of making sustainability practical, implemented, measurable, technically applied, and integrated throughout operations. This group will focus on addressing a range of topics with a focus on best practices, guidance, strategies, and tools to enable incremental and short-term practical changes that will help to create more sustainable operations.

KEY TOPICS

Some key topics discussed by the group include:

  • Decarbonization and greenhouse gas reduction
  • Technology enablement and data management
  • Tailings, waste, and water management
  • Community and social acceptability
  • Circular economy
  • Changing skills requirements, change management, and training and education
  • Biodiversity

WORKSHOP OUTCOMES

NEWS

Carbon Capture and Storage Workshop

GMG is holding a virtual roundtable to have critical discussions on the key needs and priorities for carbon capture and storage and define a strategy to drive collaboration to address these priorities. Considerations include: determining feasibility vs economics, value in helping to reach net zero, and whether it is a permanent vs temporary solution.  The next steps may include a landscape of existing efforts and technologies and a white paper.  The workshop is scheduled on October 12th.  More information is available here.

Decarbonization Priorities Workshop

GMG is holding a virtual workshop to discuss key priorities on decarbonization and further define a collaboration strategy for them.  The workshop is scheduled for September 28, 2022.  More information is available here.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Roundtable

The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) is holding a virtual roundtable to have critical discussions on the key needs and priorities for small modular nuclear reactors and define a strategy to drive collaboration to address these priorities. Considerations include: viable technologies, regional/regulatory differences, and social acceptance.  A potential starting point on this topic would be a white paper.  The roundtable is scheduled for October 24, 2022.  More information is available here.

PROJECTS & INITIATIVES IN THE PIPELINE

Operationalizing Sustainability Framework

There are already many existing sustainability frameworks developed by stakeholders across all areas of the mining community, many of which overlap. Across the frameworks, there is diversity in topics addressed, with each framework including different ways to assess how key performance indicators are measured. It isn’t clear what many of the gaps or common challenges are amongst the existing frameworks, or how this working group could be best positioned to address such topics.

This activity aims to collect existing frameworks to determine commonalities, gaps, and common challenges across the mining community, which will then lead to a clearer sense of what the focus and scope of this working group should be. The workflow will be as follows:

  • Collect existing frameworks
  • Review commonalities
  • Gather member input on priorities
  • Define the scope of the working group
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