Key Findings

    1. Significant gaps remain with society expectations

    The performances of even the best-scoring companies fall considerably short of society expectations in all six thematic areas. Stronger efforts are required by all companies to ensure their practices are managed effectively, in light of society expectations and the SDGs.


    2. Some signs of progress, but mostly commitments

    Since the RMI Report 2018, more companies have made and disclosed formal commitments on some economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) issues. A few companies have developed new or stronger management standards. Yet many companies show little sign of movement and much needs to be done to translate corporate commitments and standards into successful business practices.


    3. Effectiveness requires persistence

    Most companies are still not able to demonstrate that they track and publicly report on how effectively they are managing EESG issues. Even fewer companies show evidence of reviewing their performance and taking responsive actions where necessary. Once commitments are in place it takes persistence to Plan-Do-Check-Act.


    4. Risk of SDG-washing

    It is good to see that companies are increasingly aligning their sustainability reporting with the SDGs. However this reporting is selective and risks the perception of SDG-washing as companies generally omit any mention of negative impacts potentially impeding the achievement of these internationally agreed objectives. It is essential that an honest picture emerges of the true challenges the mining sector faces in its support of the SDGs.


    5. Mine-site data still missing

    Many mine-sites do not disclose site-level data on issues of strong public interest for communities, workers, governments and investors. And very rarely do mine sites evidence engagement with local stakeholders on EESG issues. To build trust with all stakeholders and reduce risks, companies will benefit from adopting responsible mine-site behaviour across all their operations and transparently sharing information.


    6. External requirements drive performance

    Stronger-performing and more transparent companies tend to be subject to specific requirements set by investors or producing country or home country governments. For example, the investor-led request for disclosure of information on tailings storage facilities has generated much more publicly available data of critical interest to shareholders, debt issuers, insurers and governments.


    7. Severe adverse impacts must be addressed urgently

    Events such as the Vale tailings disaster in Brumadinho are harsh reminders of the unacceptable risks faced by many communities, workers and environments in mining areas. Such tragedies, and other adverse impacts and fatalities, reflect very poorly on the industry as a whole and put into stark perspective any claims of responsible EESG management. The mining industry needs to prove that it prioritises EESG risk management over short-term considerations.


    8. It can be done

    Although individual company results are generally very low, collectively the companies prove that society expectations are achievable. If one company were to attain all the highest scores seen for every indicator, it would reach over 70% of the maximum achievable score. Similarly for a mine site in the mine-site assessment, achieving all the best scores recorded would enable it to reach over 80%. Each company and mining operation is encouraged to adopt the responsible practices already being demonstrated across the sector.