Annual Report, 2009
Since inception in 2001, ICMM and its members have made considerable progress. Our 10 fundamental sustainable development principles provide a strong values-based foundation to guide performance. We have produced policy and practice guidance on a range of challenging topics, the most recent of which is climate change. Our system of public reporting and third party assurance continues to evolve as we learn how to best demonstrate our performance. Our engagement with a broad range of stakeholders is ongoing.
All of this activity continues to be aimed at strengthening performance and enhancing our contribution to sustainable development. From this perspective, ICMM serves as a change agent – not in areas affecting competitive positioning, but related to our members’ social and environmental responsibilities where collaboration makes sense.
Our niche is unique and we are proud of the steps we have taken. However, to remain effective, ICMM must continue to evolve. Thus, 2009 saw the completion of a comprehensive strategic review of direction and focus.
This Annual Review marks the formal release of the resulting Strategy and Action Plan 2010–2012, which: (1) re-enforces the role of our Council of CEOs in setting crucial policy directions; (2) entrenches a rigorous means for annually assessing organizational performance; (3) introduces a three-year planning cycle to bring stability and foresight into our decision making; and (4) initiates an annual review of emerging issues to strengthen our ability to be proactive, not reactive.
Our strategic review followed a classic but effective formula. We revisited organizational history; we completed a scenarios exercise looking forward 20 years; we refined vision, goals and objectives; and we completed a comprehensive assessment of effectiveness and progress both against the original goals set in early 2003 and against our refined sense of current direction.
Throughout, we involved the ICMM family – early architects of ICMM, our current Council of CEOs, our Executive Working Group (EWG), leaders of the member associations and our secretariat. The strategic review process has been very rewarding. It involved some passionate discussions, sometimes tough but always marked by honesty, integrity and respect. We thank all who took part.
Our renewed vision is: “Leading companies working together and with others to strengthen the contribution of mining, minerals and metals to sustainable development”. Three ideas sit at its core.
First, our vision talks of “leading companies”. 2009 saw ICMM joined by African Rainbow Minerals and Goldcorp bringing our company members to 19, many of the largest in the industry. Together, they account for a significant percentage of the production of many key minerals and metals used by society, and some 800,000 of the 2.5 million workers employed in the industry. ICMM also serves as a convenor of some 30 commodity and country-focussed industry associations. Through them our potential reach extends to another 1,500 companies. Though we are far from being the whole industry, what we hope is that the actions of our members can serve as a catalyst for improved performance across the whole industry.
Second, we highlight “working together”. The idea of working together applies both within ICMM as well as between ICMM members and others in the industry, governments, indigenous peoples, international organizations, communities, end-users, civil society organizations and academia. Though there are actions that companies must address alone, we believe that on many of the tough issues the industry faces, it is only through collaboration that success is possible.
Third, our emphasis is on our “contribution to sustainable development”. Such a perspective allows us to continue work on assessing, minimizing and redressing impacts while strengthening the positive contributions that we offer to society – as well as others’ understanding of the result. This is a lens that encourages an assessment of the long-term contribution of mining to people and the environment. In doing so we recognize that we are raising the bar, that in focussing on contribution, the industry will be judged on that basis – on its usefulness to society. We are confident of the result and this is a step we are prepared to take.
In this review, our seven program areas are described and the richness of activities can be seen. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Council, EWG, task forces, working groups, adhoc committees, the many collaborators and the secretariat that together make this possible.
Looking forward to 2010 we are moving forward on a number of initiatives, including: (1) a renewed focus on identifying emerging trends; (2) continued emphasis on worker and community health and safety; (3) examination of how arrangements governing mine operations can be designed to be and seen to be “fair”; (4) further demonstration of the concrete benefits of collaboration; (5) continued refinement of work on community development; (6) reporting out on our work related to building effective relationships between mining and indigenous peoples; and (7) continuing work on practical approaches for action on climate change issues.
The strategic review process has given us a renewed sense of purpose, a focus and a compass for moving forward. Our work continues with the same degree of energy and commitment that has always been a hallmark of ICMM. It is for others to judge the results.
Dr R Anthony Hodge