This year, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is holding its annual Council meeting in Melbourne to coincide with the 2018 IMARC conference.
At this year’s Council meeting, ICMM’s member company CEOs will discuss an ambitious initiative to further improve ICMM’s sustainability framework. Earlier this year, ICMM ran a public consultation on a new set of performance expectations that will underlie our founding principles. The results of the consultation are being used to draft a more comprehensive set of requirements for how members are expected to manage a broad range of sustainability issues.
The objective is to help end users more clearly understand the responsible mining practices to which members, and we hope other responsible mining and metals companies, can publicly commit.
In Melbourne, the Council will also discuss the next steps in our collaboration with equipment manufacturers to reduce diesel particulate and carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and mining machinery. This aims to create safer and greener fleets, which will improve air quality for miners and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the mining sector.
We have held exploratory meetings with some of the best-known companies and look forward to meeting some of the people engaged in this initiative face-to-face while we are in Melbourne.
What is ICMM?
ICMM is not a traditional trade body – we have a unique proposition and an interesting origin.
ICMM traces its foundation to one of the biggest stakeholder consultations by the mining industry, which included NGOs, UN bodies, academics and industry experts. It explored how the mining industry could improve its environmental and social performance – in effect helping draft a blueprint for responsible mining.
As a result of these consultations, a set of founding principles was drawn up, and the ICMM was created to help its members implement them, and crucially to provide a non-competitive arena for companies to share ideas and learnings with each other to improve their collective performance.
Our framework has been strengthened over time to respond to evolving societal concerns about the mining industry. What sets ICMM apart is that we are a CEO-led body that now brings together 27 of the world’s leading mining companies representing almost half of global production. We are also joined by a further 36 member associations that include commodity associations and national bodies that enable us to learn from a truly global network and reach thousands of other non-member companies.
Where to next?
In 2019 all of our members will use standardised water reporting and publish the data in their annual sustainability reports. This stems from their obligations under our position statement on water stewardship that has incorporated many ideas pioneered in Australia.
Looking ahead, helping to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will become increasingly important. These global goals provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for us all to align in tackling the biggest challenges faced by both people and planet. We have mapped our principles against the SDGs and believe that mining can play an invaluable role in helping deliver on all of them.
I am looking forward to attending IMARC and the meetings arranged in Australia, which I know will help bring further improvements in the environmental and social performance of the mining sector.
Feature image: Production Perig/Shutterstock.com.