In early April 2018, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) launched a global public consultation on the introduction of new performance expectations that company members of ICMM can commit to. The objective of the consultation process was to obtain views from individuals and organisations to help us improve the environmental and social performance of the mining and metals industry.
An online survey was available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese and the consultation process closed on Friday, 18 May 2018. This short report summarises the feedback from the 263 respondents to that consultation process (or consultees).
ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry. Bringing together 27 companies – and over 30 regional and commodities associations – we support mining with principles to sustainably manage the natural resources of our planet, and enhance the wellbeing of local communities.
Every ICMM company member currently implements our 10 Principles and 8 Position Statements on specific issues such as water and Indigenous Peoples. These are recognised as a good practice framework for the mining and metals industry. Currently, company members report annually on their sustainable development performance, and their reports are independently assured to confirm that they meet our high membership requirements.
Why did we launch the consultation?
ICMM are considering how to further improve the membership requirements to provide greater confidence in the steps members take to implement our Principles at an operational level.
Through this consultation, which is directed at external stakeholders, we aim to develop a more comprehensive set of requirements for how members are expected to manage a broad range of sustainability issues with appropriate site level validation.
The consultation process was designed to obtain feedback from a broad range of external stakeholders on 38 discrete performance expectations (grouped under ICMM’s 10 Principles for sustainable development) that we hope will set a benchmark for responsible business practices in the mining and metals sector.
Who responded to the consultation process and how?
263 respondents from 30 countries completed the survey. We asked people to provide feedback on up to 38 performance expectations. Most provided feedback on all or many of the performance expectations, but others were more selective in providing feedback. The numbers of respondents on individual performance expectations ranged from 205 to 263.
In inviting people to provide feedback, we clearly stated ICMM’s objective was to set a benchmark for responsible mining practices that members, and other responsible mining and metals companies, can publicly commit to. In that context, consultees were asked to rate individual performance expectations as follows:
1 = Falls well-below my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing
2 = Falls below my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing
3 = Meets my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing
4 = Exceeds my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing
5 = Far exceeds my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing.
Through this process the intention was to gauge the perceived adequacy of the performance expectations relative to stakeholder expectations of responsible mining and metals companies.
Overall, what was the tone of the feedback received?
Overall the feedback was positive and constructively critical. The average rating by all respondents on each individual performance expectation ranged between 2.9 and 3.2 (noting that a rating of 3 equates to ‘meets my expectation of what a responsible mining company should be doing’).
Most respondents did not self-identify with a particular organisational type (eg
industry, NGO, international organisation, etc). However, where they did the results show differences in the average ratings between different categories of respondents. For example, 20 of the 263 respondents identified as non-member mining companies, 19 as international organisations, and 30 as NGOs/not-for-profit organisations. The average ratings for these three groups respectively
were 3.2, 2.9 and 2.8.
We did not analyse responses by every country, as we had responses from 30 countries – in some cases just 1 respondent per country. The countries with the highest number of respondents were the United Kingdom (39), Canada (31) and Australia (21). The average ratings from these three countries were 3.1, 2.9 and 2.9 respectively.
For each of the 10 Principles, we have provided a figure that summarises the feedback from consultees on the performance expectations linked to the principle. This shows the percentage of respondents that rated each performance expectations as 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. This shows at a glance whether the wording of a performance expectations was satisfactory (rated 3, 4 or 5) from the perspective of a clear majority of respondents (75 per cent or more). Where more than 25 per cent of respondents rated the wording of a performance expectation as ‘falling below their expectations’ (rated 2 or 3), this can also be seen at a glance.
Below the figures for each of the 10 Principles, we have provided the wording of the performance expectations as it appeared in the consultation draft, alongside a summary of the comments from consultees. Where only a single respondent made a comment, these are not presented. Where two or more consultees made a similar point, this is reflected. Where more than 25 per cent of respondents rated the wording of a performance expectation as ‘falling below their expectations’ we have made a specific note to this effect.
What happens next?
ICMM committed to compiling a summary of the feedback from external stakeholders and publishing it on the ICMM website. This document serves that purpose. We plan to email consultation participants with a link to the survey results.
We are now in the process of looking at the final wording of the performance expectations, especially where more than 25 per cent of respondents rated the wording of a performance expectation as ‘falling below their expectations’. In such cases (and conversely where less than 75 per cent expressed satisfaction), these draft performance expectations were flagged as meriting close attention in determining how best to respond. The feedback from the public consultation is being discussed at various levels within the membership, most importantly with ICMM’s Council, comprising the CEOs of our member companies. In addition, we are in the process of developing guidance to support implementation of the performance expectations – including support for companies to self-assess progress with implementing them, or to have an independent 3rd party undertake that assessment.
We expect the process to be completed in the first half of 2019 at which point the
performance expectations should become part of the membership requirements of ICMM. Once they come into effect, the performance expectations should set a benchmark for responsible mining practices that ICMM members, and other responsible mining and metals companies, can publicly commit to.