How ESG Is Crucial To Saving The Mining Industry
From mining to ESG, Digbee Limited has transformed itself and proves to be a crucial piece of the mining industry. Under the direction of Jamie Strauss, Digbee has become Digbee ESG, a disclosure platform specifically designed to meet the sustainability needs of the sector.
The purpose is to ensure that mining practices today align with key global standards and simplify the ESG disclosure process. Its standard is nothing new, but it’s different in that the framework is built on the maps of several organisations, including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Human Rights Council, ICMM, Equator Principles, and more.
It seems counterintuitive on the surface. After all, mining is an invasive industry by design. It extracts all kinds of minerals, damages the earth, and can destroy people’s way of life. But the industry fully understands this. It is inherently extractive.
Just as one disaster, like Rio Tinto’s destruction of ancient Aboriginal gravesites, can make headlines in the news, there are thousands of ongoing ESG programmes that this industry has undertaken. Perhaps surprisingly to some, the mining industry has been practising sustainability in some way for decades.
In the early 2000s, they were calling it corporate social responsibility.
A Work In Progress
This doesn’t change the fact that there is still a lot the industry needs to do. Combined with the new changes to ESG, the mining industry has to adapt as well. For example, while they are familiar with sustainability, disclosing the details in great depth is foreign to them.
This is also on top of the fact that there have never been standards for measuring ESG until recently, and now governments are working, in Europe at least, to make ESG reporting mandatory.
Strauss is working to change all of that by getting Digbee to implement ESG considerations into every action the mining company takes. This includes convincing several major institutional investors to join this plan.
Many Have Already Shown Support
The majority of industries pushing into ESG have largely been driven by shareholders themselves. Seeing how they have major sway over the livelihood of a company, it makes sense that a new investment philosophy would encourage companies to adapt.
And so it's for this reason that the mining industry itself is so keen to adopt ESG.
Strauss’s actions and the fact that many are supporting his efforts really go to show there is genuine care. Historically, shareholders needed to persuade CEOs to go down the ESG route. To see a CEO actively embrace it and create a tool to ensure others follow speaks volumes about someone’s intent.
Beyond that, several companies across the mining and financial sectors are supporting Digbee. Better yet, the support is reaching across the globe.
In the UK, you have Black Rock, Irion, Amati, Premier Miton, Red Fort, Appian, and Tembo. In Europe, Thematica in Switzerland recently joined. In Canada, Dundee Resources has been supporting Strauss from the beginning and is making plans for inroads into the US and Australia. Recently, SP Angel joined as well.
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And Many Others Are Steadily Embracing ESG
And even though the major supporters are from the UK and Europe, the US and other jurisdictions are working to catch up. Strauss has noted that New York is big into ESG. That much was clear from the recent interest in the Lifezone-Kabanga SPAC transaction, which entailed Lifezone Metals going public and acquiring GoGreen. That merger will create the first nickel resource and green technology company.
Mainland China is also increasing its interest as ESG is written into legislation at the politburo level. Even Saudi Arabia is building out its mining sector from the ground up, focusing on sustainability.
Finding examples of enthusiasm for ESG is not difficult. But what is different is when a company chooses to be a supplier of ESG.
Electric vehicles, wind power, and solar power are all major technologies that benefit the planet in their own ways. But all of them require a lot of metals to function. Metals that we need to extract. It’s only natural that mining will shift from digging up oil to digging up various metals like copper, nickel, and lithium. Some are going into specialty products as well, like cobalt and platinum.
With metals being in shorter supply, it makes sense that countries and companies are working to keep this as sustainable as possible. Combined with the climate of world opinion and the scale at which these commodities are needed to be produced, ESG considerations are a much bigger deal. Especially when a mining company handles over 30 areas.
As countries transition to ESG, companies will naturally follow suit via regulations and standards. But further accountability will be needed, which is where Digbee ESG will keep the mining industry in check.
There is no denying that to provide green energy, metals will need to be extracted. The mining industry can thrive from these new products sold to governments and manufacturers. But it’s a win for ESG despite these circumstances because Digbee ESG allows mining companies to do all this.
They said themselves that the mining industry needs to present ESG credentials credibly, and they’ve built a system to make this as simple as possible. Combined with Digbee ESG being the only company with this kind of product, this gives them a significant advantage.
This is the sweet spot, and it could change how we view the mining industry forever
Currently, the mining sector is regarded as the least popular among investors, and public opinion doesn’t help it much either. But if the mining industry can raise confidence, credibility, and perception, then public opinion and investor opinions will change.
All it takes is for the mining industry to work towards a single message: ESG projects around the globe will need capital and materials to fuel the transition.
Combined with the mining industry's long-standing track record of sustainability, people will eventually realise that the industry is years ahead of other sectors in terms of sustainability practices. And maybe then public opinion will change, all because of ESG.
More insight on sector ESG issues is available from our writing team at Featured Articles. Find and compare ESG ratings across sectors at our Company ESG Profiles page.