The concept of ‘ESG’ although poorly defined, and possibly misunderstood has evolved from a real social need for global sustainability. The focus on ESG creates an awareness of the interlinkages of environmental, social, and governance aspects that are key to sustainable business practice.
Professionals play a significant role in helping society develop and attain a sustainable way of living. Due to their knowledge and skills, they are the potential providers of options and solutions to maximize social value and minimize environmental impact. They should work to enhance the welfare, health, and safety of all while paying due regard to environmental impact, biodiversity, and sustainability of resources. Professionals therefore need to be informed, committed, creative, and play an active role in the responsible management of the planet’s ecosystems, and in so doing safeguard the security and prosperity of future generations.
The expertise and attitude of our members is crucial to effective environmental, social and governance engagement with industry, finance providers, government, organized labour, NGOs, other stakeholder groups, and the broader community to deliver sustainable social and economic benefits for the current economic climate and generations to come.
The role of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) in the promotion of ESGS is thus based on the premise that sustainability, and the contribution of the mining and minerals industry to society, is dependent on the professional and ethical conduct of minerals industry professionals – our members.
On this basis, the purpose and focus of the ESGS Committee is to build member capability, influence professional behaviour, and foster industry dialogue on sustainability and responsible mining through Environmental, Social, Governance, and Sustainability-related matters.
Key activities are:
- Building member capability through creating awareness and understanding, providing single-point access to relevant source and support material, and facilitating skills development.
- Thought leadership that adds meaning to the concept of responsible mining and the linkages to ESGS.
- Proactive guidance of Conference and Journal content to ensure that ESGS-related aspects are given sufficient prominence.
- Enabling industry and stakeholder dialogue to build shared understanding of opportunities and challenges and to find the common ground.
- Maintaining and expanding influence in the governance area, specifically minerals industry reporting codes, to ensure effective integration of ESGS aspects.
- Revision of the SAIMM Code of Conduct and associated governance materials to embrace the concept of responsible mining e.g. guidelines, responsibility statement, and membership requirements / obligations.
- Expansion of membership to provide a professional home for sustainability practitioners in Southern Africa.
To comment on this article or join the ESGS Committee send an e-mail to Sam@saimm.co.za