Sustainable development news
New standard for reporting
SWITZERLAND – Davos was the setting for the latest announcement of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). In late January 2005, the council announced it has taken its second major step: the 16 leading mining and metals companies that comprise the council have agreed to certain standards of public reporting of their sustainable development performance.
The first major step came in 2003 when the member companies agreed to operate according to a framework of 10 sustainable development principles, which had been under development since 2001. The principles cover areas such as corporate governance, human rights, environment, materials stewardship, community and national economic development, and access to information.
Through standardized reporting, ICMM members will fulfil their commitment to measure their performance against the 10 principles.
As its standard, ICMM has selected the Sustainability Reporting Framework developed by Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a non-profit institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. GRI had developed generic guidelines suitable for all industries, but the two organizations have recently put together mining-specific indicators, called the Mining and Metals Sector Supplement, to these guidelines.
Many companies in various sectors use some of the GRI guidelines for reporting but less than 10% are in accordance with all its requirements. Significantly the ICMM members have agreed to fulfill them all. The target date for achieving this is within two reporting cycles.
The next steps will be a forthcoming third-party verification system, and the systematic dissemination of good practice through an online library, www.goodpracticemining.org.
ICMM’s 16 corporate members are: Alcoa, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoRan, Lonmin, Mitsubishi Materials, Newmont, Nippon Mining & Metals, Noranda, Placer Dome, Rio Tinto, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Umicore, WMC Resources and Zinifex.