Mining among Top 5 Sectors Publishing GRI Reports

Over 4,300 organizations have already published their sustainability reports covering the 2014 reporting period (and the count continues). The mining sector continues to be among the Top 5 sectors which disclose their sustainability performance using the GRI framework. Who are some of the key promoters and drivers? - Shortlink:

Industry peers adopted GRI as standard

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), an industry club of the leading and global mining majors, has been a long term advocate of sustainability reporting. ICMM was centrally involved in developing GRI’s Mining and Metals Sector Supplement already back in 2005 to ensure indicators remain relevant to the sector. ICMM’s member companies have since made a commitment to prepare their sustainability reports in accordance with the core option of the most recent GRI guidelines (G4). This clear adoption signal by global industry leaders creates the opportunity for mainstreaming GRI-based sustainability reporting in the mining sector. Surprisingly, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), which features a membership profile (including many GRI reporters) that overlaps with ICMM, has not played any significant role in the GRI adoption process.

Canada promotes GRI to extractives

Our own experience assisting various junior to mid-tier mining companies with their sustainability reporting efforts suggests that GRI reporting is no longer a practice limited to the majors. Since 2009, when Canada launched its first CSR strategy, “Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian Extractive Sector Abroad”, GRI-based sustainability reporting has been promoted actively to the extractive sector based in Canada but often operating elsewhere. The significance of this effort in the mining sector becomes obvious when you consider that over 50% of the world's public mining companies are listed in Canada.

Prizma also played a modest role in promoting GRI by developing and delivering the first GRI-certified training program in North America (see also article: Sustainability Reporting using GRI Lessons Learned). The Canadian Government’s updated CSR Strategy, announced on November 14, 2014, continues to note that “Canada promotes the use of the GRI standard for CSR reporting by the extractive sector to enhance transparency and encourage market-based rewards for good CSR performance.

Financial stakeholders encourage GRI reporting

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), known as a leading sustainability standard setter in emerging markets, “sees sustainability reporting as an opportunity for a more dynamic engagement between investors and businesses” and “would like to see many more of [IFC’s] clients undertaking GRI-based reporting alongside and as part of their traditional annual reporting.” To this end, IFC partnered with the GRI and published a guidance note “Getting More Value Out of Sustainability Reporting”, which connects IFC’s Sustainability Performance Standards and the GRI Reporting Framework (see also IFC gets out vuvuzela for sustainability reporting).

What is driving your sustainability reporting effort?

Are you involved with sustainability reporting at a junior or mid-tier mining company? Which are some of the key drivers and barriers to sustainability reporting you are encountering in your work?


About the author: Mehrdad Nazari (LinkedIn Profile) is an ESIA & Sustainability Advisor with over 20 years of experience. Mehrdad and his team support mining companies and other organizations with a variety of environmental and social studies, and provide stakeholder engagement, sustainability reporting and assurance services. You can learn more about Prizma’s sustainability reporting services in the mining sector here and access Prizma's latest newsletter here