ESG Trends for 2024 - Mining

Shariq Ansari
March 26, 2024
5 mins to read
Mining site manager overlooking safety regulations for assets.

The mining industry stands at the precipice of transformation, influenced by evolving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) demands. As we progress into 2024, these ten key ESG trends offer a roadmap for sustainability and innovation in the sector.

1. Net-Zero Acceleration

The urgent call for climate action propels the acceleration towards net-zero emissions. With an increasing number of companies embracing net-zero targets, the focus extends beyond direct emissions (scope 1 and 2) to encompass the entire value chain (scope 3). This shift mandates robust climate strategies backed by investor support, emphasizing the critical nature of credible and attainable climate plans​​.

2. Biodiversity: A Rising Priority

As the interdependence between climate change and biodiversity loss becomes undeniable, the spotlight turns to biodiversity. Initiatives aiming to integrate nature into financial decision-making, such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), gain traction. This movement is fueled by a heightened awareness of the risks that nature loss poses to business and society alike​.

3. Tailings Management Under Scrutiny

Tailings management remains a focal point, spotlighting the need for stringent adherence to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). The industry faces increasing pressure to demonstrate responsible tailings management, with technological advancements offering promising solutions for safer, more sustainable.

4. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

The mining sector acknowledges the necessity of fostering more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplaces. Through initiatives like the TSM Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Workplaces Protocol, the industry commits to tackling workforce challenges, thereby enhancing innovation and resilience through diversity.

5. ESG Reporting Standardization

The unification of sustainability disclosures under the IFRS Foundation marks a significant stride towards standardized ESG reporting. This global baseline promises enhanced consistency and comparability, facilitating clearer communication with investors and stakeholders about sustainability efforts.

6. Adapting to Global Regulations

Mining companies navigate a labyrinth of new and evolving sustainability regulations across jurisdictions, particularly within the EU. This trend underscores the imperative for adaptive strategies that comply with disclosures on climate change, modern slavery, and broad non-financial reporting requirements.

7. Investor Demands and Activism Intensify

The investor community amplifies its demand for transparency and ESG performance, influencing corporate strategies and transactions. High-profile instances of investor activism highlight the increasing scrutiny on companies' ESG commitments and the consequential financial implications.

8. Executive and Board Competency in ESG

A growing competency gap in understanding and managing ESG risks among executives and board members signals a critical risk. This gap prompts a push towards ESG upskilling, ensuring that leadership is equipped to navigate the complexities of ESG strategy and oversight​.

9. Technological Innovation at the Fore

Technological advancements emerge as key enablers for achieving sustainability goals. From AI and data analytics for ESG performance assessment to innovations in resource optimization and renewable energy solutions, technology plays a pivotal role in driving sustainable outcomes​.

10. Sustainable and Responsible Supply Chains

As regulatory trends and investor expectations spotlight supply chain sustainability, companies face the challenge of enhancing transparency and responsible sourcing. This focus on sustainable supply chains emphasizes the need for comprehensive understanding and management of Scope 3 emissions and human rights risks.

The mining industry's journey towards sustainability is paved with challenges and opportunities. As these trends illustrate, the path forward demands a concerted effort to embrace change, innovate, and integrate ESG principles at the core of business strategies. For mining companies willing to navigate these waters, the rewards extend beyond compliance to securing a resilient and prosperous future in harmony with the planet and society.

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Shariq Ansari
Digital Marketeer
“Using Grid to track drill program progress and day to day expenditures has allowed VR Resources to make better decisions more quickly. The highly customizable and elegant interface allows me to track and manage all aspects of our field work and it’s clear after just a few weeks that the possibilities are nearly endless. Cost tracking estimates were consistently within expected variance of invoices received giving me further confidence in managing agile drill programs. Further the development team and customer support have been top notch!”
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VR Resources
VR Resources
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