JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Sustainability is not a function of compliance but rather a strategic imperative to change the role that mining plays in society and in economies, says Sibanye-Stillwater senior VP and head of sustainability Loyiso Ndlovu.
“We do this by sticking to the knitting in being miners, and then supporting the growth of new economies in a manner designed to build legacies," says Ndlovu, who was speaking on environmental, social and governance (ESG) during the Sibanye-Stillwater Investor Day, covered by Mining Weekly. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
Ndlovu highlights the three tenets that guide Sibanye-Stillwater’s sustainability strategy as being:
- environmental stewardship, which she describes as the promotion of the sustainable use of resources and making sure that the company transitions towards a low-carbon future;
- social and impact outcomes, using the company’s societal influence to co-create positive legacies; and
- governance integrity and engagement with all stakeholders, undertaken with integrity and involving doing the right thing “even when no one is looking”.
Over the year, the work of the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company, headed by CEO Neal Froneman, has been to ensure the application of these philosophies and to focus on outcomes.
“A shift in maturity has led the company to develop an integrated sustainability strategy, which in the end addresses short-term actions to achieve long-term benefits to society, the global economy, stakeholders and the strengthening of the role of being an extractive industry player,” says Ndlovu.
The approach has been to recognise inter-dependencies by creating value and acting on opportunities.
“The broadening of the application of these themes towards ESG has allowed the company to provide clear paths towards economic benefits that accrue as a result of its operations.
“In particular, due to the areas of our work in transitional economies, we have found an urgent need to not only build long-term sustainable economic strength but to link that economic strength to environmental and social sustainability, and to embed governance in our work.
“Economies enable participatory decision-making and meaningful transitions towards making ESG valuable to our long-term work,” Ndlovu says.
The four areas of focus of the strategy are:
- embedding human rights, both inside the business and outside of it;
- developing a climate-change resilient business;
- entrenching long-term economic sustainability by focusing the work squarely on beginning with the end in mind; and
- developing data-driven and considered decision-making.