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The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) announced new membership requirements to advance the sustainability performance of the mining sector, committing members to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Speaking at the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, Tom Butler, ICMM’s Chief Executive announced ICMM’s new performance expectations that will define what mining with principles looks like in practice, by setting a benchmark for the industry’s environmental and social performance.
The performance expectations will apply to all ICMM’s company members who manage almost 650 assets in over 50 countries, covering nearly half of the world’s iron ore and copper production, and over a quarter of all mined commodities by value. Therefore, it will be the most far-reaching initiative to advance environmental and social performance in the mining industry.
The new performance expectations were developed with extensive input from NGOs, international organisations and academics. The initiative has CEO-level support within all ICMM company members, a point that Tom Butler expanded on in Geneva.
Tom Butler, ICMM’s Chief Executive said: “ICMM’s Council of 27 CEOs have shown real leadership in being the first industry body to commit to implementing the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“Importantly, other companies will also be able to publicly commit to our performance expectations and I hope this will lead the broader industry to further improve its social and environmental performance.”
Professor John Ruggie, Harvard Kennedy School, and the former UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights said: “ICMM has repeatedly set the pace in the evolution of sustainability requirements for its industry, now including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights; and as a CEO-led organization it has the credibility and leverage to do so.”
The performance expectations are the latest evolution of ICMM’s sustainability framework that set out a more comprehensive set of environmental and social requirements, including issues such as labour rights, resettlement, local content, gender, access to grievance mechanisms, mine closure, pollution and waste that will be validated at the operational level.
ICMM is currently developing guidance on how members will validate the performance expectations at the operational level including through independent third-party assessments. We expect this guidance to be complete in the middle of 2019. The guidance will be piloted during the second half of 2019 followed by full implementation across the membership.
Notes for editors
ICMM’s performance expectations are the latest evolution of our sustainability framework. They have been developed to provide a benchmark for responsible mining practices, setting out a more comprehensive set of requirements that will be validated at the asset level. This means that they will apply to every operational site a company controls that produces metals and minerals for sale or further processing.
Further information on the performance expectations can be found here.
ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry which brings together 27 mining and metals companies and 36 regional and commodities associations. Every ICMM member company adheres to 10 Principles and 8 Position Statements on issues relating to sustainable development. Once the guidance to validate the performance expectations is complete, members will also be required to implement the performance expectations at the asset level.