What value does sustainability bring to the mining sector?

This topic was addressed by Milla Craig from Deloitte Canada's team at the Quebec Mines meeting in November 2013.

"While sustainability initiatives seek to provide solutions to the environmental and social impacts of the mining sector, one too often forgets (or ignores) the economic and financial benefits associated with such engagements.

Today, three main trends deserve particular attention: the evolution of the reporting process, the consider- ation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors by investors and the increasing involvement of executives in companies’ sustainability activities.

Regarding reporting, two evolutions should be noted: the launch of the new Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) guidelines (G4) and the development of a framework for integrated reporting. These two international standards both have a particular focus on materiality, i.e. the relevance of data that com- panies chose to publish. This evolution also reflects the strengthening of a trend in the investing world, namely: the greater importance given to non-financial performance – based on ESG indicators – as defined by the G4 and targeted by integrated reporting. In this respect, we can observe a shift as to whom is responsible for sustainability; it is more and more directed toward CFOs and COOs. This evolution is a sign that sustainability is increasingly integrated into corporate strategies and operations, which will be reassuring for financial partners and potential investors.

Finally, the strengthening of mandatory social and environmental regulations, as well as civil society’s concerns, outline the importance of taking into account these issues when designing a mining companies’ strategy.

During this presentation, Milla Craig will address the economic and financial risks that mining companies could be facing if they do not properly integrate sustainability issues into their business strategy. This would require complying with new standards (G4 and integrated reporting) which quickly are becoming unavoidable for companies."

View Craig's presentation here.