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How-To: Implement Sustainable Development Principles in Mining

The mining industry is progressing. Companies are beginning to see the importance of strong ethical programs aimed at enriching environments and communi...

Admin
|Aug 23|magazine10 min read

The mining industry is progressing. Companies are beginning to see the importance of strong ethical programs aimed at enriching environments and communities in which they operate. Cultivating and implementing new sustainable programs is becoming the standard for responsible mining.

In 2003, the International Council of Mining & Metals (ICMM) commissioned member companies to implement and measure their performance against 10 sustainable development principles.

According to the association the 10 principles are as followed:

1. Implement and maintain ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance.

Establish policies and practices that adhere to company statements of ethical business principles. This could include anything from programs aimed at preventing bribery and corruption incidents to comply the requirements of host-country laws and regulations.

2. Integrate sustainable development considerations within the corporate decision-making process.

Plan, design, operate and close operations in a manner that enhances sustainable development. Make sure to integrate sustainable development principles into practices as well as provide adequate training. Work to innovate and improve social, environmental and economic performance while enhancing shareholder value.

3. Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities.

Along with respecting the culture and heritage of local communities, work to ensure impact on surrounding areas is minimized. Strive to ensure staff is provided with appropriate culture and human rights training and guidance.  Put policies in place to eliminate harassment and unfair discrimination in all mining aspects.0

4. Implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.

Companies should consult with local communities in the identification, assessment and management of all significant social, health, safety, environmental and economic impacts associated with mining. Review and updates should be continuous.

5. Seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance.

Develop and implement health and safety training programs among all employees, including employees of contractors.  Take all measures possible to preventive fatalities, injuries and diseases.

6. Seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.

Continue to improve. Assess the environmental positive and negative impacts of each new project and develop a management system to track, review and prevent environmental impacts. Concentrate on the long-term effect the project and ways to effectively prevent and dispose of residual wastes.

7. Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning.

Support and implement innovative procedures for integrated approaches to land use planning, biodiversity, conservation and mining.

8. Facilitate and encourage responsible product design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.

Support and implement the use of scientifically sound policies, regulations, product standards and material choice decisions. Promote the use of safe mineral and metal products.

9. Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.

Engage, encourage and contribute to local communities from beginning to end. Ensure the appropriate systems are in place for ongoing interaction with affected parties. Form partnerships with governments and non-governmental organizations to develop programs to enhance community health, education and local business development.

10. Implement effective and transparent engagement, communication and independently verified reporting arrangements with our stakeholders.

Be open and transparent with operations. Report on economic, social and environmental performance and contribution to sustainable development.