Sustainable Mining

Challenges and opportunities facing the mining sector

Natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals have long been associated with both wealth, human development and economic success as well as with natural degradation, rising inequalities and corruption.

Making up approximately 5% of global GDP, the extractive sectors have the chance to significantly contribute towards more inclusive economic growth and reducing environmental strain, thus bearing major responsibility in the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable mining is especially important for some of the world’s poorest countries, many of which possess large known oil, gas and mineral reserves. Here, effective management of the extractive sectors is vital in ensuring inclusive and sustainable economic growth and the achievement of the Agenda 2030.

In terms of international development, especially emerging economies such as China play a defining role. According to the World Investment Report 2016 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, extractive industries still attract between 30 – 40% of all foreign direct investments into some of the world’s least developed countries, with an increasing amount flowing from emerging markets.

Consequently, developing sustainable business solutions with emerging market multinationals from extractive sectors is essential in promoting the global sustainability agenda.

Therefore, the EMM Network and its partners have identified “Sustainable Mining” as a core initiative are.

Our Approach

The EMM Network for Sustainability works with EMMs in the mining sector itself, as well as with EMMs in multiple downstream industries (energy, electronics, telecommunication, etc.). The EMM Network supports these companies in developing sustainable business models including sustainable energy supply chain management and relevant frameworks to facilitate the transition.

The EMM Network’s initiatives in the sector include:

–           Sustainable mining guidelines development

–           Sustainable mining business model development (including in combination with the SROI methodology)

–           Facilitation of dialogue between relevant actors for responsible business conduct in mining and joint contributions to international fora




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