Those with a keen eye will note that our website indicates we support the objectives of seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you are of a slightly cynical or skeptical nature, or have seen the effects of using the SDGs as a greenwashing tool (a seemingly prolific activity), then you will have dismissed the reference to the SDGs on our website with a sniff (at best) or (at worst) immediately have assumed that we are, like many other actors in this space, attempting to use our so-called “alignment” with the goals as a greenwashing exercise.
I myself have a difficult relationship with the SDGs – I think the goals themselves are commendable, worthy, necessary even, but I have my doubts about our collective ability to achieve them – and I see very little coordinated, government-led action or progress towards them. A recent report from the UN itself concurs that, “in almost all areas, the pace of progress is never sufficient to meet the targets”. However, as we all know, if you don’t have goals, you’re not working towards anything, so let us acknowledge the challenges with them, while continuing to do what we can to contribute to the achievement of these commendable, and necessary, goals.
In that context, then, what business does a mining company have in this space, if you peel away the greenwashing, and speak honestly? I’m going to summarize our approach to each of these seven goals in simple, transparent terms, that will ultimately be reported on in our annual report (our first annual report will be published at the end of 2022, and will be publicly available on the Annual Reports page of our website).
Today I’ll start with Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. Goal 6 has three parts:
Providing access for all to safely managed drinking water;
Providing access for all to safely managed sanitation;
Reducing stress on shared water resources.
In very simple terms, here’s how we will contribute to, and measure ourselves against, Goal 6:
And next time I’ll talk about what we’re doing towards the next SDG Goal.