If there was ever a story that deserves repeating and amplifying in mining, it’s that the Canadian mining industry is taking seriously the issue of sustainability and social responsibility. Bad news travels very fast as experienced in the new world of social media, however good news such as this is difficult to spread broadly enough. Given that the last good news Hollywood movie was in 1937, Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, it is perhaps it may be time for a second take.
The Center for Sustainability and Excellence, https://cse-net.org/all-trainings/ is a leader in -Sustainability training and are reporting on a study just released; 2017 Sustainability Reporting Trends in North America. In the comprehensive survey of 1,500 companies the report identifies Mining as the leading Canadian industry with 27% publishing sustainability reports followed at a distance by Energy Utilities at 19% and Financial services at 16%.
Outcomes of sustainability reporting include influencing stakeholder perception and a proven positive impact on financial reporting. Of important note, the three largest Canadian gold mining companies have some of the top programs in sustainability, Goldcorp, Teck and Barrick.
There are two leading Canadian influencers to this disruptive style change to the industry with each developing a global approach to their programs. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has developed their Towards Sustainable Mining initiative (TSM), http://mining.ca/towards-sustainable-mining, an initiative started in 2010 for their member companies and now adopted by the mining associations of five other countries.
Also, Global Affairs Canada is a powerful advocate for mining CSR leading with training, advocacy and oversight through their program called Responsible Business Abroad; http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/topics-domaines/other-autre/csr-rse.aspx?lang=eng and supported by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service posts around the world.