Mining is behind the curve on sustainability but adoption speeding up – report
The mining and metals industry will witness a varying impact from the global sustainability push over the coming years, a special report on sustainability trends, drivers and influencers by industry by Fitch Solutions predicts.
The mining industry is traditionally slow at adopting change, and therefore remains behind the curve in the adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, but Fitch analysts have witnessed increased engagement in regards to social and environmental sustainability across the industry in recent years, and expect this to continue in the near future as customers, investors, regulators and industry assign greater importance to these issues.
“Governments and other international stakeholders will drive environmental and socially sustainable practices across the mining industry from the top-down over the coming years, in line with commitments to higher ethical standards and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the report reads.
“Large corporates will also assume leadership in improving their environmental footprint, primarily through a concerted exit from coal mining and a shift towards new-energy metals, while smaller miners will prioritise profitability instead.”
While consumers will have a lower overall impact on sustainability standards adoption across the mining industry, they will contribute to corporates’ increasing focus on improving their social sustainability profile by increasing supply chain transparency, particularly in relation to in-demand minerals that are commonly sourced unethically such as diamonds or cobalt, Fitch asserts.
Analysts say blockchain technology has potential to serve as a powerful tool for mining companies looking to improve their social and ethical supply chain standards as consumer pressure in this regard continues to grow.
Read the full report here.