ICMM three-year strategy focuses on ESG and innovation

ICMM President and CEO Rohitesh Dhawan calls for the mining industry to deploy decarbonisation technologies at an unprecedented rate

The International Council on Mining and Minerals (ICMM) has unveiled a three-year strategy comprising four key areas:

  • Environmental Resilience  delivering on net zero commitment announced in 2021; further improving water management at site-level and maximising the industry's contribution to a nature positive future.
  • Social Performance  playing a leading role in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and societies; further strengthening approaches to upholding and enhancing human rights, particularly the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples, and supporting the resilience of communities to thrive in a changing, climate-impacted world.
  • Governance and Transparency – leading the convergence of ESG standards; supporting the maximisation of benefits of mining for host countries through disclosure and transparency; enhancing practices for responsible and sustainable mine closure and driving implementation of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management across the industry.
  • Innovation  accelerating innovation in tailings to reduce waste; supporting the development of a circular economy; and pursuing a step-change in eliminating fatalities towards the goal of zero harm.

Rohitesh Dhawan, President and CEO, ICMM, said the next three years will shape the outlook for the next 30.

"To achieve a net zero economy by 2050, decarbonisation technologies must be deployed at an unprecedented scale in the near term," he said.

"Metals and minerals are the backbone of these solutions and are in many cases in short supply, but it is our fundamental belief 'how' these are produced is as, if not more important than 'how much'," he said.

"ICMM's strategy sets an ambitious agenda that focuses on issues where the mining industry can make the biggest contributions related to society's greatest challenges. These are also areas where the collective leadership of our 26 members, representing a third of the global industry, will be critical to push the boundaries of responsible and sustainable mining."

This year marks 20 years since the Toronto Declaration – when, after a two-year global dialogue and engagement exercise, the ICMM Council of CEOs set in motion an agenda to enhance mining's contribution to social and economic development.

Since then, collective action on key sustainability challenges has been taken including the commitment not to mine or explore in World Heritage sites, development of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, and the recent landmark climate commitment of net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Raising standards on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in mining 

ICMM is also announcing updates to the Mining Principles that aim to support improved company performance on diversity, equity and inclusion.

These important updates include reinforcing the integral role of DEI to sustainable development, additional actions to eliminate all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination from workplaces, proactive steps to achieve gender equality and the unencumbered participation of all peoples, and cementing the importance of psychological safety alongside physical health and safety in efforts to achieve zero harm.

Dhawan said discrimination, harassment and assault of any kind have no place in the mining industry or anywhere else in society.

"We recognise that the change starts with us, especially since we as an industry have not yet managed to build truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces," he said. 

The updates to its Mining Principles – the standards that guide everyday practice for our members – are a critical step in improving performance, he added.

"But we will not stop here. ICMM will continue to work together and with external stakeholders to eliminate all forms of bullying, harassment and unfair discrimination from our workplaces and societies."

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