GRI Releases Mining Standard

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed a standard to address sustainability impacts linked to mining activities. Named GRI 14: Mining Sector 2024, the standard responds to stakeholder demands for more transparency in the sector and will enabling mining companies to use a common set of metrics to report their impacts. The GRI said it looked to balance out the essential role that mining companies play in providing the minerals that modern societies rely on with the need for accountability on the harm their operations can cause to the environment, communities and workers. The mining standard is the fourth addition to the GRI’s sector standard series and was developed with a multi-stakeholder approach, focusing on 25 topics likely to have material impact for companies in the sector. “From a sustainability standpoint, the position of mining is complex, in that it is both part of the solution and the problem,” said Carol Adams, Chair of the GRI Standards Board. “The low-carbon transition cannot be realised without key minerals that the sector provides – yet mining operations can have deep and damaging impacts on both nature and people.” The new standard sets expectations for site-level transparency to help stakeholders assess impacts and risks by location and mineral type, and covers critical themes ranging from emissions to waste, human rights to land and resource rights, climate change to biodiversity, and anti-corruption to community engagement. In addition, it covers three topics previously unaddressed by the GRI and of specific relevance to mining firms: tailings management, artisanal and small-scale mining, and operating in conflict zones. The standard also comes at a time when policymakers and regulators are increasingly focusing on the responsible supply of minerals, aiming to support mining companies in meeting widespread disclosure and due diligence requirements – including the need to provide investors and downstream customers with information to make informed investment and sourcing decisions.

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