The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the leading organizations promoting standardized ESG reporting, announced today the launch of its new mining sector reporting standard, aimed at enabling companies in the sector to disclose on a wide set of sustainability impacts, ranging from emissions and biodiversity to community impact and human rights.
According to the GRI, the new standard comes amid broad stakeholder demand for transparency into the mining sector’s impact and contributions to sustainable development, with the sector balancing the need for accountability on the impact of its operations to people and the environment, with its key role as a source of minerals and metals relied on by society.
Carol Adams, Chair of GRI’s Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) said:
“From a sustainability standpoint, the position of mining is complex, in that it is both part of the solution and the problem. The low-carbon transition cannot be realized without key minerals that the sector provides – yet mining operations can have deep and damaging impacts on both nature and people.”
The new standard, GRI 14: Mining Sector 2024, marks the fourth in a series of planned sector reporting standards by the GRI, following the publication of its first sector standard in 2021 covering the oil and gas sector, and for the agriculture, aquaculture and fishing sectors in 2022. The GRI aims to develop standards for 40 sectors, starting with those that have the highest impact.
The GRI’s new mining standard addresses 25 topics that are likely material for companies in the sector, covering critical themes including emissions, waste, human rights to land, resource rights, climate change, child labor, anti-corruption and community engagement, and sets expectations for site-level transparency to help stakeholders assess impacts and risks by location and specific minerals. Topics covered by the new standard include three – tailings management, artisanal and small-scale mining, and operating in conflict zones – that have not been previously addressed by the GRI. The standard applies to all organizations engaged in mining and quarrying , including exploration and extraction, primary processing, and related support services.
The GRI said that the standard was developed by an independent group of stakeholders across businesses, investors, labor groups, civil society and mediating institutions, and incorporated expectations from responsible mining guidance and relevant standards, with inputs from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Copper Mark, the OECD, and Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM).
“We need detailed, consistent and globally comparable reporting on the most significant impacts of mining companies, which this new GRI Standard will deliver. Importantly, it will help mining organizations to improve how they communicate with key stakeholders on the issues that matter most to build trust with communities.”
Click here to access the new GRI mining standard.