Annual Report, 2014
It has been an honour to serve as chair of ICMM for the past two years in a role that has given me a further opportunity to focus on the potential for the mining and metals industry to lead positive social and environmental change.
Turbulent times for commodities can test the commitment to deep engagement with stakeholders and strong performance in sustainable business practices. But even as we faced falling prices for our products, ICMM members have not only respected social and environmental principles but have also worked to enhance and develop them beyond our current milestones.
The onus is on us, as ICMM members, to model leading practices and deliver performance that sets the benchmark for our industry. We must never underestimate the importance of our leadership in promoting leading mining practices.
ICMM has been instrumental in supporting the way in which we engage with the host communities and governments. This past year we placed particular emphasis on strengthening the relationship between operations and host communities. This is the area we need to strengthen if we are to achieve across-the-board community acceptance. Each of the ICMM programs has been refocused using this lens: Social and Economic Development, Environment and Climate Change, Health and Safety, and Materials Stewardship.
But it’s still not enough. The demands of our diverse stakeholders are constantly evolving, and we need to ensure that our industry is recognized as being a significant and positive contributor to society.
We created ICMM more than a decade ago to act as a catalyst to improve sustainable development practices and to build understanding of the socio-economic context of our mining and metals’ operations.
Now, some 14 years later, it is time to take stock of our considerable progress and extend the scope of a responsible mining and metals industry. We must turn our collective ambition to encouraging more widespread adoption of responsible mining practices. We must focus on those programs that support engagement and the constructive promotion of our industry with a view to influence and drive positive outcomes. We can achieve our objectives by making full use of the extensive channels of communication we have opened with communities, governments and many more stakeholders in civil society, academia and faith groups.
The ICMM team has continued to develop important networks, particularly under the presidency of Tony Hodge. Tony has earned the gratitude and deep respect of his colleagues and the members of ICMM. After serving the organization and membership for seven years, he leaves the organization in good shape and ready to take another important step in building the reputation of the industry and our member companies.
In the transition to a new president, and as I hand over the chairmanship, I encourage ICMM to draw on its work and networks to go beyond the impact of its prescription for sustainable development. ICMM should remain a beacon in guiding our collaborative and collective efforts to promote our industry and the good it does for a broader society. As we navigate our next steps together, we must be mindful that society needs a strong and vibrant mining industry to help lift people from poverty, and we need society’s support to help us deliver on this most important responsibility.
& CEO, Anglo American