The minerals industry has made extensive efforts in sustainable development, and reporting of sustainability performance has been increasing. This paper examines the current role of legislated reporting, and the ways in which it can help streamline sustainability reporting, saving time and money. Two sets of sustainability metrics – the global reporting initiative (GRI) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) – are examined to demonstrate the coverage of sustainability reporting by legislated reporting. The paper also proposes the shifting of perspective from ‘life of mine’ to ‘life of project’ sustainability reporting. Greater use of legislated activities such as environmental impact assessments (EIAs) is described as a way of creating more useful, relevant and realistic sustainability reports. Through the use of these early phase activities to develop contextualised sustainability metrics, the sustainability contribution of a project can be more effectively measured across the life cycle and currently under-utilised information can be used more fully.
Keywords: sustainability, reporting, metrics, minerals, environmental regulation