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GRI sustainability standard to accelerate accountability in the mining sector

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Global Mining Review,

A first global standard to holistically address the sustainability impacts of the mining sector is now available. The new GRI Standard reflects broad stakeholder demands for transparency and enables any mining company to use a common set of metrics to report their impacts.

GRI sustainability standard to accelerate accountability in the mining sector

GRI 14: Mining Sector 2024 will illuminate how mining organisations are balancing two conflicting truths: the essential nature of their role in providing the minerals that modern societies rely on; and the need for accountability on the harm their operations can cause to the environment, communities, and workers.

The fourth addition to GRI’s Sector Standard series, the Mining Standard was developed with a robust multi-stakeholder approach at its core and focuses on the significant impacts of the mining sector. Addressing 25 topics that are likely material for companies in the sector, GRI 14:

  • Sets expectations for site-level transparency that reflect local impacts, to help stakeholders assess impacts and risks by location and specific minerals.
  • Covers critical themes that range from emissions to waste, human rights to land and resource rights, climate change to biodiversity, and anti-corruption to community engagement.
  • Introduces three topics not previously addressed by GRI yet are of specific relevance to mining firms: tailings management, artisanal and small-scale mining, and operating in conflict zones.

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 realised without key minerals that the sector provides – yet mining operations can have deep and damaging impacts on both nature and people.

“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 organisations to improve how they communicate with key stakeholders on the issues that matter most to build trust with communities.”

GRI 14 publishes at a crucial time as policymakers and regulators increasingly focus on the responsible supply of minerals, with multiple stakeholder groups scrutinising the impacts of the sector. The Standard will support mining companies to meet these widespread disclosure and due diligence needs, including to provide investors and downstream customers with information to make informed investment and sourcing decisions.

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