Water is fundamental to life. It is a critical resource not only for all our members' operations but also for other industries, communities and the natural environment. It is therefore one of the most significant issues facing the mining and metals industry. With competition for water continuing to grow, water dependent industries are facing increasingly intense scrutiny, particularly when operating in water stressed areas.
Globally, there is a clear call for greater transparency and disclosure on water use and management from all those who use it. This is especially true for the mining and metals industry considering its high water dependency and potential to impact water resources.
In general there has been clear progress on water reporting and disclosure through the numerous existing water reporting standards such as CDP, CEO Water Mandate, and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Although our members report on one or more of these,the standards do not succinctly articulate or necessarily take into account the industry’s specific material water practices, nuances and risks.
ICMM recognises that the mining and metals industry needs to do more to meet these disclosure expectations, on aspects such as ensuring comparability among companies within the sector, data on wastewater discharge and recycling, and providing a more comprehensive picture of the risks and opportunities for the industry.
In response, ICMM has developed this guide to support the industry in making consistent, transparent and material water reports, based on key elements of existing disclosure and accounting systems.
This guide is focussed on:
- defining an appropriate set of standardised water reporting metrics for the mining and metals industry
- outlining the minimum disclosure standard for member companies which sets a transparent benchmark for the industry
- providing practical guidance around preparing corporate water summaries and meeting the minimum disclosure standard.
The implementation of the approach outlined in this guide supports the leadership commitment on water stewardship that ICMM announced in January 2017.
Leadership on water stewardship is required from all parts of society and our members are required to apply strong and transparent water governance, manage water in operations effectively and collaborate to achieve shared water benefits.
This includes, amongst other elements, the public reporting of water performance using consistent industry metrics, and to maintain a water balance and understand how it relates to the cumulative impact of other users.
Members will be required to comply with the disclosure standard and associated metrics included in this document from November 2018 to meet the commitments of the position statement.
We encourage the adoption of this approach by the broader industry as a way to provide meaningful information that supports better water use, effective catchment management and to contribute to overall improved water security and sanitation for all.
The guide is also available in Spanish.