Mining & Sustainability: UN urge miners to “Do more for environment”

Clean up your act, industry told

A United Nations report has said mining companies should ramp up their engagement, partnership and dialogue with other industry sectors, government, civil society and local communities to help meet sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Large-scale mining has the potential to play a critical role in helping to achieve UN-approved SDGs in resource-rich countries, according to the study – also sponsored by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, the World Economic Forum, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

“If mining companies are looking for a place to start, the goals of social inclusion, environmental sustainability and economic development, highlight some SDGs that present opportunities,” said the paper.

Mining, we are told, typically impacts land, water, climate, flora, fauna and people that depend on resources.

Here, action could be taken to ameliorate the effect on climate by looking at green solutions to offset the fact that “mining activities are energy and emissions-intensive in both the production and downstream uses of their products”.

On social inclusion, the report said: “Companies can take an inclusive approach by working with communities to understand their positive and negative impacts and to identify and expand opportunities for marginalised groups.”

Mining offered clear economic benefits, said the study. The industry could help spur economic growth which, in turn, could be leveraged to build new infrastructure, new technologies and workforce opportunities.

“The industry also provides materials critical for renewable technologies … companies [could] collaborate across the supply chain to minimise waste, and to re-use and recycle.”

The report is called ‘Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: an Atlas”, and was published to coincide with a meeting of the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York.

The 2030 Agenda linked to SDGs has been endorsed by all UN member states.

But meeting the SDGs in 14 years “will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration among governments, non-governmental organisations, development partners, the private sector and communities”.

It would also require all sectors and stakeholders to incorporate the SDGs laid down by the UN into their own practices.(Source: Mining Journal)

To access the report go to:

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