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AusIMM Social Responsibility Statement and Framework: update from the ESG–SR Advisory Committee

On 11 August 2020 AusIMM released a world-first Social Responsibility Statement and Framework highlighting the Institute’s commitment to global best practice.

This is a direct outcome of the Social Licence to Operate (SLTO) Forum held in May last year and is consequential on the recommendations from that Forum. The announcement reflects the work of a committee, now known as the Environmental Social Governance–Social Responsibility (ESG–SR) Advisory Committee that emerged out of the Forum.

The Statement and broader Framework reinforces and reminds members to be committed in their day-to-day work to ensure that host community knowledge and aspirations are sought and acknowledged, so as to be rationally incorporated across a project’s life from development through to closure and relinquishment. 

The Statement recognises three levels of competence in social responsibility. At the highest level, Areas of Practice have been agreed for Social Performance (SP) as a recognised AusIMM discipline, and processes of accreditation for Chartered Professional (CP) status have been initiated by the Chartered Professional Program Committee in relation to SP.

A call for expressions of interest for professionals to become accredited as Chartered Professionals (CPs) to work on the various aspects of SP was initiated. This immediately attracted nearly 80 responses to date. The call remains open for members and would be members with interests and experience in SP to apply. It is now clear that the consequences of this initiative will see the status of AusIMM as a professional Institute further raised both locally and internationally.

The accreditation of CP assessors to consider SP applicants is proceeding to accelerate implementation but much remains to be done, including organising a second Forum.

With 13,000 members it is clear that not all need to attain higher levels of competency in SP, but all members carry the commitment to be involved in the implementation of social responsibility principles. To address these matters, the ESG–SR Advisory Committee is organising a second Forum to coincide with the Life-of-Mine (LOM) Conference in April 2021. The objective of this will be to discuss refinements needed to guide members in exercising social responsibility commitments. Interested members should reserve time around the April next year so they can be part of these important discussions.

The format of the second Forum will be similar to the first. It will involve pre-reading prompt notes sent out in advance to registered delegates to ensure informed, focused debates can be facilitated and decisions reached to inform the Forum report recommendations. In addition, the committee will seek input on social responsibility contingent issues, especially relating to quality reporting and governance responsibilities about future project decisions, particularly those feasibility studies where decisions have interface with the wider community.

Watch out for upcoming news in this space.

Stephen Hancock CP, FAusIMM.

ESG–SR Advisory Committee Convenor

14 August 2020

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