I am pursuing key information, pertinent ideas and lessons learnt on the
issue of environmental reporting in the mining and minerals industry. My
interest is particularly in the practical side of things -- understanding
the leading approaches at the current time (whether within or external to
the mining/minerals industry), and tapping into perceptions about what
constitutes an effective environmental report.
I'd like to ask your advice on the following areas as they relate to
environmental reporting in the mining and minerals sector:
*What have we learnt so far (i.e. what to do and what not to do?)
*What are the lessons for those companies that have not yet reported?
*What should mining companies now be reporting? and in what manner?
*Who are key contacts who are working in this field, particularly in
practice areas? Who are the leading companies in this regard?
*How can the TRI reporting be best integrated into the environmental
Some of my initial thoughts on this have been as follows, at least in
getting some kind of handle on my original question:
- Analysing what is being self reported (eg The approach of a "content
analysis" of other reports).
- Guidance for preparing one's report (eg Minerals Council of Australia
environmental reporting guidelines) - are there others?
- What constitutes leadership in environmental reporting (e.g The
International Corporate Environmental Reporting Site
http://www.enviroreporting.com indicating how Australia is a follower (not a
leader) in env. and social responsibility reporting, as well as the
'Australian National Guidelines for Public Environmental Reporting' project.
- What others have found to be the key issues & learnings in environmental
reporting (though not specific to the mining industry): A good example here:
http://www.enviroreporting.com/others/unep_97.htm. You may be already aware
of these - I have included them immediately below my signature in this
message. I would be interested to know what your assessment of these
recommendations are particularly as they relate to the mining & minerals
I look forward to a discussion of your ideas.
TURLOUGH F. GUERIN
14 Scotts Road,
Far East Plaza #19-06
"1 Account for the triple bottom line of sustainable development
2 Spotlight real issues, impacts and priorities
3 Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Trackable)
targets - and verify
4 Integrate your reporting
5 Link your CER with your annual
6 Focus on financial market users
7 Quantify and monetise
8 Communicate, communicate, communicate
9 Use the Internet - but don't go paperless
10 Help develop - and use - sustainability indicators
11 Engage - and re-engage stakeholders
12 Review the need for new mandatory reporting requirements
[and also the....
The 10 transitions
..at the same web address]
1 Multi-way, active dialogue:
The European Union leads in terms of active stakeholder engagement, but some
US companies (eg Monsanto) are also now movinq stronqlv in this direction.
2 Verification as standard
Verification has arrived, but there is a fair way to go before it is
accepted in the same way it is in corporate financial accounting and
Figure 11 (p16) shows the 1997 sectoral breakdown of benchmarked CERs,
ranked by the average score for each sector. The pharmaceutical sector is
currently in the lead. The next step will be to benchmark performance.
4 Life cycles, business design, strategy
Ideally, corporate strategies will eventually be based on detailed
understanding of life-cycle impacts and ways of minimising them. Companies
to watch include Danish Steel Works, Enso, Neste, Novo Nordisk, SAS and Sun
5 Impacts and outcomes
Little progress has been made to date in terms of moving on from the
quantification of inputs and outputs to the assessment and reporting of
environmental - let alone triple bottom line - impacts and outcomes.
6 Global operating standards Again, little progress.
Among the rare CERs which discuss these issues in some detail are those by
The Body Shop, BP, Fiat, Sony and Volvo.
7 Corporate governance
Very few companies yet link their CERs to the corporate governance agenda.
This is a subject which SustainAbility is exploring in a separate project
within the 1997 Engaging Stakeholders programme.
8 Mandatory reporting
A small number of countries are developing mandatory schemes, most notably
Denmark and The Netherlands (see page 25). Again, this is a subject
SustainAbility is exploring in a separate project on non-reportinq
9 Boundaries set by stakeholder dialogue
The Body Shop, BP, Monsanto and Novo Nordisk offer pioneering examples of
stakeholder involvement in setting reporting boundaries and parameters.
10 Triple bottom line performance
The triple bottom line of sustainable development aims to capture progress
against a range of economic, environmental and social performance
indicators. The results of the 1997 Benchmark Survey show little evidence to
date of real efforts to develop and plot progress against sustainability
indicators. Among the companies to watch however are the EB Eddy Group and
The Body Shop."
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