The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has published a new Social and Economic Reporting Framework which commits members to report against a set of social and economic indicators, empowering stakeholders such as communities, governments, and investors to assess the contribution of mining to social and economic development more easily.
ICMM members, representing around a third of the industry, have committed to report on eight key indicators which includes country by country tax reporting on revenues, payment and tax, workforce composition, pay equality, wage level, training provided, local procurement, education and skills programmes, and capacity building.
This disclosure will also help companies to better assess and strengthen the delivery of their social and economic contribution programmes, and provide a clearer overview of the contribution mining is making to economic growth, employment, skills, health, education and a range of other development opportunities in the regions close to their operations.
ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan said, “Mining plays a significant role in driving social and economic development in the regions where it takes place. What has been missing until now is a consistent set of indicators that measure these contributions, like for like. ICMM’s Social and Economic Reporting Framework raises the bar in several areas including the disaggregation of data by gender and ethnicity, and reporting of employee wages compared to the local living wage. This commitment represents a major step forward, and I encourage all mining companies to adopt the Framework to provide a more complete picture of the industry’s social and economic contribution and collectively identify areas for improvement.
We recognise that there is still more to do to measure, prevent and manage the negative impacts mining activities can have on local communities. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders to assess the potential evolution of the Framework so that we can build on the data already being provided to give a clear picture of our members’ performance.”
Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith said, “Along with other ICMM members, Gold Fields was actively involved in the development of the Framework as we believe the reporting of social and economic indicators is critical to help provide a clear picture of the contribution we make. This transparency is key to winning the trust of our stakeholders, particularly host communities and governments. We are already aligned with several of the indicators – as reported in our annual Report to Stakeholders – and are working towards disclosure against the full Framework.”
The Framework was developed through an assessment of existing reporting frameworks and company practices relating to social and economic contribution. It was informed by consultation with a range of external stakeholders including investors, civil society, customers, and international organisations and tested at sites by ICMM members. It builds on existing frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), thereby ensuring a streamlined approach to reporting. Where indicators were not available in existing frameworks, new ones have been developed and included in the Framework.
ICMM members have already started the work needed to incorporate these indicators into their reporting systems and are committed to disclose against the indicators by 2024, except for country-by-country tax, for which reporting is expected from 2025.
Rohitesh Dhawan moderated a panel at African Mining Indaba, where ICMM Council member Chris Griffith (Gold Fields CEO) and Anglo American South Africa Chair Nolitha Fakude also discussed mining’s overall contribution to society, the importance of consistent reporting on contribution, and how transparent reporting will help to build trust across the sector.